Southend United 3-1 Rochdale
Southend United came from behind to secure a 3-1 victory against Rochdale at Roots Hall this afternoon in an entertaining encounter.
After a goalless first half the game sprung into life in the 50th minute with Terry Gornell heading the away side into the lead.
Southend hit back instantly through Britt Assombalonga’s low drive before Gavin Tomlin and Marc Laird wrapped up the victory as Blues extended their unbeaten run to seven games.
Blues had the first real chance of the game with Assombalonga’s looping header coming back off the woodwork in the ninth minute.
Excellent build up play from Southend gave Michael Timlin the opportunity to find the striker unmarked in the box only to be denied by the foot of the post.
It was Assombalonga again causing problems for the Rochdale defence, turning well on the edge of the area before firing a well struck shot at goal which was saved smartly by Josh Lillis in goal.
The away side hit back immediately with Dele Adebola stinging the palms of Paul Smith with a left footed effort from 20 yards out.
Smith was back in action comfortably saving Gornell’s near post header after an excellent cross from Andrew Tutte on the right hand side.
Rhys Bennett superbly cleared the ball away from goal for Rochdale as Tomlin looked to get on the end of Assombalonga’s dangerous low cross with both teams unable to find the opening goal.
Bobby Grant rippled the side netting for Dale in the 37th minute with a 30 yard free kick which Smith seemed to have covered as the keeper watched the ball go wide.
On the stroke of half time Smith kept the scores level with a fantastic save from another Grant set piece from 25 yards as the ball flew through a flood of players.
Rochdale took the lead with the first chance of the second half with Gornell’s back post header finding the target in the 50th minute.
An excellent deep cross from Phil Edwards found the striker unmarked who nodded the ball past Smith and Mark Phillips on the line and into the back of the net as the away side took the lead.
The Dale thought they had scored another minutes later with a low strike at goal from Jason Kennedy nearly sneaking in at the front post.
Southend drew level in the 57th minute through Assombalonga with the striker’s low drive finding the back of the net from 20 yards.
After picking up Laird’s through ball, the striker charged at the Dale defence before beating Lillis in goal with a powerful strike.
Blues took the lead two minutes later through Tomlin’s fifth goal in three games after Timlin’s cross caused problems for Lillis in goal.
Timlin’s cross was parried away from goal straight into the path of Tomlin who simply tapped the ball into the unguarded goal from six yards.
Tomlin was inches away from extending Southend’s lead with a cute lob which just missed the target after excellent control from the striker gave him the opportunity at goal.
Blues did extend their lead in the 76th minute through Laird’s second goal for the Blues with a neat finish.
Southend hit Rochdale on the counter attack and a through ball from Assombalonga found the midfielder one on one with the keeper before smartly dinking the ball over the dive of Lillis.
Blues held on for the three points extending their unbeaten run to seven games with their third victory in seven days.