Southend United's tears after play-off defeat to Crewe Alexandra

Echo: Ryan Hall in tears at the final whistle Ryan Hall in tears at the final whistle

SOUTHEND United’s promotion dreams ended in tears at Roots Hall last night.

Blues were held to a 2-2 draw by Crewe Alexandra, meaning they crashed to a 3-2 defeat on aggregate.

And that left members of the team, including winger Ryan Hall, crying at the end of the game.

Southend twice came from behind to keep themselves in the tie with Chris Barker, on his 100th game for the club and substitute Neil Harris both on target.

But manager Paul Sturrock felt a poor first half was ultimately to blame for the defeat.

“We can’t afford to play like we did in the first 45 minutes and expect to get success,” said Sturrock. “In the second half we had the aggression and appetite you need and if we had that from the start then it might have been a different game.”

Southend improved after the break but were just unable to take the tie to extra time, much to the disappointment of Harris, whose arrival in the 54th minute seemed to spark his side in to life.

“We were poor for an hour in both legs of the semi-final against Crewe and unfortunately we’ve come up just short,” said Harris.

“We nearly did it but nearly isn’t good enough and we have a very disappointed dressing room.”

The aggregate loss condemns Blues to another season in League Two.

Comments (5)

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5:57pm Thu 17 May 12

orsettblue says...

why weren't they fired up for the first half then ?
why weren't they fired up for the first half then ? orsettblue

6:27pm Thu 17 May 12

Techy - SOL says...

Firstly, I would like to say a big well done to the Club, Manager & Players for almost winning promotion from League 2... it's been a roller-coaster ride this season for sure.

I disagree about being poor in the first 45 minutes of last night's game though.

We lost the playoffs in the awful 90 minutes we played Saturday, where we were fortunate to ONLY be 1-0 down, but last night we looked comfortable in the first half and near our best in the second.

I got exactly what I was calling for last night, because when we got the ball down & played football, we looked the equal of Crewe. Alas, we are so familiar with direct football these days, we forget how to pass the ball to each other, and hence lose a lot of possession when we do get the ball down and that's a shame, because we have played exquisite football this season in brief spells.

Next season, I would like to see less direct football and more neat one touch, pass and move football mixed in. We're too predictable and suffered too many draws & defeats to the teams around us this season. We played some terrific football under Tilly & Brush's reign and this proves that direct football isn't necessarily the way forward.

Have a good summer everyone!
Firstly, I would like to say a big well done to the Club, Manager & Players for almost winning promotion from League 2... it's been a roller-coaster ride this season for sure. I disagree about being poor in the first 45 minutes of last night's game though. We lost the playoffs in the awful 90 minutes we played Saturday, where we were fortunate to ONLY be 1-0 down, but last night we looked comfortable in the first half and near our best in the second. I got exactly what I was calling for last night, because when we got the ball down & played football, we looked the equal of Crewe. Alas, we are so familiar with direct football these days, we forget how to pass the ball to each other, and hence lose a lot of possession when we do get the ball down and that's a shame, because we have played exquisite football this season in brief spells. Next season, I would like to see less direct football and more neat one touch, pass and move football mixed in. We're too predictable and suffered too many draws & defeats to the teams around us this season. We played some terrific football under Tilly & Brush's reign and this proves that direct football isn't necessarily the way forward. Have a good summer everyone! Techy - SOL

8:00pm Thu 17 May 12

Seasider90 says...

Luckily Crewe weren't fired up in the first half otherwise they'd have had another 3 goals. They outplayed us and played a passing game. We played the long ball up to Benyon who I've yet to see win a ball. We were shocking - the long ball game has cost us promotion. Seen it in many home games. We need some new players - everyone can see the weaknesses in the team especially the opposition. A good effort in the second half last last night however we simply weren't good enough.
Luckily Crewe weren't fired up in the first half otherwise they'd have had another 3 goals. They outplayed us and played a passing game. We played the long ball up to Benyon who I've yet to see win a ball. We were shocking - the long ball game has cost us promotion. Seen it in many home games. We need some new players - everyone can see the weaknesses in the team especially the opposition. A good effort in the second half last last night however we simply weren't good enough. Seasider90

11:08am Fri 18 May 12

dbfromrayleigh says...

In reply to Techy - SOL at 6.27pm, Thurs:

Sorry, but were we watching the same game?

Agreed we were awful in the first leg, but we certainly did NOT look comfortable in the first half on Wednesday (two glaring Crewe misses, from SUFC errors, that would have finished off the tie before half-time) and as for being the equal of Crewe when it came to getting the ball down and passing! Sorry, but they were miles better than us at that side of the game.

I am an ardent fan of SUFC and passionate too. I am also a realist and the reality was that, when it mattered at the very end of the season, we were beaten by the better team.

Whether we can play a passing game with some of these players is open to doubt. Timlin and even Grant worry me greatly with their distribution in midfield. With this group of players, the passing game does not play to our strengths.

Yes I'd like to see a passing game, because I believe a good passing side will always beat a good long ball/physical side (as Crewe proved), but you do have to be very good at the passing game at this level & we would need quite an overhaul of personnel to do that, something which would need re-building throughout the club. Maybe best to fine tune the game we have now with a big push next season for the top three, but hopefully with an improvement in some areas of playing personnel.

I do agree with your last paragraph, but I also think we have to accept that the type of football of the Tilly & Brush era won't be seen at Southend for quite a while.
In reply to Techy - SOL at 6.27pm, Thurs: Sorry, but were we watching the same game? Agreed we were awful in the first leg, but we certainly did NOT look comfortable in the first half on Wednesday (two glaring Crewe misses, from SUFC errors, that would have finished off the tie before half-time) and as for being the equal of Crewe when it came to getting the ball down and passing! Sorry, but they were miles better than us at that side of the game. I am an ardent fan of SUFC and passionate too. I am also a realist and the reality was that, when it mattered at the very end of the season, we were beaten by the better team. Whether we can play a passing game with some of these players is open to doubt. Timlin and even Grant worry me greatly with their distribution in midfield. With this group of players, the passing game does not play to our strengths. Yes I'd like to see a passing game, because I believe a good passing side will always beat a good long ball/physical side (as Crewe proved), but you do have to be very good at the passing game at this level & we would need quite an overhaul of personnel to do that, something which would need re-building throughout the club. Maybe best to fine tune the game we have now with a big push next season for the top three, but hopefully with an improvement in some areas of playing personnel. I do agree with your last paragraph, but I also think we have to accept that the type of football of the Tilly & Brush era won't be seen at Southend for quite a while. dbfromrayleigh

12:43pm Fri 18 May 12

gary 51 says...

Our football has been awful since the New Year, we were lucky to make the play offs
Our football has been awful since the New Year, we were lucky to make the play offs gary 51

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