Brown enjoys victorious return
Phil Brown enjoyed a happy return to his first club as 10-man Southend claimed a tough 1-0 win at Hartlepool.
The Shrimpers boss started his career as a young defender in 1979 at Pools and looked on with pride as his latest club held on for a victory, despite playing for 45 minutes with 10 men.
They were a player down when striker Barry Corr was harshly red-carded for a soft tangle with home defender Jack Baldwin.
Nevertheless, they held on for a second win of the season. Freddy Eastwood scored the only goal, turning the ball home from close range after five minutes when Will Atkinson made the most of a defensive slip to tee the striker up, leaving new Pools boss Colin Cooper still searching for his first win.
"It's a big win, it sets a marker down with regards of how we play, the style of football, workrate, commitment, togetherness - all those things managers look for when trying to create a team," said Brown.
"We defended and helped each other - it was magnificent in terms of character, resilience and results.
"I asked for a big game from Freddy and Barry Corr. I made my debut here in 1979 and know the pitch is a massive one. But, use the ball well and it's not that big - Hartlepool are a decent side, a passing team and have a bit of pace in the team and can stretch you.
"Colin has the basis of a good side and, when we went to 10 men it was about a test of character."
Corr was dismissed a minute after a scrap involving around 15 players as half-time approached and referee Mark Brown, on the advice of an assistant, showed red.
Brown added: "I think it was a harsh decision, it came from the linesman, he made it. He witnessed it, but it was a joint witness - both assistants told the referee it was a red card, so he had no choice and was squeezed into it.
"I'll look at it, but Barry is adamant he's not done enough to warrant a red card and some of our staff feel the same."