Southend beaten by Millwall in Johnstone's Paint Trophy Semi-Final
Southend United’s hopes of a second Wembley visit in successive years were dashed after Millwall ran out 2-0 winners at Roots Hall this evening.
Strikes either side of half time from Steve Morison and Shaun Williams was enough for the away side to progress into the Southern Area Semi-Final.
Both teams started the match on the front foot but it was Southend who looked the more dangerous in front of goal with a number of early chances.
With less than 10 minutes on the clock a sharp turn from David Mooney saw the goal open up for him only to be denied by a diving block from George Saville.
Millwall came back into it with Aiden O’Brien causing problems down the right before his dangerous ball across the box evaded his team mates.
Jordan Archer in goal for Millwall pulled off a superb save, tipping over David Worrall’s 25 yard effort which looked destined for the top corner as Blues looked for an opener.
Millwall pressed the Southend defence high up the pitch with Lee Gregory denied by a fine Daniel Bentley save just after the half hour mark.
Minutes later Millwall made the most of the pressure and took the lead through a fine Morison strike into the bottom corner of the net.
The forward was hovering at the back post and a deep cross found the captain who unleashed a right footed volley past Bentley in goal.
Both teams come out of the second half on the attack with the Lions nearly doubling their advantage through Byron Webster who saw his effort cleared off the line by Leonard.
Minutes later the away side had another great chance after Morison turned well down the wing before delivering a dangerous cross to the back post which Captain John White cleared to safety.
Jack Payne looked to be the catalyst for all of Southend’s attacks and the tricky midfielder played through a superb pass to Worall with his effort whistling past the foot of the post.
Things went from bad to worse for Southend in the 65th minute with Williams doubling the advantage for the away side.
Saville’s ball to the edge of the box was met by a sweet left footed strike on the edge of the area by the Millwall midfielder with Bentley only able to parry the ball into the net.
Blues went for a more attacking 3-4-3 formation as they looked to find their way back into the game and with 85 minutes on the clock Mooney had a great chance.
Substitute, Joe Pigott’s persistence gave Mooney a clear route at goal but Archer’s outstretched right arm denied the strike to cap off a frustrating night for the home side.
Southend United: Bentley, Coker, Barrett, Thompson, White © (Rea 72), Atkinson, Leonard, Hurst (Pigott 57), Worrall, Payne, Mooney (subs) Prosser, Rea, Deegan, Pigott, O’Neill
Millwall: Archer, Martin, Edwards, Williams, Upson, Gregory, Beevers, Webster, Morison (Ferguson 70), Saville, O’Brien (Nelson 90) (subs) Forde, Nelson, Ferguson, Thompson, Pavey