Mark Molesley hails struggling Southend’s stalemate at leaders Cambridge



Posted Sunday, February 14, 2021 by PA

Mark Molesley hails struggling Southend’s stalemate at leaders Cambridge

Mark Molesley hailed his struggling Southend side’s performance as they enjoyed a strong week following Saturday’s much-needed goalless League Two draw at leaders Cambridge.

The Shrimpers followed up their 1-0 victory at Newport in midweek with a stalemate at the Abbey Stadium in one of only two fourth tier matches that beat the weather.

The draw lifts Molesley’s side to 22nd in the table, the first time Southend have been out of the relegation zone since they went bottom on October 17th.

The U’s kept a clean sheet – four days after conceding four in a defeat at Salford – but struggled to threaten the Southend goal and had to settle for a point that extended their lead at the top to four points.

“I was really pleased with the performance,” Molesley said. “Four points for a week’s work is good but we’ve got to continue doing that, there’s plenty of hard work ahead of us.

“In tough conditions, our second away game in a week, away at top of the table was always going to be a challenge but we more than matched them.

“We had a lot of shots, probably didn’t test their keeper enough, but that final pass or final shot sometimes couldn’t quite get away.

“It was a full action game and we showed the right attitude, work rate and endeavour.

“We’ve shown all the fighting characteristics that we’re going to need, but all we’ve done is given us a platform and we’ve got to continue to build on that.”

Asked about Southend’s penalty shout in the first half for a possible foul on Ash Nathaniel-George, Molesley said: “It was quite a strong one.

“Ash has cut across him and he’s (the referee) either got to do him for diving or it’s a penalty. He’s pulled him back twice before that, so that’s his third foul on him.

“The things we focus on is ourselves and we are improving very quickly.

“We have done this week, and we needed to. We’ve got our key players fit and ready, and we’ve gone toe to toe with two top teams in the league this week.

“This could be a good point if we follow it up. We’ve got to consistently put results together.”

Cambridge boss Mark Bonner felt his side failed to hit the heights they’ve achieved during their run which sent them to the top of the division.

“The game was far from a spectacle,” Bonner admitted afterwards. “I thought it was a really low-quality game with very, very few, if any chances throughout the game.

“We didn’t really test the goalkeeper, we made lots of poor decisions with the ball, and never really got into our stride and lacked a bit of intensity in our work off the ball as well.

“We take a clean sheet, we take a point when we were a long, long way from our best.

“They’ve had a brilliant week so I’m sure they’ll be delighted with their four points and two clean sheets this week.

“There was a little bit of a lack of energy from us. A little bit of not taking care on the ball and just lots of bad decisions with it.

“We hold our hands up and say we’ve got to be a bit better than that, more creative and find a better level.

“In the end we have to say (it’s a) ‘point gained’ because we haven’t played well enough to win it.”

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