Blues up to 9th with fourth win in five

1 Feb

Two late first half goals allowed Southend to leapfrog opponents Dirty Oxford to go 9th in League Two.
In truth, the visitors utterly bossed the first half an hour, and should have added to James Constable’s 14th minute opener.
Constable had to be one of the most odious players we’ve seen this season, constantly sniping, moaning and fouling. So it was a shame when a lovely move from a free kick found him unmarked on the edge of the box, and his scuffed finish beat Evans.
He should have added another when a right wing cross found him unmarked six yards out, but he miscued and tamely shot wide. Justice. Harry WOrley then hit the crossbar, and Southend seemed to have no answer.
Enter Ryan Hall. The winger did brilliantly to control a long pass on the edge of the box, and tee it up for himself to volley into the bottom corner. A lovely strike.
That was on 43 minutes, and in stoppage time (three minutes into a two-minute allocated period – but Oxford’s constant fouling had led to that), Peter Gilbert met Hall’s left wing corner, hit the bar, and Bilel Mohsni swept home the loose ball.
The second half was all Blues until the visitors went down to ten men, Damian Batt dismissed for a late lunge above the ball on Anthony Grant.
After that, the visitors came back into it, and should have levelled late on when Mohsni’s mistake let in their quick sub, who drew Evans and shot across goal, only for Barker to brilliantly clear under pressure. Phew.


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