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League Two

Mixed feelings for Scunthorpe United boss Russ Wilcox

12 March 2014

Scunthorpe United manager Russ Wilcox hardly knew whether to laugh or cry after seeing his side set a new club record of 20 games without defeat in their 2-2 draw at home to Southend United.

But he was desperately disappointed to see his side surrender a 2-0 first-half lead thanks to a third-minute opener from Matt Sparrow and leading marksman Sam Winnall's 19th of the season in the 37th minute.

Southend stormed back in the second half with John Egan and John White grabbing their first Shrimpers goals to salvage a point.

"We are very proud to have set a club record of 20 games without defeat. It's a great achievement," said Wilcox

"But of course we are disappointed not to have won the game. It was a real game of two halves.

"I thought we were outstanding in the first 45 minutes. It was the best half of football that we have produced all season.

"I knew they would come back at us in the second half but I thought we had weathered their early threat well.

"But lady luck was just not with us.

"There first goal was a 'worldy' strike from 40 yards, the like of which their lad will probably never score again.

"And their equaliser has come back off the post and hit one of our defenders before finishing in the back of the net."

It was Scunthorpe's sixth draw in the last seven home games as they missed the chance again to go back to the top of League Two.

"But other results have gone for us," said Wilcox, whose side have not been beaten since he first took over as manager at the end of November.

"It has now become a 10 game season for us and if we continue to show the same quality and application, then without doubt we can go on and achieve our aim of winning promotion."

Southend boss Phil Brown has seen his side's play-off hopes faltering after a poor run in the last 10 games.

"The stats will show that we have still not won for 10 games - but this was a really great result for us," he declared.

"Scunthorpe have been on a great run and they murdered us in the first half.

"But we murdered them in the second and after getting back to 2-2 I thought were the only team who might go on and win it.

"I was going to make changes at half-time but I decided to stick by the system that has served us so well.

"We had 11 players in that dressing room who were prepared to stand up and be counted in the second half. They showed great heart.

"We did to them what other teams have been doing to us, we managed to get behind them and get their defenders facing their own goal."

Sent out early for the second half by manager Phil Brown, Southend's revival started in the 62nd minute with a wonder strike from centre-back Egan who let fly with a 30-yard effort that dipped in over goalkeeper Sam Slocombe.

And seven minutes later Slocombe was beaten again as a right-wing cross from Shrimpers skipper John White sneaked in at the far post.

"I thought the game itself was a magnificent advert for League 2 football with the commitment shown by both teams and the quality of the four goals," Brown added.

"The two we scored were certainly ones we will remember.

"It was John Egan's first goal for us and it was one worthy of getting a point from any match. And it was also the first ever goal for John White.

"We also brought on Freddy Eastwood up front in the second half. He has been knocking on my door asking for a chance and I have been thinking maybe it is time to give him a start.

"He certainly came on to make a difference for us."


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