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8 January 2022

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Southend United boss Kevin Maher was delighted with his side’s hard-fought 1-0 win against Weymouth and felt his side should have won by more at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Matthew Dennis’ goal in just the fifth minute for the visitors was the difference in horribly wet and windy conditions in Dorset, with the Norwich-loanee racing through on goal and confidently dispatching the chance for his third goal in three games.

Weymouth, who’d been in dire form in the league coming into this one, posed little threat on Steve Arnold’s goal with the win lifting Blues four points clear of Weymouth who occupy the final spot in the National League relegation zone.

Following the full-time whistle, Maher said that he was: “delighted with the win” and that “three points was the most important thing.”

“The performance was good in a lot of patches, especially second-half and I thought we could have had a couple more at least,” the Blues boss continued.

“I thought we dominated the game, but we couldn’t get that second one just to make life a bit easier for ourselves.

“Delighted with everyone, I thought they worked their socks off. It was one of those days when it was wet and windy, it was always going to be a tough one, but I thought we ground it out well.”

Dennis proved to again be the match-winner with his third goal in successive games, following on from goals against Dorking Wanderers in the Buildbase FA Trophy and Bromley last time out in the league.

And the youngster has taken his opportunities to impress Maher with both hands, with the Blues boss impressed with what the Norwich-loanee has shown him since getting in the side.

“When we came in, he’s on loan and I wanted to look at our players and what we had.

“It’s one of those things when you’ve only got five subs, I’d like to put more on and sometimes you get chances when there are more subs, like the Dorking game, where he came on and took his chance and he’s carried on that vein of form.

“Matty took his goal brilliantly because he had a long time to think about it and a long way to travel and he finished it with great composure.”

Going into the game this afternoon, just a point separated the two sides with Blues knowing that defeat would have seen them drop into the relegation places in the National League.

And with upcoming matches against several sides in and around Southend in the league table this month to come, Maher admitted today’s one was a big game and something his side have to build on going into the visit of Yeovil Town on Tuesday.

“It was big. Beforehand I didn’t want to say it was a six-pointer, but it was a big game for us and we knew that.

“We’ve got build on it again. We said in the changing room that we can feel something building but we can’t step off the gas. The standards we’ve had in the last few games, we’ve got to keep going and take that into Tuesday night.

“[We’ll take into Tuesday] three points and three big points for us. Hopefully, confidence from winning football matches which hasn’t happened enough. It’s a habit and habit we’ve got to get into again, learn how to win.

“Even though it was 1-0, we kept a clean sheet which we haven’t done for a while…so that builds confidence. Results build confidence and hopefully, it’ll free us up with more attacking players we can build on that.”

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