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Southend United get out of a jam with victory against Mansfield Town
SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown was in a jam when two of his players failed to make it in time to take on Mansfield Town at Roots Hall on Friday night.
But the Shrimpers chief felt the enforced changes worked in his side’s favour as they convincingly saw off the Stags 3-0 in an eventful encounter to move up to ninth in the League Two table.
Loanees Rob Kiernan and Cauley Woodrow both had to be left on the bench after getting stuck in traffic on the M25.
Yet Brown believes the alterations enabled Blues to come out on top and end a run of two successive defeats.
“In the end I think you would have to say the changes we had to make worked for us,” said Brown.
“It was far from ideal at the time and it’s amazing what this game came throw at you at times.
“I actually named the team on Wednesday and we worked with them for two or three days in training.
“But then all of a sudden we have to make changes and that worked in our favour because Michael Timlin came in and I thought he was outstanding.
“Overall it was a pleasing night and we’ve responded in the right way to what was probably our worst performance of the season at Newport last Saturday.”
Strikes from Anthony Straker and Kevan Hurst, either side of a bizarre own goal from Jamie McGuire enabled the Shrimpers to come out on top.
But both teams had players sent off in the first half with Blues midfielder Conor Clifford seeing red for a two footed challenge on Calvin Andrew just before the half-time break.
However Brown had no complaints about the midfielder’s dismissal which came after Mansfield forward James Alabi had been ordered off for a late challenge on Luke Prosser.
“Conor is a genuine, combative midfielder but those types of tackles are highlighted in the game these days and people are pilloried for making them,” said Brown, who will now be missing Clifford for the next three games.
“His feet were up and that’s why he was sent off.”
Mansfield also had midfielder Lee Beevers dismissed in the final minute of the match after being shown a second yellow card for a foul on Will Atkinson.