Report from Blues' pre-season friendly at Braintree Town...Southend United were beaten 2-1 by Conference Premier side Braintree Town on Saturday afternoon at the Amlin Stadium.
A game effected by the hot conditions didn’t come to life until just before half-time, as Braintree striker Michael Bakare made it 1-0 to the hosts.
Within minutes of the second-half starting, Blues had levelled as Barry Corr finished in similar style to Bakare, lifting the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper.
Braintree’s winner came in controversial fashion, as Kenny Davis converted a hotly disputed penalty 25 minutes from the end.
Former defender Leon Cort was a second-half trialist for Blues, while Gavin Hoyte and Roman Michael-Percil were involved again for Blues.
Right-back Dan Leadbitter, previously of Hereford United and Newcastle United, featured for the second 45 minutes.
The first effort of the game came from the hosts, as striker Bakare found time and space 20-yards out but could only blast just over the crossbar.
Both sides were finding the heat tough to deal with as the tempo slowed midway through the half. A drinks break seemed to liven both teams up, but Blues fell behind on the stroke of half-time.
Striker Bakare raced clear of the defence and confidently lifted the ball over the onrushing Daniel Bentley to find the back of the net.
Blues almost responded immediately, but defender Luke Prosser saw a curling effort from 20-yards flash just wide of the post.
Phil Brown’s side started the second-half well, and within four minutes they were level.
Corr beat a couple of men to work his way into the box and dinked the ball cleverly over goalkeeper Nick Hamann to level the scores.
Blues were on top following the goal, but fell behind again to a controversial penalty. Ben Coker looked to have won the ball, but the referee gave it on the advice of the linesman.
Davis stepped up and converted confidently, sending Bentley the wrong way.
Conor Clifford went closest to equalising for Blues, smashing a 25-yard effort off the crossbar, but it finished 2-1 to the hosts, just as it did in the previous pre-season fixture between the two sides.
Blues: Bentley; Hoyte (T) (Leadbitter (T)), White (Cort (T)), Prosser (Banton), Coker; Hurst (Fagan), Clifford, Atkinson (Payne), Michael-Percil (T) (Barnard); Corr (Liburd), Weston (Bridge).