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Southend match against Eastleigh halted after fans throw tennis balls on pitch in protest

Southend United saw thier match against Eastleigh halted after fans took to throw tennis balls on the pitch in protest on Friday night.

As per Chris Phillips, ‘hundreds of tennis balls’ were chucked onto the field on the 10th minute with chants coming from the stands of Roots Hall urging for chairman Ron Martin to leave the club with their future at serious risk.

The game is the Shrimpers’ first since they found out that they being given a 42-day deadline to find buyer and received a 10 point deduction.

Owner Ron Martin said the sale of the club to an unnamed Australian buyer should be finalised next month yet a debt of £275,000 debt is still owed to HM Revenue & Customs.

The deduction means Southend go bottom of the table on minus four points, but are expected to appeal.

In Southend’s game against Eastleigh, the hosts had gone 1-0 up after the protest from fans.

On 17 minutes, Husin put the Blues in fron! with great work from Bridge down the left who played it across to Gus. His shot was blocked but he had the presence of mind to tee up Noor who made no mistake putting it in.

It was then 2-0 on 25 minutes, Mooney slid the ball through the gap into the run of Bridge who picked out a low cross for Cards to put in and prod home.

Before the game, Southend boss Kevin Maher said he was “bitterly disappointed” by the club’s points deduction from the National League, adding it has “hit everyone at the club”.

“It goes without saying I’m bitterly disappointed because of all the hard work we’ve put in with the players, but we’ve got to be resilient in this game and we’ve got to set new targets and try to counteract that,” Maher told BBC Essex.

“We’ve got the react in the right way and do our jobs – nothing’s changed in terms of our preparations, in how professional the lads have been, and the football can be a release from what’s been going on.”

He previously said his side “needed help” and, even though he knows he still can’t ease the pressure by bringing new players in, he puts all his hopes on the club’s ownership changing hands as soon as possible to avoiding being wound up.

Ron Martin said to the High Court thaty he was “confident” a sale would be agreed before 1 October, with negotiations “at an advanced stage” with a consortium led by an unnamed Australian.

“The light at the end of the tunnel is I know what will come once the takeover happens,” Maher added.

“I get fed certain bits, I don’t know fully where it’s at in terms of the takeover but I’m just hopeful something happens, and we can work on a level playing field with everyone else.

“Once a good person comes in and sees what they’ve got here with the fanbase, the staff and football department it’s an opportunity for someone to take this on and who knows where it can go? That’s the hope.

“We keep getting knock-backs and hurdles thrown in our way but that’s life, and you’ve got to get back up every time you get knocked down.”

Twitter users reacted as the Southend match against Eastleigh was halted after fans throw tennis balls on the pitch in protest…

@cusclbontour: Normally I would criticize this but I understand how Southend fans feel as their club has been torn away from them over a number of years. A non-violent protest of this type seems highly appropriate. I hope that a proud old club will survive despite the actions of their owners.

@joshuajoshy123: Great singing. Good atmosphere. Hopefully Ron will get the message now

@richsaz17: Was speaking to someone earlier, supposedly items like tennis balls are one of the only things that can halt a game and the club not get punished financially for it 🤷‍♂️

@cooksleft: Whilst endless phone ins echo to the sound of whining cunts complaining that their team have only spent 100 million this window, an actual, proper serious, real, long-standing football club is dying and the ‘football family’ largely don’t give a fuck.

@RebelSaint87: Ground hopping tonight at Southend, a club on the brink. The noise is defiant and the desperate fans are taking action, but they are also backing their team with great vocal support. I hope they get the buyer they’re looking for.

@spirestats: #MartinOut glad to see Southend fans protesting!

@Stento1867: Another fan base that has had enough

@LaticsPaul: Well done Southend… better late than never 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 #MartinOut

@Petegab23: All Southend fans….. Please stop the protests right now….. This could really “put off potential buyers” Cough cough 🤣

@OAFCZONE_ : Very familiar scenes at southend United tonight To us 18 months ago, doing These things do make a big difference, keep making your voices heard #martinout #southend #theblues

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