Brown: Bentley the hero

Date published: Saturday 23rd May 2015 10:59

The 21-year-old was seconds from going down as Wycombe’s match-winner after his cruel own goal five minutes into extra-time.

But Southend substitute Joe Pigott netted a dramatic equaliser in the 122nd minute and Bentley then saved from Matt Bloomfield and Sam Wood in the shootout to secure a return to League One for the Shrimpers.

“We know there is a match-winner in there,” Brown added. “We’ve won a lot of games 1-0 this season when the back four and Daniel have kept a clean sheet for us.

“He’ll play higher, hopefully we’ll get a year in League One out of him, though. He’ll learn from today. That experience, for a 21-year-old, will be phenomenal.”

Shrimpers boss Brown, who as Hull manager memorably tore into his players on the field at half-time at Manchester City six years ago, delivered more words of wisdom on the Wembley pitch before and after extra-time.

Brown also celebrated keeping Hull in the Premier League with a rendition of ‘Sloop John B’, and admitted he was tempted to do so again following the Shrimpers’ nerve-shredding 7-6 shoot-out success.

“I thought I had a decent voice. It was tempting, because of the way it happened,” he said. “But the one guy in the world I feel for is (Wycombe manager) Gareth Ainsworth. It’s an awful way to lose, and an awful way to end your season after 49 games.”

Young Wycombe keeper Alex Lynch gave his side the advantage in the shootout when he saved from Ben Coker, but it was not to be Wycombe’s day.

Yet Ainsworth insisted: “Gutted? No, not at all. I am proud, and optimistic for Wycombe.

“The players are down, they’ve given everything on the day, but I’ll tell them to look at bigger picture. Look at 12 months ago when we were nearly relegated, what a turnaround!

“We’ve got players on less money a week than some tickets cost today, so I’m so proud. But fair play to Phil and Southend and I wish them all the best in League One.”

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