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REACTION: MAHER ON NARROW DEFEAT TO BOREHAM WOOD

30 October 2021

Southend United boss Kevin Maher was frustrated that his side came away empty-handed from Boreham Wood as 10-man Blues fells to a 1-0 defeat at the LV Bet Stadium Meadow Park.

Midway through the second-half, Southend were reduced to 10 men when Abu Ogogo was sent off for apparent foul and abusive language, and the home side capitalised on that man advantage with Tyrone Marsh scoring a late winner.

The win for Boreham Wood lifted them to the top of the National League table while Blues remain inside the relegation zone on goal difference, but Maher was disappointed that his team weren’t able to come away with at least a point.

Following the full-time whistle in Hertfordshire, Maher said: “I’m disappointed not to come away with something from the game.

“The players: I can’t fault them at all. We had a really good week with them and everything we wanted from them, they gave us. We would have liked a bit more attacking play, but that’s going to come. We’ve got to give ourselves a base to play from and we did that today against a team that’s gone top of the league.

“We know we’ve got enough in the dressing room at the minute to compete but it’s disappointing to not come away with something that they deserved.”

The pivotal moment of the game came in the 66th minute when midfielder Ogogo was given his marching orders.

Having initially been shown a yellow card for not retreating far enough for a Boreham Wood corner, the referee immediately showed Ogogo a a red card for dissent, which Maher believed was a harsh decision.

“It was harsh, to say the least. I think [the ref] was too quick to get the card out.

“I spoke to Abs and he’s told me what’s happened and we’ll deal with that after.

“The fact that you’re asking me that question [about the referee’s performance] tells me something.”

This afternoon gave Blues fans the first opportunity to see Kacper Lopata and Zak Brunt in action after the two signed on loan from Championship side Sheffield United in midweek.

And the Blues boss was impressed with what he saw from the two youngsters who both put in assured performances in their debuts.

“They were brilliant. Kacper showed his qualities defensively – aerially he’s very good, defensively he’s very good.

“Zak showed glimpses of his quality on the ball. Ideally, we want to get him on the ball more, but that’ll come once we give ourselves a good platform to play from. Zak’s got great quality on the ball. We want to give the forwards more chances in the final third and I think Zak will provide that for us.

“I think they’ve both done very well for debuts.”

And despite a second successive defeat since taking charge of Blues for manager Maher, the Southend boss had some words for the exceptional support his side received from the fans who continue to travel in their numbers to away games.

Of the 1,501 in attendance at Boreham Wood, 836 of them – over half – were there to cheer on Blues which Maher described as “incredible”.

“[The support] is incredible and that’s the frustrating thing, we are so desperate to give them something because it’s been a tough time.

“I’ve only been in the job a short time, but I know how they’ve backed us and backed me, and backed the players, and I’m just desperate to give them something to cheer.

“We were very close to doing that today.”


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