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Match Report: Southend United 1-0 York City

31 January 2015

Shaq the hero following late penalty to seal narrow win for Blues against the Minstermen.

Shaq Coulthirst came off the bench to play the role of the super-sub, as he grabbed a late winner from the penalty spot to notch up a third straight win for Blues.

Phil Brown stuck with the same starting 11 that came from behind to win against Portsmouth at Fratton Park last weekend, with Gary Deegan returning from suspension to replace Barry Corr, due to suspension.

Blues could have taken the lead within the first ten minutes, when Will Atkinson jinked his way down the left flank before cutting back for Joe Pigott. Unfortunately, the on-loan Charlton Athletic striker was crowded out as York City cleared the danger.

The visitors started with a lot of energy, and tested Dan Bentley in the 8th minute. Luke Summerfield found himself in space outside of the penalty area, and let fly only to see Bentley hold onto the ball with relative ease.

Emile Sinclair was next to try his luck for York City, when he took aim from just outside the penalty area. Once again, Bentley was on hand to save and keep the scores level.

Jake Cassidy looked as if he might hand Blues the advantage, after slaloming past two red shirts, but eventually lost possession after being hassled by three York City players.

The visitors were enjoying the benefits of momentum, as they racked up three corners in succession. From the third, Russ Penn nodded wide from point-blank range, causing the York striker to bury his head in his hands.

Brad Halliday was next to try his luck when space opened up in front of him after a run from deep on the right-hand side, but after cutting inside onto his left foot he fired wide of Bentley’s goal.

Pigott looked to break the deadlock for Blues in the 42nd minute, but his attempt from range was well-received by York stopper Bobby Olejnik, on loan from Peterborough United.

Bentley remained consistent in goal for Blues, turning a low attempt from Jake Hyde round his near post for a corner kick to the visitors.

From the resulting corner, Michael Timlin was called into action, clearing off the line to deny Keith Lowe in the final act of the first half.

Blues appeared to be re-energised at the start of the second half, with Timlin and Pigott going close in the opening five minutes.

Timlin’s attempt came from 20 yards, when a snapshot on his left foot required Olejnik to go to ground and turn it round the post.

From the resulting corner, the ball found its way back to Ben Coker on the right-flank, and Coker’s lifted ball picked out Pigott in space at the back-post. On this occasion, he could only find the side-netting.

Adam Thompson came up trumps for Blues with a great last-ditch tackle in the penalty area to deny Jake Hyde a clear sight of goal in the 54th minute, before Phil Brown opted to replace Atkinson with Myles Weston.

The 61st minute saw Phil Brown make his second change of the afternoon, when he introduced Kevan Hurst in place of David Worrall.

Blues had the ball in the back of the net just two minutes later, after Cassidy tapped in from close range - only for the linesman’s flag to deny Blues.

Hurst then picked out Weston with a delightful cross-field ball that the Blues winger brought down on his chest, before darting away from his marker and firing a low attempt at goal. Olejnik saved well, but Blues were beginning to build up a head of steam.

Hurst then had an attempt of his own in the 71st minute, with some neat footwork finding him some space and a clear sight of goal just outside the area. However, his low attempt was easily saved by Olejnik in the York City goal.

Phil Brown made his final change of the afternoon in the 72nd minute when he sent on on-loan Spurs striker Shaq Coulthirst in place of Jake Cassidy.

The 74th minute saw Weston cut onto his left foot and curl an inviting ball toward the back-post for Coulthirst, only for the striker to head over.

Wes Fletcher came on for the visitors, replacing Emile Sinclair.

Coulthirst went close once again just three minutes later. This time he pounced to poke towards goal from close range, only to see his attempt trickle just wide of the post.

York City manager Russ Wilcox made his final two changes with just eight minutes remaining, opting to withdraw Jake Hyde and Russ Penn in favour of Carlton Morris and Lewis Montrose.

Blues were then presented with a chance to go in front in the 86th minute, when Brad Halliday brought down Pigott in the penalty area in front of the Blues fans.

Coulthirst stepped up to take it for Blues, and sent Olejnik the wrong way, with his penalty finding the bottom right corner of the goal.

Four minutes of added time were indicated by fourth official Dave Bushell, but Blues held on to claim a valuable win as the continued the promotion push at Roots Hall.

BLUES: Bentley; White, Thompson, Binnon-Williams, Coker; Worrall (Hurst - 61’), Leonard, Timlin, Atkinson (Weston - 56’); Cassidy, Pigott.

UNUSED SUBS: Smith, Prosser, Deegan, Payne.

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