THEO Robinson fired Southend United to within four points of the play-offs on Saturday — as he returned to haunt Hereford United.

The 20-year-old striker, who spent last season on loan with the Bulls, bagged a dubious late penalty to secure the Shrimpers a vital 1-0 victory at Edgar Street.

And he was thrilled to hold his nerve to maintain his side’s push for a top-six finish.

“With the penalty coming so late in the game I was a little bit nervous stepping up to take it,” confessed Robinson.

“But I was thinking ‘Just make sure you don’t miss’ and thankfully I didn’t. I always knew where I was going to put it and even though the keeper went the right way he couldn’t get to it.”

Robinson’s spot-kick pushed Blues up to 10th in the League One table but the goal was shrouded in controversy as Darren Dennehy was harshly adjudged to have brought down Francis Laurent and the on-loan Watford forward was not sure if it should have been given.

“I think it was 50/50 to be honest,” said Robinson.

“From where I was I thought the defender won the ball but maybe from the referee’s angle he saw him go through the player from behind to get there first.

“I’m not so sure but we’ve had some bad decisions go against us and now one has gone our way for a change.”

The latest dubious decision leaves Hereford in real danger towards the foot of the table.

Graham Turner’s team are now nine from points from safety but Robinson does not believe he has condemned his old side to relegation.

“It’s not like that at all and I actually think Hereford will stay up,” said Robinson.

“I certainly hope they will because I enjoyed my time here and that’s why I didn’t want to celebrate too much when I scored.”

Robinson, 20, helped the Bulls win promotion last season and is now seeking more of the same with Southend.

But Blues boss Steve Tilson knows his team face a tough challenge to secure a place in the play-offs.

“We probably have to win seven of our last nine games and that’s a really hard ask,” said Tilson.

“While it’s still possible we will give it a go and the lads are on a great run at the moment.

“This was another great win because Hereford are fighting for survival.

“It was a must-win game for them really and that makes it an even better result for us.”

But Tilson also felt the Shrimpers were a little fortunate to be awarded their late penalty.

“If I was Graham Turner then I would be very disappointed with the decision,” he said.

“It seemed very soft but I’d like to see it again on the video.

“It did seem dubious and I don’t want to be described as Arsene Wegner again in the Echo so I better say I saw it!”