The sun was shining as two teams of dedicated Football Aid fans descended on the grand old ground at Roots Hall. And a treat was in store as club legend and Manager Steve Tilson and goalkeeping coach Lee Turner were on hand to guide the players through their day. Tilson in his familiar Left Back slot for the Home team, with former pro goalkeeper Turner perhaps not quite so comfortable filling in the same spot in the Away team!Wednesday 5th May 2010
The Home team got the game underway but the first chance of the match fell for the Away team. A stray back-pass from their Captain, Daniel Kirby allowed Mark Maguire to power a shot towards goal but Ben Saunders pulled of a great diving save and touched the ball round his right post.
Only a couple of minutes later and it was the Home side that came close. James Gerken closed in on goal and drew the keeper out wide, his square ball across the face of goal only needed a touch to be a goal but a last ditch clearance from Steve Jarrett was enough to prevent the Blues taking the lead.
For the next ten minutes the action was confined to the middle third of the park but after an unlucky piece of goalkeeping, the Home team opened the scoring. Pamplin played the ball back for Gerken who struck well from outside the area, Matthew Ing made the save but fumbled and the ball came loose allowing Ricky Paris to slide in and finish from close range (1-0).
With the goal obviously boosting confidence the Home team continued to pile on the pressure, coming close twice with long range efforts from Pamplin which stung the fingers of Ing in the Away goal.
It looked like luck had turned however, when the goal-scorer Paris brought down Maguire from behind in the area. The referee awarded the Away team a penalty but Mark Maguire was unable to level the scoring and his shot sailed high and wide of the mark.
Despite it being one way traffic the Home team simply couldn't build on their lead. Paris and Green came close but their efforts weren't enough to double the score meaning that the teams went in at half time with just the one goal separating them.
Half-Time: Southend United Home 1-0 Southend United Away
The second half began with the Away team searching for that equalising goal but the Home team showed that they also wanted to build on their lead and not before long they had done just that. Pamplin played the ball out right to No 11 Gary Sargant, the striker then swung a looping ball to Ricky Paris at the back post. The young winger then connected superbly with his right boot and watched as the ball rocketed into the roof of the net from close range (2-0).
Only moments later and the Home team had scored again! Chris Green carried the ball forward from the middle of the park before laying it out right to Gary Sargant, having been buoyed by bagging himself an assist the confident Sargant whipped a cross-shot across a packed 16 yard box, nobody could get a touch to the ball and Sargant celebrated as it whizzed into the keepers bottom left corner (3-0)
The Home team were on fire now and they increased their lead shortly after, David Sargant carried the ball forward in his own half; the strong centre-half then played a hopeful long ball over the top of the defence, a quick burst of pace from Asa Pamplin on the left wing allowed him to lob the ball over the keeper and watch the ball bounce into the net. Great vision by Sargant but credit also to Pamplin for a well composed finish (4-0).
It was goals galore now as the Away team were completely on the back foot. The fifth goal was a perfect finish to a lovely team move. Paris took the throw in on the left side; Pamplin then played it back to Paris and made the run down the channel. A nice little ball over the top allowed Pamplin to take the ball forward and head for the by-line. He then crossed the ball perfectly in to the path of Chris Green who met it with a header that left the keeper with no chance at all. It was a well-executed header by the centre mid, the timing of the jump was perfect and the connection had power and precision (5-0).
Despite the deficit the Away team continued to stay strong and push forward. They came close to pulling one back when Andrew Finlayson's free-kick sailed round the outside of the wall and looked destined for goal but Ben Saunders showed his worth again and saved with his feet.
With only minutes left on the clock Saunders could have lost his clean sheet had Maguire's effort hit the net. Pollock had the ball out wide and played it across goal to Maguire inside the six yard box, however his effort from close range didn't connect the way he wished and it sailed wide of the mark, only adding to his frustration!
The final whistle was blown shortly after ending only the 2nd ever Football Aid match at Roots Hall. Full credit to both teams for putting on a great spectacle for all concerned, with 5 goals, a missed penalty and goalmouth action galore the crowd certainly hadn't been short changed!
Full-Time: Southend United Home 5 - 0 Southend United AwayMan of the Match Home: David Sargant
Home Team: Ben Saunders, Daniel Kirby, Steve Tilson, David Sargant, Sean Pearse, James Gerken, Ricky Paris, Paul Watts, Asa Pamplin , Chris Green, Gary Sargant, Sam Flint, Tony Paul.
Away Team: Matthew Ing, R. Tracey-Bower, Lee Turner, Steve Jarrett, Mark Feehan, James Ingold, Paul Harrison, David Harper, Christopher Pollock, Andrew Finlayson, Mark Maguire, Dean Crawley, John Hearn
Mascot: Alex Vaughan