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Match Reports

Match Report: Fleetwood Town 1-1 Southend United

8 August 2015

Late Worrall wonder goal gets Blues their first point on the board back in League 1.

Southend United returned to life in League One with a deserved point in a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Fleetwood Town, who finished 10th last season.

Declan McManus sent the hosts ahead in spectacular fashion with a rasping 25-yard drive, before David Worrall emerged from the bench and lobbed the goalkeeper with just six minutes remaining.

Phil Brown handed competitive debuts to summer signings Anthony Wordsworth and David Mooney, while Noel Hunt and Joe Pigott were named on the bench at Highbury Stadium.

Dan Bentley started in goal for Southend - wearing their striking fluorescent away strip - and was called into action in just the third minute of the game.

After Fleetwood winger Bobby Grant weaved a path to goal round the Blues defence, it was Bentley who put an end to his progress with a fine save.

Good combination play in the final third from Myles Weston, David Mooney and Kevan Hurst was evident throughout the first half. Mooney fired wide after being slotted in by a promising through ball from Hurst, only to see the flag raised for offside.

A marauding run from John White threatened to wreak havoc, until Fleetwood goalkeeper Chris Maxwell clawed his cross away from the goalmouth with Will Atkinson and Mooney lying in wait.

The hosts were struggling to deal with Weston, who nipped the ball away from a red shirt before burrowing down the wing and flashing a dangerous ball across the six-yard box.

Another chance came for Fleetwood in the 23rd minute, with Danny Andrew lashing a low effort wide of Bentley’s far post.

Atkinson then dispossessed the hosts, before making his way into the penalty area and stroking an effort into the side-netting from a tight angle.

Weston was at the heart of the best attacking moves in the first half for Blues, this time releasing Wordsworth, who poked the ball on towards Mooney, whose shot was saved by Maxwell.

Fleetwood went in front in the 33rd minute, when McManus seized upon a header from Cian Bolger before rifling an effort into the top-corner from all of 25 yards.

Iceland international Eggert Jonsson then picked up the first yellow card of the afternoon, going into the book after fouling Weston as he looked to launch a counter-attack.

The final effort of the half came from Weston, who hooked a deep cross towards goal, only for Maxwell to keep hold of the ball at the second attempt.

Blues went in behind at the break, and Fleetwood threatened to extend their lead in the opening minutes of the second period.

Jamille Matt’s powerful header drew a good save from Bentley, before McManus arrived to slam a cut-back against the crossbar just moments later.

Blues continued to go in search of an equaliser, with Hurst’s effort from range drawing a two-handed save from Maxwell.

Grant then became the second Fleetwood player to be cautioned, after fouling Ryan Leonard.

Brown made the first change of the afternoon in the 56th minute, handing out another debut. Noel Hunt replaced Will Atkinson as Southend continued to chase an equaliser.

His second change came just eight minutes later, with Worrall replacing Hurst.

Fleetwood has three corners in quick succession, with Blues managing to successfully thwart the hosts’ attempts to double their advantage.

Brown made his final change in the 70th minute, with Pigott making his first appearance in a Southend shirt since that night at Wembley, with Mooney making way.

Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander also opted to make a change, withdrawing Matt in order to send on Jamie Proctor.

Pigott was straight into the action and almost scored with his first touch, but for a scrambled goal-line clearance from the home side’s defence.

Hunt then went into the book for an off-the-ball altercation with the already-booked Jonsson.

Some good team-work from the forward pairing of Hunt and Pigott then yielded Blues’ next opportunity, with the Charlton loanee using his chest to present the ball to Hunt. However, once again Fleetwood keeper Maxwell was on form to deny Southend.

The hosts then made a double substitution as the game entered the final 10 minutes of normal time, with Vamara Sanogo and Lyle Della-Verde replacing McManus and Grant.

Wordsworth then fired wide of goal, after a knock-down from a Worrall cross from deep presented him with an opportunity at the far post.

Blues finally claimed a deserved equaliser with just six minutes remaining. After an initial effort from Pigott was blocked, the ball broke to Worrall who floated a lob over the head of the helpless Maxwell.

Both sides went in pursuit of a late-winner as the game entered five minutes of added time, but Blues left Highbury Stadium with a valuable point on the opening day of the 2015-16 season.

SOUTHEND UNITED: Bentley; White, Bolger, Barrett, Coker; Hurst (Worrall - 64’), Leonard, Wordsworth, Atkinson (Hunt - 56’); Mooney (Pigott - 70’), Weston.

Unused Subs: T. Smith, Prosser, Timlin, Payne.

Attendance: 3,228 - including 479 fans of Southend United

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