Abbott spot on to sink Shrimpers
Referee Keith Hill awarded the spot-kick after United's George Friend brought down Keigan Parker and Abbott slotted into the right corner, sending goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall diving the wrong way. Goalscoring chances had been at a premium although referee Hill had ruled out efforts by Parker for offside and Friend for a foul in the opening 45 minutes. A back-tracking Mildenhall turned over Abbott's chip and Latics keeper Dean Brill parried a close-range Roy O'Donovan shot in the opening period. After the break Mildenhall saved Danny Whittaker's scuffed effort, Alan Sheehan was inches over the bar with a 20-yard strike and Shrimpers skipper Adam Barrett diverted Parker's shot over his own crossbar. Southend pushed forward looking for an equaliser and blew a great chance when Francis Laurent fired wide from close range.
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