Southend cruise past Vale

9 Jan

Phillips opened the scoring with a fine header

SOUTHEND didn’t need to get out of second gear to dispose of a woefully out-of-sorts Port Vale at Roots Hall.
It took just eight minutes for the home side to break the deadlock – Mark Phillips running in unchallenged to meet Ryan Hall’s right wing corner, sending his header into the corner of the North Bank net. It was the centre back’s eighth goal of an excellent campaign.
Liam Dickinson headed the second just past the half hour. Again Hall was the provider, collecting a throw from Clohessy before sending a deep cross into the box that was expertly sent into the far corner by Dickinson.
Hall then skinned Gareth Owen before sending a firm shot goalbound, but Port Vale goalkeeper Martin dived to his left to keep it out.
And it was Owen who put through his own net in comical fashion to round off the scoring after 55 minutes. New signing David Martin did well to work the ball out to Peter Gilbert, and his superb cross was inexplicably diverted into the net by the hapless Owen, who was under no pressure whatsoever.
There was still time for Clayton McDonald to be shown a red card for a foul on Elliot Benyon, but in truth the game was already over, and Blues closed it out comfortably, almost adding a fourth through Ryan Hall late on.
The win pushed Southend back up into second place above Cheltenham, a point behind leaders Crawley Town and six points ahead of fourth placed Swindon.


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