Blues beaten by Championship side...Southend United were beaten 1-0 by a strong Charlton Athletic side in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Sparrows Lane on Saturday morning.
Played in the searing heat, Blues will have benefitted massively from the workout against the Championship outfit.
Phil Brown named a strong starting XI, with Lee Barnard lining up alongside Myles Weston in attack and Barry Corr and new signing David Worrall among the subs.
It was Barnard who had the first chance of the game as he picked the ball up 25-yards from goal, turned, and hit a venomous strike that came back off the inside of the post.
The hosts then created their first opening of the game as Igor Vetokele found space in the box to get a header on target that was well pushed away by Daniel Bentley.
Bentley then kept out Charlton’s skipper Jonnie Jackson who had done well to work himself some space on the edge of Blues’ box.
The Addicks went just as close as Barnard had earlier, when Joe Piggott’s close range strike cannoned off the underside of the bar, but did not cross the line on its way down.
Corr and Worrall were introduced at half-time, the latter making his first appearance in a Southend United shirt having signed on Wednesday.
Barnard and Ryan Leonard both had long-range efforts at goal, but Nick Pope in the Charlton goal was equal to both strikes.
Vetokele was denied at the other end by a good save from Bentley after the striker had worked his way past a couple of defenders, and it looked as though the game would finish goalless.
However, in the 86th minute, Charlton’s winger Johann Gudmundsson was afforded too much space in the penalty area, and fired a low strike past Bentley to win it.
Worrall may well have grabbed an equaliser a matter of seconds later, but he couldn’t get enough conviction on the ball at the back post.
It finished 1-0 to the hosts, but Blues had more than matched their Championship opponents for long periods of a good footballing game.
Blues: Bentley; White (Williams), Thompson, Prosser, Coker; Hurst (Worrall), Leonard, Clifford (Payne), Atkinson (Banton); Barnard (Trialist), Weston (Corr).