SOUTHEND United boss Kevin Maher says striker Harry Cardwell has been “first class” for the Shrimpers this season.

Cardwell scored his 18th goal of the campaign in Saturday’s 2-0 win at AFC Fylde.

But Maher stressed the forward brings more to Blues than just hitting the back of the net.

“It’s not just his goals,” said Maher.

“It’s his work rate, the way he leads the line and his all round play, it’s first class.”

Cardwell’s well-taken header secured all three points for the Shrimpers and made it the most prolific season for Southend player since Barry Corr scored 21 times during 2010/11.

And Maher was delighted to see the 27-year-old work his way onto the score-sheet once again.

“He deserved the goal and it was a great ball from Cav (Miley),” said Maher.

“To get the number of goals he has is really important to us.

“I’m delighted for him that he’s kept ticking over with his numbers like he has done.”