Fleetwood boss Uwe Rosler says Aiden O’Neill’s red card killed them in their quest to keep their unbeaten home run going against Southend.
O’Neill’s straight red card came in the 31st minute with the score locked at 1-1 after Fleetwood had immediately responded to Simon Cox’s third minute opener with Amari’i Bell nodding in O’Neill’s long ball up from the back almost after the re-start.
Burnley loan star O’Neill was sent off for pulling Ryan Leonard back as he robbed him of possession and sprinted one-on-one with Alex Cairns.
Before that moment Rosler said there was nothing between the two side’s with Stephen McLaughlin giving the visitors the lead again in the 41st minute and Nile Ranger blasting home from the spot on the cusp of half-time after he was judged to have been fouled by Nathan Pond.
It was a less eventful second 45 with Jermaine McGlashan making it four in the 87th minute before Devante Cole netted his sixth of the season in injury time.
And after conceding 15 in their last five league games Rosler says Town need to stop the rot as their unbeaten home league run came to a halt.
He said: “The game started under very difficult circumstances for us, we worked all week they prepared themselves to perform but then it is about bringing that good work onto the pitch.
“The first ball into the box marking on the wrong side, it helped us getting a quick equaliser from Amari’i Bell which was very brave going into a 50/50 to win that ball.
“There was nothing in the game and we looked really nervous but they did not hurt us so that was actually a little bit of the plan to make sure we had a really compact shape and counter them with the pace we had up front and come in to the 7th, 75th minute and bring two new strikers on when the game is a little bit more open unfortunately the red card killed us.
“The confidence was not great going into the game, especially after the first goal.
I think after the red card we did not hit the levels that we normally hit at home, difficult situation for us now, we need to make sure we stop the rot and we have some difficult games coming up now.
“There was nothing in the game.
“We tried to get on the ball, they obviously had the diamond, had overloaded the midfield, Aiden did the wrong thing for the right reasons.
“He tried to get involved, he tried to get on the ball but obviously not in those areas.
“He is 19-years-old, you cannot be too harsh on him because he is a good boy and a good player for us.”