KEVIN Maher was pleased with all aspects of Southend United under 23 side’s 3-2 win at Forest Green Rovers this afternoon.

Norman Wabo bagged a brace for Blues while Harry Phillips was also on target.

And Maher was happy with how the Shrimpers performed at both ends of the pitch.

“Going forward we looked a threat again and that’s pleasing,” said the former Blues skipper.

“We created chances and Norman took his goals very well indeed.

“Harry also got one coming in at the back post so to score three goals away from home was great.

“The team showed a lot of character as it’s obviously quite a long journey on the day of the game and we dug in when we needed to as well.”

And Maher was full of praise for how the Shrimpers defended with centre-backs Sam Knock and Miles Mitchell-Nelson both performing well, along with goalkeeper Harry Seaden.

“We had to weather a storm of pressure from Forest Green at times but we stopped up to it well, especially the two young centre-backs,” said Maher.

“We’ve had some seniors playing back there in the last couple of weeks and the younger lads will have learnt from there.

“They really stood up here and Harry also played really well, making some very good saves at key times.

“All in all it was a good win and there was definitely a lot to be happy with.”

Wabo put the Shrimpers ahead with a stylish solo effort in the 22nd minute but Isaac Pearce issued an immediate riposte for the hosts with a clinical close range finish.

However, Blues regained the lead on the stroke of half-time when Rob Howard’s cross found Phillips at the far post and the attacking midfielder made no mistake with his finish.

The Shrimpers came close to extending their lead when Phillips and Mitchell-Nelson both struck the crossbar.

But the visitors finally went further in front in the 81st minute when Wabo scored his second goal of the game after Isaac Hutchinson’s effort had been parried out by Forest Green goalkeeper Lewis Ward.

The hosts hit back with Junior Mondal on target and Rovers almost snatched a late leveller with Isaac Pearce having an effort cleared off the line by Mitchell-Nelson.

Southend United: Seaden, Howard, Clifford, Pianim (Kinali 31), Knock, Mitchell-Nelson, Batlokwa, Hutchinson, Ba, Wabo (Egbri 86), Phillips Subs not used: Taylor, Osimeh & Eastwood.