Ten-man Blues are beaten at Gillingham

Gillingham 3-1 Southend United – reaction

GARY WADDOCK reflected upon a strenuous second period which saw his struggling Southend United side again capitulate as Gillingham inflicted their ninth Sky Bet League One defeat in eleven matches.

Caretaker-manager, Waddock, has overseen all four of the league points meagrely gleaned by the Blues. However, despite chairman, Ron Martin, insisting that a new manager will be appointed very shortly, it is difficult to see how anyone can turn around a ship which is rapidly taking in water and heading for League Two.

Alfie Jones handed the Kent side the lead shortly before the break. But in truth, Gillingham had dominated the opening 45 minutes with goalkeeper, Mark Oxley, largely keeping the hosts at bay.

Former Southend man, Stuart O’Keefe, doubled the Gills advantage seconds after the restart and despite Simon Cox reducing the arrears, the dismissal of Emile Acquah following two swift bookings, coupled with a late Brandon Hanlan effort sealed the Seasiders sorry fate.

Gillingham was even afforded the luxury of two missed penalties. Mikael Ndjoli hitting an upright with his first attempt, then seeing Oxley rebuff another after springing to his left.

“It was probably too eventful the second-half, there was a lot going on in the game,” Waddock told www.southendunited.co.uk.

“Unfortunately, we come off the back of another defeat, but there were spells in the second half where you couldn’t fault the player’s attitude and approach to it and we had them rocking for a little bit.

“I know they had two penalties and missed two penalties, but things are not going our way at the moment. We’ve got to keep our heads held high and continue to work hard to try and turn this situation around.

The former Queen’s Park Rangers man continued: “We were under the cosh first-half as well, they put us under a lot of pressure and picked up a lot of second balls, which they do very well. We had a chat at half-time and then within a minute we concede another goal so it’s a mountain you then have to climb.”

“We changed the formation and it put them on the back foot and it got us back into the game. Unfortunately for Emile, he picked up the red card which was probably a little naïve of him but we wanted a presence up front, and he certainly gives you that, but two or three challenges have ultimately cost him and us by going down to 10-men.”

On Acquah’s sending off, Waddock added: “He’ll learn from it. We wanted that presence upfront and their backline felt him on a number of occasions.

“He’s got that in his play but unfortunately, he stepped over the mark so he has to learn from it. He’s a young lad developing and that experience, even though it’s a bad one, he will learn from.”

Gillingham: Bonham, O’Keefe, Ehmer (Capt), Ogilvie, Hanlan (Jakubiak 90+2’), Ndjoli, Fuller (Tucker 90+4’), Jones, Byrne, Lee (Marshall 65’), O’Connor. Subs not used: Walsh, Mandron, Charles-Cook, Pringle

Southend United: Oxley, Bwomono, Milligan (Capt), Humphrys, Cox, McLaughlin, Kiernan, Hamilton, Demetriou (Shaughnessy 55’), Lennon, Hutchinson (Acquah 55’). Subs not used: Bishop, Hyam, Dieng, Ndukwu, Taylor

Referee: Leigh Doughty
Assistants: Stuart Butler and Samuel Ogles
Fourth Official: Daniel Cook

Brian Jeeves

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