Cobblers fight back to deny Southend

5 Sep

Southend United squandered a two goal lead against Northampton Town at a sunny Roots Hall on Saturday, in a hugely entertaining game which finished two apiece.
With first choice strikers Liam Dickinson and Neil Harris out due to suspension and injury respectively, Southend started with maverick Tunisian Bilel Mohsni up front as a makeshift striker alongside Blair Sturrock, starting his first game of the season.
After fairly even opening exchanges the game exploded into life on the half hour mark when Mohsni picked up the ball about 30 yards out and lashed an unstoppable shot into the top right hand corner, leaving the Cobblers’ keeper grasping air.
Almost immediately Northampton hit back with another long distance effort smashing the woodwork.
Ryan Leonard then had a long distance shot well saved while Glenn Morris made an excellent last ditch save when a Northampton player was through one on one, meaning Southend led 1-0 at the break.
In the second half Southend came out stronger and created several chances, with Kane Ferdinand and Ryan Hall causing problems in midfield.
However, it wasn’t all one way traffic as Northampton missed a point blank chance to equalise, before Ryan Hall beat the offside trap, turned the last defender only to curl his shot into the side netting.
But minutes later the second goal came, Hall again curling in another stunning long range effort after good work by Ferdinand.
2-0 and we could relax, we thought. But of course no, this is Southend. Immediately after the restart, Adebayo Akinfenwa scored an absolute screamer, again another long range effort, to make it 2-1.
Akinfenwa, who incredibly is even larger than his last appearance at Roots Hall and always seems to score against us, was a constant thorn in the side of the Southend defence, and was referred to as the Fridge by some in the crowd.
2-1 and it was squeaky bum time, and you felt the next goal would be vital. Unfortunately, it went to Northampton, with Arron Davies sweeping home.
After that the game became more open than the Royal and Ancient at St Andrews, with Southend beating the square Northampton offside trap at will.
Mohsni had a goal ruled out for offside after the keeper fumbled a long drive, Ferdinand hit the post after the mother of all goalmouth scrambles, but the Shrimpers could not find a winner.
In injury time the tubby referee, who had an awful game seeming to give everything to the Cobblers, sent off Northampton’s McKoy for a second bookable offence.
So in some ways a disappointing result having gone two up, but our best performance at home this season, and grounds for optimism for the rest of the season if we can just tighten up at the back.
At the end a frustrated Mohsni, who had beaten the turf in despair at the final whistle, legged it off the pitch, presumably to keep himself out of trouble.
Speaking to All At Sea after the game, Mohsni said he was pleased with his goal but that it would have meant so much more had Southend claimed the three points.
“It’s frustrating, a draw means we miss out on going fourth or fifth in the table, and puts more pressure on us to get a result at Swindon.”
The Tunisian also sustained an injury to his hand.
Meanwhile Akinfenwa felt the result was about right. Regarding his girth, he said he had actually lost weight, and it was the Cobblers’ kit that made him look so huge.


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: