Report: Morecambe 0-3 Southend Utd
Anthony Straker scored twice in a 3-0 win against Morecambe as Blues progressed to the second round of the FA Cup thanks to their first ever win against Morecambe.
The 3-0 win came courtesy of two goals from Straker inside the opening 15 minutes as he doubled his goals tally for the season, and a late Ryan Leonard strike in injury time.
Daniel Bentley had to make two excellent stops for Ryan Williams to deny Morecambe a route back into the game before Leonard made it 3-0.
Blues remained resilient despite the wet and windy conditions to put themselves in the hat for the second round draw on Sunday.
Boss Phil Brown made one change for the game as Conor Clifford began his three game suspension, meaning Rob Kiernan was recalled. Kiernan started at centre back, with John White back at right-back and Ryan Leonard in midfield.
Straker kept his place on the left-hand side of the front three after his goal against Mansfield, and he grabbed in second in as many games to give Blues a seventh minute lead.
Will Atkinson fed the ball out to Kevan Hurst who produced a wonderful ball into the box which found Straker unmarked, and the winger chested the ball into the back of the net.
Blues had hardly finished celebrating the opener when they went 2-0 ahead as Straker grabbed his second of the game.
Atkinson released Timlin into space in midfield before he in turn found Straker on the left. The winger cut inside and saw his right-footed effort deflected past Barry Roche in the Morecambe goal.
Straker was clearly full of confidence, and he almost grabbed a memorable hat-trick. After collecting the ball off Ben Coker, he beat two men but was denied by the onrushing Roche.
Kiernan fired over from 25-yards from the resulting corner before Barry Corr went within inches of making it 3-0. The striker could only glance the ball wide from Hurst’s low cross.
Morecambe’s first real chance came on the half-hour mark, but Andrew Wright’s header went just wide of Daniel Bentley’s goal.
Blues’ first real chance of the second-half fell to Corr, but his volley was parried away by Roche before Leonard flashed a ball across goal that neither Atkinson nor Corr could turn home.
Morecambe themselves were trying to find a route back into the match, and it almost came on the hour mark. Williams found time to turn and strike, but the ball drifted just wide of Bentley’s goal.
Williams went close again a couple of mintues later from a free-kick, but he was denied by an excellent stop by Bentley.
Bentley then had to be alert to tip Williams’ corner over the bar before Blues broke and went close through Leonard. The midfielder dragged his shot just wide however.
Morecambe were pushing for a route back into the game, but wasted a glorious chance in the 68th minute. Williams’ corner found Chris McCready but he defender fired over from ten yards.
Hurst then went within inches of making it 3-0 after a short free-kick, but his shot fizzed just past the near post.
Leonard then went close with a low drive from 25-yards as Blues searched for a third goal. The midfielder did get on the scoresheet in injury time as his low strike beat Roche to earn Phil Brown his first ever cup win as Blues boss.
Blues: Bentley; White, Kiernan, Prosser, Coker; Atkinson, Timlin, Leonard; Corr, Hurst, Straker.
Subs not used: Smith, Payne, Reid, Auger, Woodrow, Laird, Thompson.