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Match Reports

Match Report: Southend 2-1 Blackpool

30 September 2017

Mark Oxley’s injury-time penalty save helped Southend secure their third successive win as they held on to beat Blackpool 2-1 thanks to goals from Anthony Wordsworth and Simon Cox.

Mark Oxley’s injury-time penalty save helped Southend secure their third successive win as they held on to beat Blackpool 2-1 thanks to goals from Anthony Wordsworth and Simon Cox.

Blues started the game brightly and took the lead inside the first five minutes when Wordsworth got on the end of a low Stephen McLaughlin corner to flick the ball into Ryan Allsop’s net.  

Blackpool had to weather Southend’s early pressure but grew into the game midway through the half with Kyle Vassell and Sean Longstaff forcing saves out of Oxley.

Simon Cox had an almost certain goal cleared off the line by Curtis Tilt right before the break but it was Tilt who inadvertently teed up Cox to score within a minute of the interval.  

Blackpool got back into the game when Vassell latched onto a long ball forward by Jimmy Ryan to round Oxley and reduce the arrears.

As the game went on the visitors piled on the pressure and in the third minute of five added on at the end of the game they were awarded the chance to nick a point as they were awarded a penalty.  

Blackpool’s captain Ryan stepped up and saw his shot saved by Oxley diving to his left as Southend just about held on for their third win in eight days.

Southend were made to battle for the three points with the final whistle greeted with huge cheers by the Roots Hall crowd.

Gary Bowyer’s side came to Roots Hall in confident mood after being promoted last campaign and having made a decent start to this season with five wins from their opening 10 games.

After a slow start to their season, back-to-back wins for Blues against Fleetwood and AFC Wimbledon had reinvigorated the side’s confidence with Southend unbeaten in their last three.    

The run of three unbeaten has coincided with the return of Anthony Wordsworth after a long layoff with a hamstring problem and it was he who gave Southend the perfect start after just five minutes.  

The Blues number four got on the end of a low cross from Stephen McLaughlin to flick the ball into the top corner, ala Eric Dier for England against Slovakia, to give Blues a flying start.

Phil Brown by his own admission felt his Blues side were poor in midweek against Wimbledon but they looked much sharper and more at it early on as Blackpool weathered the storm.

After Blues pressure had subsided, Southend had Mark Oxley to thank for keeping the home side in front after a poor pass from Nile Ranger lead to a counter-attack which ended when Kyle Vassell’s shot was tipped onto the post by the fingertips of Oxley.

Blackpool had come right back into the game by the half-hour mark and Oxley again was on hand to keep Blues in front as he tipped Sean Longstaff’s long-range effort over the crossbar.

Right before the interval, Southend had a great chance to extend their lead when Simon Cox was slid through only for Ryan Allsop to get a hand to the strike with Curtis Tilt there to clear off the line.

Tilt’s intervention prevented a certain goal for Cox before the break but Tilt undone his own good work by gifting Cox and Southend a goal in the first minute of the second half.

In an attempt to guide the ball back to his goalkeeper, Tilt got little to no contact on the ball back allowing Cox to steal in and slot the ball beyond Allsop within a minute of the restart.

The goal was somewhat unfair on Blackpool who’d come into the game late in the first half but they went about reducing the deficit quickly and almost grabbed one back through Oliver Turton when he got through on goal but couldn’t beat Oxley at his near post.

The Tangerines though would get a goal back and reduce the arrears before the hour mark when Jimmy Ryan’s long ball was latched onto by Vassell who calmly rounded Oxley to slot home.

Blackpool’s goal made for a tense half an hour for the home side and Blues weren’t making life easy for themselves giving away a number of silly free-kicks.

Both Ryan and Vassell had set-piece opportunities in good positions but neither of them tested Oxley with Ryan hitting the wall and Vassell comfortably shooting over the bar.

A third for the Blues would’ve killed off Blackpool’s hopes of a point from Roots Hall and Blues came close to wrapping up the win when Marc-Antoine Fortune’s low drive was saved by Allsop.

With the game finely balanced, Blackpool came within fingertips of levelling when Clark Robertson’s header was tipped wide at full stretch by the diving Oxley.

Groans rang round Roots Hall as five minutes of added time were indicated and Jason Demetriou had to head Will Aimson’s goalbound header off the line as Blackpool piled on the pressure.

It was backs-to-the-wall for Southend and in the third minute of added time referee John Brooks gave Blackpool the chance to nick a point when he pointed to the penalty spot for a foul by Demetriou.

Ryan stepped up to take the penalty and saw his effort saved by Oxley in the fourth minute of stoppage time to ensure that Southend held on to the three points.   

Blues XI: Oxley, Wordsworth, Ferdinand (C), Timlin, Cox (Fortune 79’), McLaughlin (White 73’), Leonard, Demetriou, Kyprianou, Wright, Ranger (Fortune 62’). Subs Not Used: Bishop, Hendrie, Yearwood, McGlashan

Blackpool: Allsop, Robertson, Vassell (Quigley 81’), D’Almeida (Cooke 68’), Ryan (C), Longstaff, Tilt, Otabor (Aimson 54’), Turton, Daniel, Delfouneso. Subs Not Used: Williams, Mellor, Taylor, Clayton

Referee: John Brooks

Assistants: Gregory Read & Nicholas Cooper

Fourth Official: Andrew Aylott

Scorers:

Southend United: Anthony Wordsworth 5’, Simon Cox 46’

Blackpool: Kyle Vassell 56’

Yellow Cards:

Southend United: Ryan Leonard 31’, Michael Timlin 71’

Blackpool: None

Attendance: 6,688


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