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Season Review: September

3 June 2013

Much improved month for Blues as they lose just once in seven outings

Blues picked up their first win of the season at the fourth time of asking, beating Wycombe Wanderers at Roots Hall.

Loanee Britt Assombalonga notched an early goal, his second of the campaign, in Cameron Belford’s last start in a Blues shirt.
Those three points saw Paul Sturrock’s side rise to 16th in the table.

Later that week, we hosted AFC Wimbledon in the first round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. Little did anyone know this was to be the start of something historic for Southend United Football Club.

This game was Paul Smith’s debut in a Southend shirt and it didn’t start well as Frankie Merrifield gave the Wombles a first half lead before Gavin Tomlin equalised for Blues from the penalty spot in the 59th minute.
With just seconds remaining, Ryan Cresswell scored a powerful header, his second of the season, to earn Blues a place in the next round.

Blues made it three wins on the spin when they beat local rivals Dagenham & Redbridge on September 8th. 

The Daggers were reduced to 10 men early on into the game when Luke Wilkinson was sent off for a foul on Gavin Tomlin after only eight minutes.

Assombalonga netted a brace within the first 37 minutes, only for Dwight Gayle to pull one back for John Still’s side on the stroke of half time.  Gayle would later sign for Championship side Peterborough United in January.

Cresswell added another goal to his early season tally, volleying in with just 20 minutes remaining as Blues comfortably beat a Dagenham team that included Mickey Spillane in the starting XI. Spillane of course would join Blues later in the season.
A week on and Blues hit the road. This time, a trip to Cheltenham Town was on the cards. Blues won again, registering a 3-1 victory at Whaddon Road.

The visitors went behind early on when Jermaine McGlashan stroked home past Paul Smith after a good cross by Sam Deering.

However, a minute before half time, Sean Clohessy scored a rebound after an Assombalonga strike came off the post.

Just after the restart, Assombalonga had luck on his side, as this time he was quickest off the mark after a Cresswell header cannoned off the upright.
Mark Phillips added a third goal soon after; nodding in a free kick from Kevan Hurst in the 52nd minute.

Blues’ unbeaten run eventually came to an end away at league leaders, Gillingham. 

Danny Kedwell’s penalty just before half time proved the difference between the two sides, despite Gills midfielder Bradley Dack being shown a red card in the 54th minute.
The defeat left Blues in 13th place having gained 10 points from seven league games.

Blues bounced back from that defeat on 22nd September when Exeter City came to Roots Hall. Daniel Bentley made his first senior start in goal but conceded the opener on 51 minutes when Scot Bennett scored.

However, former Exeter striker, Barry Corr playing his first game back after 17 months out with injury, grabbed an equaliser for Blues with a powerful header with twelve minutes remaining.

Just when you thought the game would end as a draw, up stepped Freddy Eastwood to win the game for Blues when he got above his marker to nod in.

Blues finished the month with along trek down to the south west to face Paul Sturrock’s old employers, in Plymouth Argyle.

Alex MacDonald gave the hosts the lead early in the second half, slipping the ball under Bentley.

However, four minutes later and Assombalonga made the scores all square with a fine solo goal, turning his marker, showing great pace to race clear before smashing his effort past Argyle ‘keeper, Jake Cole.
Despite Barry Corr receiving a red card from referee Steve Rushton, Blues held on to pick up another point on the road.

It was an excellent month for Blues overall, picking up five wins from the seven games, rising from 21st at the start of the September to 11th come the end.

September Results:

1st Sept: Blues 1-0 Wycombe (Assombalonga)
4th Sept (JPT) Blues 2-1 AFC Wimbledon (Tomlin, Cresswell)
8th Sept: Blues 3-1 Dagenham & Redbridge (Assombalonga 2, Cresswell)
15th Sept: Cheltenham Town 1-3 Blues (Clohessy, Assombalonga, Phillips)
18th Sept: Gillingham 1-0 Blues
22nd Sept: Blues 2-1 Exeter City (Corr, Eastwood)
29th Sept: Plymouth Argyle 1-1 Blues (Assombalonga)

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