REPORT | Bury 1-4 Southend
Southend earned an excellent 4-1 win away at Bury, as Nile Ranger scored his first goals for the club further demonstrating the excellent start the striker has made to his life at the Blues, with Simon Cox also adding to his Southend tally in between Ranger’s double before James Vaughan had pegged United back from the spot; and then Stephen McLaughlin wrapped up the three points with a goal of the season contender following an impressive strike.
Blues made 7 changes to their starting line-up following their 4-0 loss away at Stevenage on Tuesday night in the Checkatrade trophy; as the likes of Blues skipper Anton Ferdinand, and other first team members such as Mark Oxley, Ryan Leonard and Nile Ranger came back into the side, as well as Michael Timlin making his first league start this season.
In the 9th minute Blues took the lead through Nile Ranger with his first goal for the club, as he cut inside onto his right foot from the left hand side just outside the box and curled a fantastic shot into the far corner to give United the perfect start.
The Shakers nearly levelled the score instantly, as Hallam Hope was left unmarked in the box from an attack down the right hand side straight from Bury’s kick off, as he twisted and turned his way past John White and Goalkeeper Mark Oxley, before White recovered to make a brilliant last ditch block to deny what looked like a certain goal.
However, Southend quickly doubled their lead as Blues were given a free kick on the right hand side, just outside the penalty area which was taken quickly by Michael Timlin who passed the ball into Simon Cox, who spun his marker and calmly slid the ball into the far left bottom corner to give Southend a flying start with little under 15 minutes gone.
But, just three minutes later Bury halved the deficit from the penalty spot through James Vaughan as a result of Hallam Hope being bundled over by Ben Coker at the far post following a corner from Bury’s Jacob Mellis from the right hand side. The former Huddersfield man clinically drilled the ball into the bottom left corner, giving Oxley no chance in the Southend goal.
Despite the fast start to the game, there were very few chances created following Vaughan’s penalty, as there were some resilient defensive displays by Adam Thompson and Anton Ferdinand following a dominant 20 minute spell from the home team at Gigg Lane, however Blues were often dangerous on the break with Stephen McLaughlin forcing Ben Williams into a good save after being slotted through on goal following a good run from the left wing; as well as Simon Cox and Nile Ranger proving to be a real handful for the Bury defence.
The second half started in similar fashion to the end of the first, but on the hour mark Neil Danns cut inside from the right hand side from just outside the box, onto his left foot and his deflected effort looped up
In the 61st minute Nile Ranger doubled his tally for the day, making the score line 3-1 following a defensive mishap from Leon Barnett as he sliced his clearance straight to Simon Cox who was left free on the left wing, just past the halfway line, advanced towards the penalty area and pulled the ball back to Ranger who coolly placed the ball into the far right hand corner giving Ben Williams no chance in the Bury goal.
With just under twenty minutes to go, George Miller nearly pegged Southend back, but for some good defensive awareness off a corner, to get back and to clear the ball off the line following Miller’s flick. Ranger nearly came close to completing his hat trick up the other end, but his tame header was held by Bury keeper Ben Williams.
Then came the icing on the cake for the Blues, as in the 76th minute, on the break Stephen McLaughlin scored what is surely a contender for the goal of the season award, as he picked up the ball from around 30 yards out, then ran 5 yards before unleashing a world class strike into the top right hand corner giving Williams no chance and effectively killed the game off.
Bury nearly pulled back a late consolation goal through Neil Danns with five minutes to go, as an excellent interchange of passes down the right hand side between him and Danny Mayor released the former Bolton midfielder in on goal, however Danns blazed his effort well over the crossbar when at minimum he really should’ve been working Mark Oxley in the Southend goal.
This was an excellent win for the Blues on the road, who will be looking to go on a run of form in what is turning out to be such a tight season in League 1. Southend’s next game is at home to Bradford on Saturday 19th November, where they will be looking to replicate their excellent performance they produced at Valley Parade earlier this season.