Southend United had to take it to extra time before securing their place in the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup with a stylish 6-2 win over Crawley Town at the Checkatrade.com Stadium following Tuesday nights replay…
The win ends a dreadful run for Blues that hasn’t seem them win a First Round tie in the competition since 2013.
Powell made five changes to his side from the 2-1 defeat to Blackpool on Saturday with Harry Kyprianou slotting into the left-back position, Luke Hyam replacing Sam Mantom and John White; who captained the side, coming in to replace the suspended Michael Turner.
The replay fixture started rather like the home tie with neither side managing to hold onto possession for long and a number of failed attempts to break into the oppositions half.
But the hosts were the first side to create a chance on goal which came from Ollie Palmer’s right-wing cross that was valiantly put out for a corner by White.
Moments later and Crawley forced an exceptional save from Oxley, who had to dive high and to his right to punch out Palmer’s flick-on, but the referee Charles Breakspear spotted the number 9’s recreation of Maradona’s hand of god and blew for hand-ball, which in-turn saw Palmer shown a yellow card.
Blues’ first real chance on goal lead to them opening the scoring. Timothee Dieng played the ball to Harry Bunn who fired in a low and hard cross into the box from the left and Simon Cox was on hand to turn the ball home from six yards out.
Crawley tried to bring it level when Filipe Morais found space down the left and sent a high-flying cross into the box only for Panutche Camara and Palmer to get in each others way and lose the ball.
Powell’s side doubled the lead from a wonderful break which started from Stephen McLaughlin’s run down the right, his curling cross found Cox who headed the ball down and forcing Morris to make an outstanding save down to his feet, only for that man, Harry Bunn to smash in the rebound.
The last action of the first half saw Doherty try an outrageous lob from outside the box, but the ball sailed over the bar.
Crawley made one change heading into the second half with George Francomb coming off for Ashley Nathaniel-George.
The second half started rather like the first-half but this time Blues were the first side to create a chance when Theo Robinson broke down the left flank and sent a low cross into the feet of Cox who could only hit the ball into the advancing Morris.
The hosts managed to pull one back in the 55th minute when Palmer chested down Morais’s cross from inside the six-yard box following Moore’s unfortunate flick-on and the experienced forward blasted the ball into the back of the net.
The next bit of action saw Hyam booked for a challenge on Connolly which took place inside the Crawley half.
Blues tried to seek an immediate reaction with McLaughlin going close from a half-volley near the edge of the area, but his effort goes straight to Morris.
Another chance for Blues moments later with Dieng playing Robinson on goal but the forward could only put it out wide.
Crawley brought the game level with 20 minutes left on the clock after Palmer spun White, turned goalwards and placed the ball past Oxley.
Powell’s first change of the evening saw Mantom replace the booked Hyam with just ten minutes left on the clock.
Crawley’s second change saw Luke Gamblin come off for Reece Grego-Cox.
The last event of the second-half saw Bunn booked for a harsh challenge on Lewis Young, which meant the game had to go to extra time.
Blues made an instant impact in extra-time with Cox getting his name on the scoresheet following a break down the right-hand side.
The next time Southend gained possession they won a free-kick on the edge of the box after Demetriou was fouled by Doherty.
Mantom took the free-kick and his ball found White in the centre of the box, the centre back volleyed the ball towards goal and makes it 4-2.
Southend’s second change of the evening saw the goalscorer Cox brought off for Stephen Hendrie.
Crawley’s next change saw Dominic Poleon come on for Payne as they tried to pull it back once again.
Shawn McCoulsky ended the substitutions on the evening with the forward replacing Robinson.
Powell’s Blue army started the second period of extra time the same way as the first, netting just after kick-off with substitute Mantom firing home his first goal in a Southend shirt.
Just as the game was calming down and the Crawley fans were starting to leave McLaughlin produced a sensational goal from outside the box, the winger finds space on the right takes a touch and curls the ball into the top corner.
The last moment of magic saw Connolly somehow head Demetriou’s long-range effort of the line and out for a corner which saw the final whistle blow.
Blues will now face Barnsley in the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup which will take place on the first weekend of December.
Tuesday 20th November 2018
Checkatrade.com Stadium (Broadfield Stadium)
Crawley Town vs Southend United (Emirates FA Cup First Round Replay)
Crawley Town XI: Morris (GK), Young, Doherty, Payne, Connolly, Palmer, Gambin, Francomb, Camara, N’Gala. SUBS: Mersin (GK), McNerney, Grego-Cox, Poleon, Nathaniel-George, Maguire, Bulman.
Southend United XI: Oxley (GK), Demetriou, White ©, Moore, Kyprianou, Bunn, Dieng, Hyam, McLaughlin, Cox, Robinson. SUBS: Bishop (GK), Bwomono, Hendrie, Mantom, Kightly, Klass, McCoulsky.
Crawley – Palmer (55’ & 69’)
Southend – Cox (17’) Bunn (31’) Cox (92’ AET) White (97’) McLaughlin (113’)
Crawley – Palmer, Josh Payne, Doherty.
Southend – Hyam, Bunn.
Crawley – N/A
Southend – N/A
Attendance: 3120 (424 Blues fans)