Second half blitz keeps heat on Crawley

22 Oct

SOUTHEND smashed four second half goals to comfortably see off Torquay United and move four points clear of the play-off places.
After a forgettable first half when Blues never really capitalised on a jittery display for the visitors, Southend took the initiative within 20 seconds of the restart.
Michael Timlin kept Ryan Hall’s cross alive and pulled the ball back for Kane Ferdinand to stroke home an opener before many of the disappointing 5,400 crowd had retaken their seats.
The midfielder made it two on 54 minutes thanks to fantastic work from Neil Harris. The striker’s inch-perfect cross was perfect for the recalled teenager, who volleyed the ball past Robert Olejnik from six yards.
On 66 minutes, Timlin’s through ball invited Liam Dickinson to race clear of the Gulls’ back line, and his blasted low finish found the far corner.
And five minutes later, defender Mark Phillips got in on the act, meeting Ryan Hall’s left wing corner firmly at the near post.
Goalkeeper Glenn Morris had to be replaced due to a thigh injury that had prevented him taking goal kicks, and Torquay pulled a goal back when Mark Ellis diverted a 25 yard shot from Lee Mansell past teenager Daniel Bentley.
That was to be the end of the scoring although Harris could have capped off a tremendous individual display when he rose highest to meet Ryan Hall’s cross, but he couldn’t keep his header down.
A strong second half display from Southend, who are now three points clear of Cheltenham in third place and four clear of Morecambe in fourth. Crawley remain top following a convincing 5-2 win away to AFC Wimbledon.


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