REPORT | Fleetwood 1-1 Southend
Blues were cruelly denied all three points in their trip away at Play off rivals Fleetwood Town, having taken the lead late in the first half from a superb curling effort from Anthony Wordsworth.
A 90th minute strike, which will be a candidate for goal of the week from David Ball, meant Blues had to settle for a point in Lancashire.
Southend’s trip to Fleetwood was always going to be a tough fixture, but, when Blues captain Anton Ferdinand was replaced minutes before kick off after sustaining an injury in the warm up, some fans would have been fearing the worst.
John White, however, had an excellent game filling in for Ferdinand.
The first 20 minutes of the game was a relatively even contest with both teams cancelling each other out for the majority of the opening phase of the game, however, it was the hosts who created the better opportunities, as in the 19th minute George Glendon came within inches of breaking the deadlock as the striker cut inside from the right wing, and curled a deflected effort inches wide of Ted Smith’s right hand post.
Just inside the half an hour mark Marc Antoine Fortune produced Blues first notable effort on goal, as from a short free kick from the right hand side of the box, thr Frenchman twisted and turned his marker, before firing a powerful drive towards the left hand side of the goal, which Cairns in the Fleetwood goal could only parry away.
Blues took the lead in the 37th minute following some strong running down the left wing by Marc Antoine Fortune who latched onto a loose pass on the halfway line, and carried the ball all the way to the by-line, and cut the ball back to Anthony Wordsworth on the edge of the penalty area, who curled the ball in off the far post with his left foot giving Alex Cairns no chance in the Fleetwood goal.
The Second started in a similar fashion to the first half, however, around the hour mark the Cod Army started to pile on the pressure, and came close to an equaliser as David ball was put through down a channel between Jason Demetriou and Adam Thompson, and due to the pass being slightly over hit, he crossed the ball into the area, and he found Conor McLaughlin free at the back post from around 8 yards out, his header looked to have beaten Ted Smith at the near post, but, thankfully Ben Coker was there to clear the ball off the line.
Southend looked dangerous on the counter attack, as in the 67th minute as Fortune was slotted through a channel in-between Amari’I Bell and Cian Bolger down the right wing, however, Fortune opted to shoot towards the near post rather than the more favourable far post, and Cairns produced a smart save down to his left hand side.
Southend continued to press for a second goal and nearly found it, following some good interchange between Simon Cox and Fortune down the left wing, the Frenchman managed to spin his marker, but from around 6 yards out, could only poke his effort straight at Cairns in the Fleetwood goal.
There was a late scare for the Blues, as Fleetwood came within inches of an equaliser in the 84th minute as Ashley Hunter drilled in a dangerous low cross from the right hand side of the box, and substitute Devante Cole looked certain to score from all but 6 yards out, but for some last ditch defending by John White deflecting the goal bound effort wide for a corner.
But, there was to be a late twist, as Southend failed to clear their lines from a free kick deep inside their own half on the right hand side, and from the edge of the penalty area, David Ball curled a superb shot into the top left corner past a helpless Ted Smith.
A point at in form Fleetwood isn't a bad result, but having lead for so long against a Sky Bet League One play off rival, it felt like two points dropped. Blues will be hoping to get back to winning ways in their next fixture against Scunthorpe at Roots Hall next Saturday.