REPORT: Blues 1-0 Plymouth Argyle
Southend United started off the Sky Bet Football League 2 season with three points after a 1-0 victory against Plymouth Argyle at Roots Hall this afternoon.
Barry Corr’s first half goal was the difference between the two teams in a tightly contested affair.
After a quiet opening Blues took the lead with the first real chance of the game in the 15th minute after Corr tucked the ball home inside the six yard box following a superb team move.
Anthony Straker played an excellent through ball to Marc Laird who saw his shot saved under pressure by Luke McCormick before Corr slotted the ball home from close range past a wall of Argyle players on the line.
Plymouth Argyle attempted to find a way back into the game with Reueben Reid flashing a right footed volley wide of the goal from 18 yards out.
On the stroke of half time the away side had a glorious opportunity to equalise with a free kick on the edge of the box after Adre Blackman was brought down by Laird, Paul Wotton attempted to chip the ball up before his tame volley was easily saved by Daniel Bentley in the Blues goal.
Blues looked comfortable in the second half and nearly doubled their advantage in the 63rd minute with Freddy Eastwood firing a free kick towards goal which looked to be creeping in at the front post before McCormick parried the ball away to safety.
Argyle searched in vain for an equaliser and it was Reid again looking the main threat with a low drive which Bentley confidently claimed down low to his right.
McCormick made a tremendous save in the 70th minute to deny Laird with a strong left hand down low after the midfielder surged through before trying his luck from 18 yards.
Straker was inches away from doubling Blues’ advantage after the left winger flashed a half volley just over the bar with McCormick stranded in goal.
Plymouth were not on the back foot for long with captain Conor Hourihane leading with example, powering a 25 yard drive at goal which Bentley was equal to.
The tempo of the game slowed down in the closing stages with Craig Reid and Conor Clifford making their debuts for Southend United as the Blues held on to their one goal lead, securing all three points on the opening day of the season.
Southend United: Bentley, White, Phillips, Prosser, Coker, Atkinson, Leonard, Laird, Straker, Eastwood (Reid 68), Corr (Clifford 86) (Subs) Smith, Timlin, Reid, Clifford, Bennett, Njie, Payne
Plymouth Argyle: McCormick, Berry, Hourihane, Alessandra, Boco, Reid (Harvey 71), Morgan, Blizzard (Young 76), Wotton (Richards 45), Nelson, Blackman (Subs) Cole, Harvey, Richards, Vassell, Purrington, Young, Lane.