A Southend United XI took on a Brentford XI this afternoon in a behind closed doors game.
The match ended 3-2 to the West Londoners, with the two Blues goals coming courtesy of James Dunne and Lewis Gard.
Jack Bridge completed his first 90 minutes since his knee operation as he continues to step up his recovery.
Kevin Maher also got vital match minutes into other members of his squad who haven’t featured of late including Jack Wood, Leon Davies and Gard, who also played the duration of the game at Brentford’s training base.
Up against a side that included ‘four or five’ players in the Bees’ Premier League squad, it was also Christian Eriksen’s first game back as he steps up his recovery following a cardiac arrest at last year’s European Championships.
And Kevin Maher said it was great to see the Danish international back on the pitch as he completed 60 minutes.
“Seeing what happened in the summer, just to see him back on a football pitch was brilliant.
“I’m delighted that Brentford invited us down and I’m glad we could participate."
The Blues boss added that with competition so fierce in his squad right now, it was a great exercise to get valuable game time into his squad.
“It was a really good game. We were more than competitive and they only nicked one quite late on to win it but we had made some changes by then.
“We got minutes into people who need minutes in a really competitive game so it was a useful exercise for us.
“With the quality they had on the pitch in terms of four or five Premier league players, and Christian Eriksen as well, it was a really good exercise and I was pleased with everyone that was involved.
“Credit to Brentford to having us, we’re really grateful to them for inviting us.”
Blues took the lead through Dunne before Brentford pulled one back to make it 1-1 at half-time.
Gard put Blues 2-1 up before the Premier League side came back to equalise and then score the winning goal.
Blues Starting XI: Andeng Ndi, Howard, Wallace, Kensdale, Davies, Bridge, Dunne, Neal, Gard, Wood, Rush.
Subs: Egbri, Phillips, Kinali, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist.
Picture credit: Brentford FC