SOUTHEND United’s under 23 coach Kevin Maher heaped praise on his young side following this afternoon’s 0-0 draw at Forest Green Rovers.

The Shrimpers had two first year scholars – Miles Mitchell-Nelson and Sam Knock – at the heart of their back four.

And Maher was happy to see them keep a clean sheet.

“There are normally quite a few goals in these games but it was great for us to get a clean sheet,” said Maher.

“The two first years did really well against an experienced side and the whole team did well.

“I think Forest Green had five or six players from their first team squad and I was delighted with how we performed.”

Blues also came closest to winning the clash with an effort from Amadou Ba which hit the crossbar.

Southend United: Bexon, Bwomono, Nelson, Knock, Cotton, Batlokwa, Pianim, Gard, Phillips, Wabo, Ba