Blues earned their first win since the opening day of the season with an excellent 4-2 win against Fleetwood at Highbury Stadium.
Phil Brown’s men went into today’s trip to Fleetwood with just one change to last week's starting line-up against Northampton, with Josh Wright making his debut
This change looked to have paid dividends, as it took Blues just two minutes to take the lead, following a free kick won by Simon Cox from around 25 yards out on the right-hand side. Stephen McLaughlin whipped in a dangerous ball, which Cox managed to guide into the bottom right-hand corner.
However, straight from kick-off Amari’i Bell nodded the ball past the onrushing Blues keeper Mark Oxley to equalise following a long ball played up the pitch, which saw Bell as the furthest player forward.
Just past the half-hour mark Fleetwood’s Aidan O’Neill was sent off for a professional foul; as Ryan Leonard nicked the ball off the Australian midfielder, and the Cod’s midfielder brought down Leonard as last man on the edge of the penalty area. Wordsworth took the resulting free-kick and fired it just wide of Alex Cairn’s left-hand post.
Blues took full advantage of having the extra man, and in the 40th minute McLaughlin rounded off a superb passing move by Blues and drilled the ball into the bottom right-hand corner from just inside the penalty area to make it 2-1 to Southend.
On the verge of half time, Ranger cut inside Nathan Pond on the right wing, having been put down the line and was brought down by Fleetwood’s skipper in the penalty area as he looked to take a shot. Ranger stepped up to take the penalty and coolly side-footed the ball into the bottom right-hand corner giving Cairns no chance in the Fleetwood goal.
Blues started the second half in similar fashion to the first, as some excellent link-up play between Simon Cox and Nile Ranger saw the latter get a shot off in the penalty area, however, his effort lacked power and was comfortably saved by Cairns.
Mark Oxley was forced into a rare save, as a long ball up the pitch by Uwe Rosler’s side found Devante Cole at the edge of the penalty area, who teed up Bobby Grant whose powerful drive was beaten away by Oxley.
Moments later Blues came close to making it four, as Josh Wright who was having an impressive debut produced a low cross from the right-hand side which McLaughlin met at the back post, but, the Irishman couldn’t quite convert the opportunity on the stretch and fired the ball just over the crossbar.
Fleetwood came close to scoring a spectacular goal with just under 10 minutes to go, as Cole cut inside a curled an effort narrowly over the top right-hand corner from around 25 yards out.
Jason Demetriou came close to scoring a spectacular goal with five minutes to go, as he came close chipping Cairns from around 25 yards out; but, moments later Jermaine McGlashan added to the scoreline following a superb solo run by fellow substitute Marc-Antoine Fortune down the left wing, who then slid a pass into McGlashan who thumped an effort in off the left-hand post from around 10 yards out.
Fleetwood grabbed a late consolation goal in stoppage time through Cole, but, Blues comfortably saw out the final two minutes and will be looking for a similar quality performance against AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday.