Southend manager Paul Sturrock defends JPT keeper swap

Daniel Bentley

Southend United manager Paul Sturrock says his decision to change goalkeepers just before Tuesday's penalty shoot-out win over Oxford was the right one.

Paul Smith, 33, was angry to come off for Dan Bentley, 19, in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy southern area semi-final.

Sturrock told BBC Essex: "I probably should have told my goalie before the game it was going to happen.

"Bentley has been fantastic at penalties all his career, and it worked, he saved one."

The Blues won the shoot-out 5-3 after a 3-3 draw at the Kassam Stadium.

Barry Corr scored twice and Sean Clohessy once for Southend, whilst Tyrone Marsh, Tom Craddock and Sean Rigg, in the 89th minute, netted for the home side.

In the shoot-out, Bentley saved Oxford's last penalty from Alfie Potter, leaving Elliot Benyon to send Southend through to the regional final against Leyton Orient.

Smith was visibly upset by the injury-time substitution.

Sturrock added: "Professional footballers sometimes get a bit excited. I'm sure in the cold light of day he'll think better for it.

"Him and I will have a chat about things in a couple of days' time."

Bentley was also in goal when Southend beat Bury on penalties in the FA Cup earlier this season.

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