Anthony Straker goes from villain to hero to inspire Southend United's FA Cup win at Chesterfield

Echo: Anthony Straker - in fine form for Southend United Anthony Straker - in fine form for Southend United

ANTHONY Straker went from villain to hero to send Southend United in to the third round of the FA Cup with an impressive showing in Saturday’s 3-1 win at Chesterfield.

Just seven days after giving away an injury time penalty in a 1-1 draw with Cheltenham Town, Straker produced a stunning display to help the Shrimpers see off the Spireites.

And the 25-year-old, who scored one and made another, was thrilled to play such a prominent part in the victory at the Proact Stadium.

“It was certainly a nicer feeling than last week but these things happen in football,” said Straker.

“I didn’t think it was a penalty against Cheltenham, I thought I was fouled and that’s what made the ball hit my hand but people see it differently and you just have to get on with it.

“This was a different game, a chance to do well and I was really happy with how it went.”

Blues were forced to fight back from going a goal behind after just four minutes when Chesterfield winger Tendayi Darikwa hit home from close range.

But, after Marc Laird had cancelled out that early effort, Straker took centre stage as he headed home Kevan Hurst’s cross before brilliantly working his way past four men in the build up to a late goal for Hurst.

And Straker was delighted by his part in both goals.

“I don’t get many headers, in fact I’m not sure if I’ve ever scored one before so it was nice to see it go in,” said Straker.

“I actually thought the first half was up there with the best we have played all season and it was also great to be able to help Hursty get the goal to kill it off at the end.

“It makes it seven games unbeaten for us and we want to keep the unbeaten run going for as long as we can.”

Straker also impressed in the first round of the FA Cup, scoring twice in a 3-0 win at Morecambe and wants to combine a good cup run with a push for promotion.

“It’s going well at the moment and we want to start making teams fear us when we play them, not the other way,” added the winger.


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