SOUTHEND United boss Kevin Maher praised the spirit of his players after they fought back with 10 men to draw 1-1 with Torquay United at Roots Hall.

James Dunne’s second half equaliser for the Shrimpers came after Jason Demetriou had been sent off.

And Maher was pleased with how Blues responded to the setback in their final outing of the season.

“I was delighted with the reaction after the red card,” said Maher.

“After going down to 10 men it would’ve been easy to see the game out and see the season out but we kept going and got a great goal from Dunney which was pleasing.”

Blues were reduced to 10 men in the 57th minute when Demetriou was shown a red card for a poor challenge on Ben Wynter.

But Maher was keen to see a replay of the incident before deciding if referee Aaron Jackson made the correct call.

“I’ll have to have a look at it again,” said Maher.

“It’s one of those I think where you’ve given the ref the chance to do it but until I see it clearly I don’t want to say too much about it.

“But we’ve come back from that and Dunney took the goal brilliantly on his left hand side.

“I’m delighted for him and all credit to him because he took it ever so well.”

Dunne’s goal after he was at fault for Torquay’s opener.

But the midfielder’s response did not surprise Maher.

“Dunney’s a top professional but everyone makes mistakes,” said Maher.

“Kens (Ollie Kensdale) played him the ball and tried to get the other side.

“As a centre half he might have stayed there but Dunney has been a professional for a number of years and played a good, good level.

“That doesn’t happen without something about you.

“He probably hasn’t played as much as he would’ve liked but full credit for how he’s responded “He’s been brilliant around the place and is a great character.