REPORT | Southend 1-1 Oxford (Oxford win 4-3 on pens)
Blues fell to a penalty shoot-out defeat against Oxford United on Tuesday night which ended their Ckeckatrade Trophy campaign.
U’s youngster Tyler Roberts converted the winning penalty following a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes.
Chris Maguire’s stunning free kick gave the away side the lead but Anthony Wordsworth equalised late on for the Blues to send it straight to penalties..
Southend had an early corner which they nearly took the lead. It was floated by Stephen McLaughlin as Ryan Leonard rose highest but his header hit the side netting.
Kane Hennings was put in after a long ball over the top moments later. He out muscled Anton Ferdinand on the edge of the penalty area before laying the ball off to Ryan Taylor whose effort went straight at Mark Oxley.
Maguire tried an effort from 30 yards to the left of the penalty area for the away side which initially looked comfortable. In the end, it produced a smart save from Oxley low down to his right.
Just before the half hour mark Simon Cox was played in down the right and his low cross into the six yard box nearly found the toe of Ranger who had slid in at the back post.
Not long before the break, Southend nearly made an opening. Anthony Wordsworth cut in from the left before producing an effort from 25 yards to the top corner however Simon Eastwood saved well.
Taylor had an effort for Oxford right on half time from 30 yards. His low drive stung the palms of Oxley who dived low to his left.
McLaughlin’s skill down the right allowed him to cross the ball in on the volley, the initial header was cleared and Wordsworth left foot volley from 25 yards clipped the outside of the post just after the restart.
Moments later, Phil Edwards came inches away from giving Oxford the lead. Hemmings pulled the ball back to the edge of the box and his out swinging effort zipped just past the post.
Maguire produced a great effort from 20 yards on the volley which Oxley saved brilliantly down to his right to deny him as both sides tried to push for the opening goal.
The Blues had the ball in the net on the hour after McLaughlin’s cross found the head of Simon Cox but he was ruled out for offside.
Maguire produced a moment of magic for the away side with ten minutes remaining. His 30 yard free kick curled up and over the wall and found the bottom right hand corner giving Oxley no chance.
With Blues looking likely for defeat, substitute Marc-Antoine Fortune burst down the left hand side to the by-line. His low cross found Wordsworth two yards out to tap home to bring the home side level.
Southend United: 3
Cox (Miss), Demetriou (Goal), Wordsworth (Goal), Leonard (Goal), McLaughlin (Miss)
Oxford United: 4
Maguire (Goal), Hemmings (Goal), Edwards (Goal), Johnson (Saved), Roberts (Goal)