PHIL Brown felt Southend United were spot on in beating Oldham Athletic 2-0 on Saturday - but the Blues boss was not able to watch his side’s opening goal.

Jason Demetriou fired the Shrimpers in front from the penalty spot at Roots Hall.

But, after seeing his team miss four of their last spot-kicks, Brown turned away when the defender stepped forward to shoot from 12 yards.

“I didn’t want to watch it because I was sick to death of seeing us miss penalties,” said Brown.

“I turned to watch the crowd’s reaction instead so it was great when they all cheered!

“We’ve been waiting for someone to step up and pass the ball into the back of the net but whether or not JD did that I can’t tell you because I haven’t seen it!

“I just know he came out on top!”

Demetriou’s penalty was followed by an unsuccessful spot-kick from Latics striker Craig Davies who saw his effort superbly tipped over the crossbar by Southend goalkeeper Mark Oxley.

That meant Josh Wright’s well-taken volley at the start of the second half secured a vital victory for the Shrimpers who now sit ninth in the League One table.

But Brown is desperate for Blues to build on the impressive display.

“We’re hanging on the shirt-tails of the top six and we want one of them to come out but we need to hit the form now which is what we’re doing,” said Brown.

“If we had not have won here then the gap was probably too big to bridge.

“But we’ve jumped a few places now and psychologically that helps everybody.

“The win also means we’re now on the same number of points we had at this stage of last season so I think we’ll have a bigger total this year, especially playing like this.

“I could have given man of the match to five or six players because there were some outstanding team performances but most of all it was an outstanding team performance.”

And Brown was also full of praise for left-back Stephen Hendrie who replaced the suspended Michael Timlin to make his first League start since the beginning of August.

“Stephen did enough to keep the shirt,” said the Shrimpers chief.

“It will be a knife through Tims’ heart but we have a game on Wednesday at Peterborough and another on Saturday at Bristol Rovers and football has a weird and wonderful way of delivering presents to people’s door-steps.

“But Stephen delivered some great balls into the penalty box and played well.”