Macc and the bookies taken to the cleaners

26 Jan

Roots Hall floodlight

Roots Hall by night

FANS waiting for an inspiring Roots Hall performance from Southend were finally satisfied thanks to an unlikely source.
Starting in attack after his match-saving cameo on Friday night, Bilel Mohsni quickly set about putting shell-shocked Macclesfield to the sword.
The nation’s bookies are always slow to track the lower leagues, and when it was revealed that Mohsni was starting in attack, it sparked a mini rush from Southend pubs to bookmakers as punters looked to take advantage of the French-Tunisian’s 33-1 first goalscorer price.
And after 17 minutes, Ryan Hall’s inswinging cross was met by the leggy 23-year-old to put Southend into the lead.
Blues had already gone close on a number of occasions. Ryan Hall had a volley tipped over by Jose Veiga, and Blair Sturrock had just failed to connect with a centre from the lively wingman.
And Hall himself got the goal he deserved just after the half hour. Blair Sturrock flicked on Rhys Evans’ long goal-kick, and Hall cut inside from the right to unleash a left foot shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
Evans was deputising for the ill Glenn Morris, and had done well to keep the visitors out just after Blues opening goal when he pushed away a well-taken 20 yard free-kick.
The third goal came from yet another Hall centre. Macclesfield’s centre back Nat Brown failed to connect, leaving Mohsni to stab a well-placed 16 yard shot into the bottom corner.
And before half time it was four. Sturrock laid the ball into the path of Mohsni, whose shot was blocked to Craig Easton, who reacted sharply to turn the ball into the net.
From the South Stand, some fans hadn’t realised that the goal was not scored by Mohsni, and many thought he had bagged a hat-trick.
The second half saw Blues overplaying it at times, with just the final ball preventing a real rout as Macclesfield had by now totally capitulated.
The closest they came was through the man of the match Hall, whose unbelievable 40 yard lob from the left touchline had Veiga frantically back-peddling, but the keeper just managed to stretch to tip the ball over the bar.
Mohsni, starting a game for the first time in 2011, had been withdrawn by now for Barry Corr, who was not deemed fit enough to start, and there was an opportunity for Mark Phillips, who has been out for several months, to get some vital minutes, and he did well.
It was a fine performance, admittedly against a poor side still clearly coming to terms with the death of their midfielder Richard Butcher. The only pity was that Colin Daniel was allowed to sweep home a 79th minute consolation.
That and the appalling crowd, counted at just 3,500, the lowest league crowd at Roots Hall for several years.
Those that did turn up were given their just deserts – and a few went home hundreds of pounds richer too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: