SHAUN Hutchinson felt Millwall deserved to dump Southend out of the FA Cup.
Millwall won 1-0 through Mahlon Romeo’s late goal, but Southend boss Phil Brown claimed afterwards his side’s performance “was worthy of a 3-0 or 4-0 win”.
Jordan Archer made a late save to keep out Marc-Antoine Fortune’s effort, but Hutchinson – sporting a cut under his eye after a first-half clash – insisted his side hadn’t given away many clear-cut opportunities.
“From a personal point of view I was a bit rusty in a few places but that’s to be expected,” he said. “They had a few chances but I don’t think they had any real massive chances. When you look at the result it doesn’t show that, it shows 1-0 and that’s all that matters.
“For a defender getting a clean sheet and a 1-0 win is a great feeling, it’s one that I enjoy.
“I do like a battle every now and again. It was a bit scrappy and from a football point of view it was a poor game, but for a defender you enjoy them the most. You’ve got to be dogged, you’ve got to head things away, kick things away.
“The first half going for a header I caught the back of the guy’s head and got a whack, but what do you expect in the FA Cup first round?
“I’ve played a few U23 games but it’s nothing like the tempo of first-team games. Just towards the end I felt a bit of cramp in my calf, but it seemed to ease off. I managed to get through and that was the most important thing.”
Hutchinson also paid tribute to Romeo after his brilliant winner.
He said: “With Mahlon if he gets the ball and runs at people he’s so effective. He’s one of those guys who runs quicker with the ball than without it. When he gets on a run he can take the ball all the way up the pitch and that helps us a lot.
“When I saw him cutting inside I wasn’t sure he was going to bend it into the bottom corner, but he took it very well. I’ve been impressed with him since I came here.”
Image source: ©Millwall FC