Southend United's Anthony Straker glad goal drought is over after scoring against Northampton Town (From Echo)
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Southend United's Anthony Straker glad goal drought is over after scoring against Northampton Town
ANTHONY Straker ended a 19 month goal drought to help Southend United continue their excellent start to the season with a 2-0 win against Northampton Town at Roots Hall on Saturday.
Straker had not hit the back of the net since scoring twice for Aldershot Town at AFC Wimbledon in January 2012.
But he headed Blues in front at the weekend and was joined on the score-sheet by Freddy Eastwood as the Shrimpers secured a third successive league win and their best start to a season in 23 years.
“We’re all working hard to get the good results and it was a nice feeling getting the goal,” said Straker, who had gone 56 games without scoring.
“I took a bit of a gamble when Freddy had a shot and for once it paid it off for me. I didn’t get any at all last season so it was good to see it go in and hopefully I can get a few more now.”
The well taken header continued Straker’s excellent start to the season.
And the 24-year-old insists his confidence is now higher than it has ever been before during his time with Blues.
“This is the best I’ve felt and the most confident I’ve been since being here and hopefully it can stay that way because I’m enjoying myself again,” said Straker, who joined the club before the start of last season.
“There’s a good feeling within the team and this was another very good win for us against a good team.”
Before Straker’s opening goal, Northampton missed an early penalty when Roy O’Donovan’s spot kick was saved by Daniel Bentley.
Cobblers winger Chris Hackett was then sent off for two bookable offences, the second of which was a foul on Straker, after just 22 minutes.
And the Shrimpers winger felt his side were able to make the most of the situation having played with 10 men themselves at Hartlepool United in their previous game following a soft red card to Barry Corr.
“I think going down to 10 men last week helped us because we knew how they would set up against us, “said Straker.
“We knew we had to give it a bit extra because Northampton would shut up shop but thankfully we were able to get the win.
“It’s three wins in a row now and hopefully we can stay up there but there’s obviously a long way to go.”
Blues are currently second in the early League Two standings and that delighted assistant manager David Penney, who also celebrated his 49th birthday on Saturday.
“I am 21 again and this win is a nice way to mark it,” laughed Penney.
“It’s still very early days but we’ve had three wins and three clean sheets and it couldn’t have gone much better for us.
“The players have worked their socks off since day one of pre-season training and they’re getting the rewards for that now.
“This was another good result and performance but if you’re being hyper critical then we should’ve won by three or four.”