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Southend United learnt lessons in defeat to Real Madrid C, says striker Neil Harris
NEIL Harris felt Southend United learnt a number of valuable lessons during their 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid C this afternoon.
Harris put Blues ahead at the Spanish giants’ training ground with a fine first half header.
And, despite a young Madrid side hitting back to score a trio of strikes, the experienced striker felt the encounter and the facilities the match was played in was a real eye opener for Blues.
“It was a good learning curve for us out there and a game that was of huge benefit for us,” said Harris.
“The venue for the match and the facilities there was just immense as well.
“There were eight pitches at the training ground that all had mini stadiums around them and the pitch we played on was just immense.
“It was like we were playing on carpet but it was tough going.
“Madrid were young, fit and sharp and they kept the ball well which made it hard for us in the extreme heat.”
Harris put Blues ahead with the first goal of the press season campaign when he nodded Gavin Tomlin’s cross past Ruben in the Madrid goal.
Harris was at it again in the 15th minute of the match but the effort was ruled out for offside and, moments later, Ryan Cresswell headed Ryan Leonard’s free-kick wide of the target when he should have done better.
After that, Madrid slowly began to work their way back in to the game and equalised when Ramirez netted a 20 yard-free-kick.
The striker curled his effort in to the bottom corner of the goal after Blues’ centre-back Mark Phillips had been penalised for a foul.
That ensured the game was level at the break but it was Southend who had the first chance of the second period with Cresswell heading over Kevan Hurst’s corner.
But Madrid, who made several changes at the interval, responded by going in front from the penalty spot in the 53rd minute when Blues’ trialist goalkeeper Phil Smith brought down Mariano.
The substitute forwardthen brushed himself down to fire the spot-kick past Smith.
Blues boss Paul Sturrock responded by making seven substitutions but Madrid soon sealed their victory when Burgui evaded challenge from Luke Prosser before firing home.
Southend United: Smith, Clohessy (Eastwood 68), Cresswell (Coughlan 68), Phillips (Barker 68), Straker (Prosser 68), Brogan (Hall 68), Hurst (Martin 68), Ferdinand, Leonard, Harris, Tomlin (Benyon 68).
Subs not used: Bentley