Southend United Manager Phil Brown was pleased with his team’s performance as the Blues saw off a West Ham United XI 3-2 at Great Wakering.David Mooney gave the Blues the lead with a header before Stephen McLaughlin bagged a brace either side of the half to put his side three-up.
West Ham, whose team was made up of their Under-23 side managed by Terry Westley, made a game of it in the closing stages as they pulled two back, but Southend held strong to maintain an unbeaten pre-season.
Brown - with one eye on Blues’ next warm-up match v Newcastle United on Tuesday at Roots Hall – said there were many plus points from the victory over the Hammers, but felt a hamstring injury to Michael Timlin highlighted the need to strengthen the squad ahead of the big kick-off.
“The positives from today’s game are there for everybody to see.” He said.
“Mooney and Cox looked like a force up top, as do the full-backs and wingers linking up on both flanks.
“Jermaine McGlashan showed his pace when he came on in the second half, Stephen McLaughlin now back fit can cause defences problems with his pinpoint accuracy.
“In terms of looking at Tuesday we are in good shape in terms of physicality but we are a bit thin on the ground in terms of squad size.
“We had three trialists today and I couldn’t even rest all of the players if truth be known.
“Ted Smith had to play a full game, Stephen McLaughlin played a full game and so did David Mooney and Jason Demetriou.
“When we have our first eleven out we look very strong, but as you well know you need a strong squad supporting that and we haven’t got that at the moment.
“We look in Coker was called into the action inside the first three minutes, making a good challenge on the left to stop Pike advancing.
The full back then went on the attack two minutes later and was brought down outside the area by Poyet. Coker took the free kick himself but shot over.
Blues sprayed the ball about well inside the first 20 minutes and shortly after they went close as McLaughlin whipped one in which Mooney headed narrowly over.
Some neat play from Leonard found Cox just inside the area, who showed great skill to get away from his marker before his effort was saved by Trott.
Mooney's powerful header was then denied by Trott on 26’ before third time lucky on the half-hour mark as McLaughlin - again with an inch-perfect cross - found his compatriot to head into the top left corner.
McLaughlin then went from provider to goalscorer as he fired in at the back post on 40 minutes to make it 2-0 to Southend at the break.
Half Time – Southend United 2-0 West Ham United XI
Blues cranked up the pressure further at the start of the second half, and but for a double save from substitute keeper Howes denying McLaughlin and then Cox – Blues could have put further daylight between the sides.
But they did just that on 51 minutes as McLaughlin was played clean through and he dispatched comfortably; 3-0.
O'Neill and Demetriou continued to causing the Hammers countless problems down the right hand side, whipping a number of easing balls into the box.
Substitute Timlin had only been on the pitch a few minutes before tweaking his hamstring and was replaced by Trialist on 70 minutes. Cox was also replaced by Williams.
Not for the first time McLaughlin picked out the head of Mooney on 76’ - the striker sent a looping nod back across goal - close but over.
West Ham United pulled one back from the penalty spot on 78’ through Scully after Hector-Ingram was brought down in the box.
The East London XI were then right back in it as Hector-Ingram tapped in the rebound after the ball cracked off the post on 83’ – 3-2.
Blues held strong though and continued their unbeaten pre-season run ahead of welcoming Newcastle United to Roots Hall on Tuesday.
Southend | Smith, Demetriou, Thompson (Barrett 45’), Trialist (Trialist 45’) Coker (White 45’), O'Neill (McGlashan 64’), Atkinson (Bridge 64’), Leonard (Timlin 64’ (Trialist 70’), McLaughlin, Mooney, Cox (Williams 70’).
Subs: Oxley, White, Barrett, Timlin, Trialist, Trialist, Bridge, Williams, McGlashan.
West Ham United XI | Trott, Pike, Eggleton, Poyet, Pask, Barrett, Kemp, Lewis, Ford, Gordon, Diangana.
West Ham XI Subs: Akinola, Howes, Longelo, Sylvestre, Hector-Ingram, L.Belic, K.Belic, Scully, Powell, Coventry.