REPORT: Hartlepool United 0-1 Blues
Ten-man Southend United dug in deep to pick up a fantastic three points away at Hartlepool United on Saturday.
Freddy Eastwood scored in the fifth minute to hand Blues the lead after excellent work from Will Atkinson.
Bary Corr was sent off in the 43rd minute for an off the ball incident to leave Blues a man light for the whole of the second half.
Despite pressure, Hartlepool were unable to grab an equaliser as Blues picked up their second successive 1-0 win in League 2.
Phil Brown named the same XI that beat Plymouth 1-0 on the opening day as Marc Laird and Corr were both fit to start from the off.
New signing Adam Thompson was among the substitutes along with Craig Reid, Don Cowan, Jack Payne, Paul Smith, Michael Timlin and Conor Clifford.
Blues got off to the perfect start in the fifth minute as Atkinson picked up a loose ball, beat his man to the byline and crossed for Eastwood score from about six yards out.
Hartlepool’s first effort came five minutes later as Jack Compton’s free kick looked to heading for the top corner but Daniel Bentley made an excellent save to keep it out.
Bentley was called into action again in the 23rd minute as he did well to tip away Compton’s curling effort.
Hartlepool were on top as the game passed the 30 minute mark and should have drawn level when Jonathan Franks found space, but he was unable to find the target.
A minute later and Bentley had to make a flying stop to tip James Poole’s volley from the edge of the box over the crossbar.
Phil Brown’s side had been up against it but Eastwood almost doubled his tally and Blues’ lead when he went close with a left-footed drive from 25-yards, but it drifted just wide.
With just a couple of minutes left of the half, Blues were reduced to ten men. Corr pushed a Hartlepool defender in the back and after consultation with the linesman; the referee produced a red card, much to the surprise of Corr and the Blues bench.
Despite the man disadvantage, Blues had the first chance of the half as Ryan Leonard hit a 25-yard volley that was comfortably saved by Scott Flinders.
Hartlepool had the majority of possession but didn’t test Bentley in Blues’ goal as the visitors dug in and worked hard.
Don Cowan and Adam Thompson replaced Freddy Eastwood and Marc Laird as Brown looked to hold on to that early goal.
The hosts, despite sustained late pressure, were unable to find a way through as Blues picked up their second straight win of the League 2 season.
Blues: Bentley; White, Prosser, Phillips, Coker; Atkinson, Laird (Thompson 83), Leonard, Straker; Eastwood (Cowan 73), Corr.
Subs: Smith, Payne, Clifford, Timlin, Reid.
Sent off: Barry Corr (43)
Photo: William Crozier