Report: Blues beaten at Newport County
Southend United suffered their third away defeat of the season as they lost 3-1 at Newport County AFC on Saturday.
Blues’ two previous defeats away from home came against Chesterfield and Wycombe Wanderers back in August.
But they were beaten at Rodney Parade despite Ben Coker’s excellent free-kick.
Conor Washington opened the scoring for the hosts in the 24th mnute when Daniel Bentley misjudged a ball over the top and left the striker to tap into an empty net.
Coker equalised with an excellent free-kick in the 40th minute after Kevan Hurst had been fouled.
Substitute Andrew Hughes made it 2-1 on the stroke of half-time before Ismail Yakubu scored just after the interval to make it 3-1.
Phil Brown made two enforced changes as he handed Ryan Auger his Blues and Football League debut, in place of John White, while Luke Prosser came in for Mark Phillips.
Freddy Eastwood wasn’t involved at all after picking up an injury in training on Friday.
Cauley Woodrow began the game more centrally, and Blues almost got the benefits of that in the 4th minute, but the striker dragged wide after being played in over the top by Conor Clifford.
It was an open, attacking, start to the game and in the 13th minute, Dan Bentley produced a terrific stop to keep out Lee Minshull’s volley from Billy Jones’ corner.
But Bentley was beaten in the 33rd minute as he misjudged a ball over the top from Robbie Willmott and allows Washington to tap into an empty net from the edge of the penalty area.
Washington was finding space in the right channel, and again caused problems for Blues, but Coker managed to hook clear his dangerous ball across the face of the goal.
Blues seemed unsettled following the opener, but with five minutes to go until half-time they levelled proceedings. Kevan Hurst was fouled and Coker stepped up to curl the free-kick home expertly from 20-yards.
It looked as though that goal would send the sides in level, but as two minutes was shown by the fourth official, Newport retook the lead. Willmott’s corner was headed back across goal by Minshull and sub Hughes was on hand to head in via the post.
Blues needed a strong start to the second half but found themselves two goals down when Yakubu headed home unmarked from Washington’s cross.
Phil Brown sent Jack Payne and Michael Timlin on, but the hosts continued to press. Washington saw a shot come back off the post and into the grateful arms of Bentley before Blues’ ‘keeper kept out Chris Zebroski’s effort.
Payne had an effort deflected off target while Barry Corr had a header saved by Lenny Pidgeley while Bentley produced a stunning save to keep out Adam Chapman.
Blues were unable to find a route back into the game as they suffered their second defeat in a row. Brown’s side entertain Mansfield Town on Friday night looking to get back to winning ways.
Blues: Bentley; Auger, Kiernan, Prosser, Coker; Leonard, Clifford (Payne 58), Atkinson; Woodrow (Reid 70), Corr, Hurst (Timlin 58). Not used: Smith, Njie, Edwards, Straker.