“It was fine margins” – admits Colchester United manager Kevin Keen after Essex derby defeat

U's boss Kevin Keen

U's boss Kevin Keen

Kevin Keen’s first match in charge, as Colchester United boss, ended in a 2-0 defeat to Essex rivals Southend at a packed Community Stadium this afternoon

Second-half goals from former U’s old boys John White (49 minutes) and David Mooney (73) inflicted an eighth league defeat on the bounce on the U’s. It was also the bottom club’s 11th defeat in their last 13 league games.

“I thought our fans were unbelievable. They were really good, and I hope they stick with us throughout the rest of the season,” explained Keen.

“It came down to fine margins.

“I thought we edged the first half, but we needed to score during this time. Unfortunately, we fell on the wrong side of these fine margins.

“Southend scored their goals at crucial times. They’re on a good run, and have a good spirit, whereas we are not quite at it, at the moment.

“But there was encouraging signs for us,” added Keen.

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Defender George Elokobi made a mistake that led to Southend’s second goal. He was dispossessed by Noel Hunt, with Mooney running through to score.

“George (Elokobi) made a mistake, and he has apologised to everyone,” revealed Keen.

“However, we must cut out these sort of mistakes for the rest of the season.”

Southend boss Phil Brown said: “It was a fantastic win for us. Colchester put us under some pressure, and I think this was the best clean-sheet we have kept, since I’ve been at the club.

“A new manager coming in always galvanises a team, and I thought it was one-way traffic for the first 25 minutes.

“But we then made some little tactical changes, and that turned the tide in our favour,” added Brown.

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