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Southend United 2011

It was an absolutely stunner of a day at Roots Hall, as both teams prepared for a tough 90 minutes in the seaside heat. The game would be a cracker as both sides scrapped in a competitive game.


Wednesday 4th May 2011, Roots Hall
Southend Home vs. Southend Away
Kick Off: 14.00
Match Officials: Carol Mitchell, Adrian Waters, Peter Munt & Jonathon Pickford
Legend: Paul Clark

The match started at a rather sedate pace with both sides probing for gaps in defence. A long ball over the top looked to have Paul Clark beaten for pace but the ‘Viking’ showed his class and regained possession of the ball before it was finally knocked out of play. The away team looked the better side in the early stages but were far too often wasteful in possession with hurried crosses into the box.

The first chance of note came from the away team as David Sargant narrowly failed to connect with a corner. It was the Home side who broke the deadlock however, after creating space for himself McPherson laid the ball off to Ryan Dublin who drove his shot into Duffy’s bottom right hand corner. (1-0)

Dublin again had the ball into the net a few minutes later but was adjudged to have been offside. The Away team were almost back on level terms five minutes later. Some neat passing play led to Parsons being found in space on the edge of the box. His curling effort sailed narrowly over the bar. Shortly after the Away team fail to capitalise on some suspect defending and could only muster a tame shot which flew well wide of the mark.

The Home team almost doubled their advantage on fifteen minutes after good work from Dublin, who evaded three players in midfield and fed the ball to Flint whose weighted pass found McPherson in space. His effort from the edge of the box was tipped over the bar by Duffy, saving what would have been a fantastic goal.

It was the away side who were next to threaten when Gerken threaded the ball through to Parsons whose goal bound shot was blocked at the last second by Quaglia to deflect the ball behind for a corner. After 3 successive corners the Home team managed to scrape the ball clear but as the Home team were countering play was called to a temporary halt to allow treatment for a couple of injured players. The heat no doubt added to the Away teams frustrations as a number of hard tackles begin to fly in.

As first half became bogged down in a midfield battle, a clever free kick from the Viking allowed Dublin to hold off his man and allow the ball to drop for McPherson who laid it on a plate for Andrew Finlayson to fire the ball into the bottom corner with a composed finish. (2-0)

The Away team looked for an immediate reply and from the restart good work down the right hand side forced a corner. The outswinging corner caused chaos in the penalty area giving Jason Murashe the chance to scramble the ball home putting the Away team right back in the game. (2-1)

Clearly buoyed by their goal the team in maroon went looking for another. Some great footwork from James Gerken built towards a good move that ended in Parsons firing high and wide from distance. Feehan cleared the ball deep into opposition territory and an Adam Smith flick on forced Rich Duffy to rush off his line to make a clearance and deny the Home team. Tempers were beginning to fray as match official Adrian Waters was forced to stop play to calm things down between the teams.

Ryan Dublin was beginning to pull the strings for the Home team in the midfield, he played in McPherson who lifted the ball over the out rushing Duffy and was unlucky to see his 25 yard effort bounce narrowly wide of the post. The keeper will be thankful as he looked to have committed himself too early.


Half-Time: Southend Home 2 – 1 Southend Away


The first chance of the second half fell to the Home team after a long pass was slipped through to Smith, he managed to turn and play in Poling who just lacked the speed to steal the ball away from the keeper.

It would be the Away side who equalised however against the run of play, Mark Maguire found himself space at the edge of the box and slotted the ball past Feehan in goal. (2-2)

The Away side almost found themselves in the lead shortly after when Parsons raced into the box only to be denied by Feehan. Parsons would again go close two minutes later; unfortunately the big centre forward could only hit a weak effort straight into the arms of Feehan.

The Away side continued to dominate proceedings with Garrod and Gerken both having chances. Young whipped in an inviting cross which Parsons bulleted a header goal bound only to be denied again by Feehan who tipped the ball over the bar. The Home side’s first half grip on the midfield was beginning to slacken as the Away side with Gerken in particular began asserting themselves on the game.

Despite the Away team’s dominance it would be the dark blues who found themselves ahead once more. McPherson managed to draw the keeper off his line and squared the ball to Ryan Dublin who would have the easiest of finishes to put the ball in the empty net from all of four yards out. The Away side were being made to pay for their earlier wastefulness. (3-2)

Three minutes later the Home side would extend their lead further. Finlayson dropped a delightful ball over the heads of the defence for Craig McPherson to coolly chip the ball from 25 yards over Duffy who had raced from his line in a vain attempt to cut out the chance. (4-2)

The Away team were almost handed a way back into the game after good work from Parsons when down the right hand side crossed a ball into the front post which was met by Pembroke whose attempted clearance came back off the post.

On the hour mark it was the Physio, Dan Putt, who had is work cut out for him. The intense heat had made it harder than usual on the players when five players went down with cramp at the same time. Fortunately Dan managed to spot that three of the five were in fact feigning injury after being encouraged by Paul Clark.

Unfortunately for Clark and the Home side they were not laughing quite as hard minutes later when James Gerken, despite being fouled managed to turn on the edge of the box and curl a fabulous shot into the top right hand corner in what was arguably the goal of the game. (4-3)

Gerken’s goal seemed to galvanise the Away side and they pushed on in search of an equaliser. Grady did well to get to the by-line and drift a glorious cross in for Parsons who didn’t get the best connection and manage to knock the ball past the post. Had he looked round he would have seen a team mate lurking at the back post who would have had the simplest of tasks in nodding the ball into the net. Parsons was unlucky a few minutes later when after creating space for himself in the box his goalbound effort was deflected by Pembroke behind for a corner. Maguire would be denied from the corner this time for a header off the line by Pembroke.

The Away side were piling on the pressure in search of an equaliser. As time passed they became increasingly desperate with keeper Duffy preferring to stand on the half way line as opposed to in his own box when his side were in attack. Despite the pressure however, the Home team managed to hang on for a hard fought victory.


Full-Time: Southend Home 4 – 3 Southend Away


Man of the Match Home: Andrew Finlayson

Man of the Match Away: Mark Maguire

Moment of the Match: Mark Feehan


Home Team: Feehan, Flint, Clark, Quaglia, Pembroke, Kirby, Ali, Poling, Dublin, Finlayson, McPherson, Smith

Away Team: Duffy, Grady, Sargant, Bebbington, Saunders, Maguire, Watts, Parsons, Gerken, Murashe, Young, Garrod