Blues beaten by AFC Wimbledon
Southend United suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat against AFC Wimbledon at Roots Hall this evening.
Blues took the lead from the penalty spot in the 29th minute through Sean Clohessy after Pim Balkestein was adjudged to have handled Kevan Hurst’s corner.
The away side equalised five minutes later through a Balkestein header with the scores level at the break.
AFC Wimbledon came out firing in the second half with goals from substitutes Jack Midson and Luke Moore giving them all three points.
The opening stages of the match were very quiet with neither side able to create any clear cut chances as a lot of the football was played in the middle third of the pitch.
But with 28 minutes on the clock Balkestein gifted Blues the chance to take the lead after the centre back handled Hurst’s corner inside the area.
Clohessy stepped up to take the penalty and comfortably slotted the ball past John Sullivan as the right back placed his penalty superbly into the left side of the goal.
The penalty was Clohessy’s second in as many games after he scored a near identical spot kick in Blues’ victory against Port Vale at the weekend.
The away side were not behind for long after Balkestein made amends for his earlier error in the 32nd minute, heading in Sammy Moore’s corner into the top left hand corner of the goal.
The unmarked defender’s powerful header was too much for Paul Smith as he was only able to palm the ball into the roof of the net with Balkestein claiming his second goal of the season.
With half time approaching, Hurst tried to take matters into his own hands with the right sided midfielder skipping past three Wimbledon players before seeing his left footed effort comfortably saved by Sullivan.
Smith denied Kevin Sainte-Luce on the stroke of half time with a clever save after substitute Midson’s first touch found the left winger in on goal before the Blues keeper saved with his legs.
AFC Wimbledon came out of the blocks in the second half and took the lead in the 47th minute through Midson with a bullet header past the helpless Smith.
Gary Alexander played a delightful ball in the box which found the on rushing Midson who snuck in at the front and powered a header into the net from close range.
The away side nearly extended their advantage in the 55th minute after Sainte-Luce outmuscled Anthony Straker before firing agonisingly wide from the edge of the area with just Smith to beat.
Blues struggled to find a way back into the game and were punished in the 69th after substitute Moore tucked the ball away with his first touch of the game.
Another substitute Jesse Darko controlled the ball with his back to goal before laying off Moore who excellently found the corner of the goal with a left footed effort from 18 yards.
Britt Assombalonga tried to reduce the deficit and nearly did so in the 80th minute firing an effort at goal from an acute angle which was palmed away by Sullivan to safety.
Southend were unable to find a way back into the game giving the away side all three points as Blues enter the crucial stage of the season in their quest for promotion.