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Match Reports

Match Report: Southend United 1-0 Bristol Rovers

11 November 2015

White header enough for progress in the JPT with win over the Pirates.

Southend United progressed to the area semi-finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy with a narrow 1-0 victory over Bristol Rovers at Roots Hall.

John White's early header – his second goal of his career – after 11 minutes earned the win for the Blues against a Bristol side who threw everything at the Southend goal.

Boss Phil Brown made a number of changes to his lineup for the clash, with White, Adam Thompson and Adam Barrett back in, as was Kevan Hurst, Wiill Atkinson, David Worrall and Jack Payne, with Michael Timlin missing out through suspension.

It was an encouraging start to the game from the Blues against the Gas – who saw Jake Gosling fire into the side-netting after only a couple of minutes.

At the other end, David Mooney fired a sighter over the bar from long range before Southend took the lead through White.

The skipper latched onto a  Hurst cross from the left to head downwards and into the bottom corner of the net for his first goal at Roots Hall and second for the club.

Confidence was flowing for the Blues following White's goal and moments later, Hurst fired inches past the post before Lee Nicholls was forced to beat away a stinging right-footed drive from Jack Payne from 20 yards.

Bristol did threaten and looked dangerous on the attack. 

Billy Bodin fired into the side netting after a cross from the left and on 35 minutes, Matty Taylor lashed well over when well placed on the edge of the box. 

Controversy ensued when the impressive Bodin looked to have levelled the scores up for the Pirates five minutes before half time.

Bodin fired home from the edge of the box, but after consulting with his assistant, referee Andy Woolmer ruled the goal out for offside as the shot came in.

And that was to be the final action of note as the Blues went in at the break with a narrow lead. 

After half time, Bristol went close through Lee Brown on 54 minutes, with the left back firing a rising effort at goal from outside the box which forced Bentley into a fine stop to tip the drive over the bar. 

And moments later, Bentley was out quickly again to block Jermaine Easter from close range after a neat pass from Bodin to put the experienced striker in.

Bentley was again called into action just after the hour, this time getting a strong glove on Easter's strike from inside the box.

With 15 minutes remaining, the Gas were throwing more men forward and Bodin again took aim after cutting in from the left but smashed over.

With five minutes remaining, Rovers skipper Mark McChrytal – pushed up front from Gas boss Darrell Clarke – got in a great position to equalise but hit wide from six yards following a cross from the left.

And soon after, Blues lived to fight another day once again when Bodin's strike skimmed off the boot of Ryan Leonard and flew just over the bar.

And after substitute Joe Pigott saw his attempt fly just wide, that was to be the last real action of the game as the Blues held on to keep their JPT run going

Blues: Bentley; White (c), Thompson, Barrett, Coker; Hurst, Leonard, Atkinson, Worrall; Payne; Mooney (Pigott, 82)

Unused: P. Smith, Prosser, O'Neill, Williams

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