Southend cruise to win at Bishop’s Stortford

9 Jul

Seedy Njie put Southend in front.

Seedy Njie put Southend in front.

SOUTHEND continued their pre-season by recording a 3-1 win over Blue Square South side Bishop’s Stortford at Woodside Park.
Seedy Njie opened the scoring early on, before ex-Southend player Kyle Asante levelled things up. Trialist Matthew Silva netted a second for the Shrimpers, before Freddy Eastwood bagged his second goal of pre-season to seal the victory.
Phil Brown fielded a makeshift side to start the match, with trialists Jacob Erskine, Bruno, Matthew Silva and Cleveland Taylor all starting the match.
Blues fans also got their first chance to see Will Atkinson, who lined up in the centre of midfield. However, his debut was cut short after half an hour, with the former Bradford man still playing catch-up with pre-season fitness.
Blues took the lead when a corner from the left was not cleared, and Njie was on hand to stab the loose ball into the net from close range.
The striker then curled the ball just over after Cleveland Taylor had played him through, before just missing a left wing Matthew Silva cross with his head.
Kane Hemmings partnered Freddy Eastwood in attack in the second half

Kane Hemmings partnered Freddy Eastwood in attack in the second half

The hosts equalised somewhat against the run of play when Blues’ defence failed to clear the ball after a shot had struck the inside of the post, and with the ball bobbling around the penalty area Kyle Asante was first to assert himself, placing a neat half volley on the turn into the bottom corner of the net.
Just before the break, good work from Cleveland Taylor found Njie in the right hand channel, and his deflected cutback was neatly sidefooted home by Matthew Silva.
Erskine and Silva for the most part failed to impress. Bruno at left back put in some good tackles but appeared to be found out of position on a number of occasions. Taylor showed some nice touches and was constantly talking to his team mates. It was the former Burton man who stood out the most amongst the trialists in the first half. Elsewhere, Jack Payne looked busy and skilful but occasionally his inexperience showed.
The second half saw the home side replace their entire eleven, and 15 minutes in Southend did the same, making a raft of changes. Amongst them were left back Ben Coker, former Hibs man Martin Scott and ex-Rangers striker Kane Hemmings, all on trial at the club.
But arguably the most impressive Southend player was Freddy Eastwood, who looked fit and sharp and was always looking for the ball, in contrast to much of last season. It was he who added to the lead when John White’s attempted cross fell into his path 15 yards out. With the ball rather underneath his feet, he did well to get a shot away and was rewarded when a deflection took it past the Stortford goalkeeper.
Eastwood then went close with a fizzing drive, while Kane Hemmings should have done better with a couple of chances but missed the target.
As for the other trialists, Scott looks a tough tackler who played in the centre of midfield, Coker didn’t have much to do but looked to have some pace and made one particularly good tackle.
The game petered out in typical pre-season fashion but it was a good workout for the Shrimpers’ players, who can be pleased with their performance.
Trialist Matthew Silva, scorer of the second goal

Trialist Matthew Silva, scorer of the second goal


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