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2 May 2022

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Blues boss Kevin Maher felt his side had enough chances to ‘win three games’ as Southend United were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw against already relegated Weymouth at Roots Hall.

Despite dominating the first half, Blues went into the break behind after Josh McQuoid broke through and scored with the Terras’ first attack on goal.

Southend though equalised shortly after the restart when Callum Powell scored his first goal in front of the home fans, but his afternoon was soured by seeing his penalty saved by Ross Fitzsimons meaning the points were shared.  

“I think everyone could see how the game went and the chances we’ve had were enough to win three games,” said Maher after Blues’ penultimate game of the National League season.

“We switched off for a period and conceded which you’re going to do when the team is defending deep and are hard to break down. You know if you don’t put them to bed, you’re always liable for that and we got caught.

“We had enough chances to win it. If I had a pound for every time we hit the first man I’d be a rich man, so there are areas to improve. We know we’ve got to score more goals and the penalty as well which is another one that has cost us points.”

Having got themselves back in the tie inside four minutes of the restart, Blues were pushing for a winner and had a golden opportunity present itself when Jack Bridge was pulled down inside the area for a penalty.

And having already scored the equaliser, Powell confidently stepped up to take the spot kick only for Ross Fitzsimons to guess the right way and make the save, which was Southend’s fifth missed penalty this season.

“Put your foot through the ball,” was the advice Maher gave when asked how Blues go about turning around their penalty woes.  

"We’ve missed enough, so put your foot through the ball. Cardwell showed it [against Barnet]. You know we’ve missed a couple so just put your foot through it.

“That’s all it sometimes takes. You try and be too clever sometimes and there have been a few this year like that and it costs you.”

Despite the frustration of dropping points, overall Maher was delighted with his side’s performance this afternoon and was full of praise for the effort his team showed just 48-hours removed from the defeat to Wrexham on Saturday.

And with an extended, 13-day break between now and the final game of the campaign against Torquay, Maher hopes his Blues side can come back and finish the season on a high.

“They’ve been brilliant, honestly. The result is a point, but the level of performance is very good.

“It’s easy when it’s the end of the season and there’s nothing to play for, they’re down and we could just think we’ll go through the motions, but we didn’t do that and give the players credit for that.

“They were up for it and from the first whistle, they were at it and asking questions, creating chances. It was just one of those days when it wouldn’t go in and they’re frustrating days for us.

“There will be some rest and recovery, and we’ll have a proper working week going into the Torquay game. There’ll be one or two back as well so we’ll look to finish the season on a high come Torquay.”

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