Mark Molesley says Southend fans made the difference in win over Scunthorpe



Posted Sunday, December 13, 2020 by PA

Mark Molesley says Southend fans made the difference in win over Scunthorpe

Southend manager Mark Molesley hailed the returning Roots Hall faithful after the Shrimpers’ 1-0 win against Scunthorpe.

James Olayinka bagged the only goal of the game 10 minutes from time as rock-bottom Southend secured their first home league win of the season.

Molesley felt having fans back inside the ground for the first time since March proved key.

“You saw the difference today,” said Molesley.

“The players won the game and the fans did too. It was a real game of football.

“It felt like the first game of the season and our season starts today.

“It was fantastic, the fans pushed us on and really were that 12th man.

“Of course after a win there’s always relief.

“We know it hasn’t been the best of starts and there’s been some tough circumstances for us.

“But you saw a strong, tough performance and we were hard to beat.

“We weren’t great on the ball at times but it’s all about battling and we were always in the game.”

In a game of few chances, Scunthorpe came close to breaking the deadlock just before the break with John McAtee sending a long range effort against the inside of the left post.

After surviving that scare, the Shrimpers scored the only goal of the game in the 80th minute when a right-wing cross from Jason Demetriou picked out Olayinka, whose low effort flew into the bottom-right-hand corner of the net.

Scunthorpe immediately wasted a good chance to equalise when Aaron Jarvis headed over from close range before Jacob Bedeau did likewise after beating Southend goalkeeper Mark Oxley to the ball.

But the Shrimpers hung on and are now four points from safety.

Scunthorpe, who remain in 18th, have now been beaten twice by Essex sides in the space of five days following Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat to Colchester United.

And boss Neil Cox was frustrated by the latest setback.

“I’m really disappointed,” said Cox.

“I told the players this was going to be tough but we looked tired. Their organisation and their willingness to win at home with their crowd behind them saw us fall into a trap.

“We gave it away and conceded a poor goal with the only real shot on target for both teams really.

“We had some great chances late on when the players did what I told them to do rather than what they wanted to do.

“Their fans were excellent and it’s good for football they’re back.

“I can’t wait for our fans to be with us and I’m hoping my boys will start to play a little bit better again when they are.

“We want to give them something to shout about.”

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