SOUTHEND United boss Kevin Maher opted against including Beau MacDonald in his squad for Saturday's match with Chesterfield at Roots Hall.

The 16-year-old midfielder has been on the bench for Blues' last five matches.

But Maher felt it was the right decision not to include MacDonald in his squad against the league leaders.

"Beau has played today (for the youth team)," said Maher.

"It's one of those where he's brilliant but if you look at him he's stick thin.

"He needs to keep playing football for his development so he's played today.

"I didn't want to risk in a top of the table clash and if anything was to happen to him I wouldn't want that on my case."