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Steve: "The Players Gave Absolutely Everything"

1 March 2016

Steve Davis gives us his post match reaction from Roots Hall after late penalty denies us three points.

Crewe Alexandra boss Steve Davis praised the overall performance of his players, as George Cooper’s stunning free-kick four minutes from time looked to have sealed a memorable win at Roots Hall only for a rush of blood from Ben Nugent presented Southend with a stoppage time penalty. Jack Payne made no mistake with their second award after Tyrone Barnett had seen his first half penalty brilliantly saved by Ben Garratt.

Crewe picked up a point for their great efforts against a side hoping for a play-off place at the end of the season but the Alex boss said that the lateness of the equaliser made it ‘feel like a defeat’.

Following the 1-1 draw at Roots Hall, the boss told “I thought we were terrific tonight and deserved to win. I cannot fault the effort of the players and the way we approached it. They can be proud of their performance because we have gone head to head with a team who are looking to get into the top six and we were the better team.

“That is all you can ask from them and the penalty incident aside at the end, I thought we were excellent. We have gone away from home, to a tough place and battled away and have shown the ability we have.

“We prepared well for them. We were a bit unsure how they were going to line up. We didn’t know if they were going to line up in 4-4-2 or with a diamond but we prepared for both and were ready for it. They went with two big ones and that suited us better than them having a shorter, quicker one.

“We were on top without creating too many clear cut chances but we did have a couple of good chances in the first half and Ben (Nugent) should have scored.

“We then went behind when the referee awarded the first penalty. We thought they were offside in the first phase but the play was allowed to continue and it resulted in a penalty. If I’ve got that wrong then I will apologise to the officials but we felt, from where we were that it was offside.

“Ben had studied his Barnett’s penalties and knew that he often went for power. He didn’t commit himself early and has saved it. It was an excellent save and he held onto it as well. Ben was good today and he came for crosses and took some pressure off us because they are a big side.

“We know George (Cooper) is capable of scoring free-kicks like that. He did that against Coventry in his early days in the team and slowly he is getting that confidence back. He was good for us tonight and dangerous. It was a great goal and that quality we needed to break the deadlock.

“I thought we would go on and win the game because they had not got in behind us tonight and never really troubled us.

“Therefore the only real disappointment on the night was the decision by Ben to barge their lad in the back. I don’t know what he was doing there and I have not discussed with him. He knew and that mistake has cost us tonight.

“After the performance it does feel like lost but the players can leave with their heads high because they gave everything they had and now we have to look forward to Burton on Saturday.”

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