Theo Robinson scored a hat trick as Southend United U23s saw off MK Dons U23s in convincing fashion, beating their South East Central League counter-parts 5-0 at Roots Hall.
Kevin Maher named a strong side which included Sam Mantom and Josh Wright, who are both coming back from injuries, as well as Jermaine McGlashan, Theo Robsinon and Harry Kyprianou.
And Maher was pleased with the senior members of the team that lead by example.
“The attitude was spot on from the seniors that came in and the younger ones as well,” he said.
“When you do it right and they apply themselves right then that’s what you got in the first half.
“They’re good professionals. Josh Wright and Sam Mantom got minutes which was good for them, and I think the young ones can learn off them when they’re in the same team as them.
“Theo got his goals as well which was pleasing for him, but overall it was very, very good.”
Maher also praised Wabo for his involvement in the goals, despite not getting on the scoresheet himself.
“Couple of the assists from Norman which it’s usually the other way around when Norman is playing with others, so good for Norman to get a couple of assists. Unfortunately he didn’t manage to score but for Theo that gives him confidence going forward.”
Blues sailed into a first half lead which began inside the opening 10 minutes when Robinson fired home from close range after Nico Cotton’s shot was parried by the goalkeeper into his path.
The striker made it 2-0 after McGlashan squared the ball to him 10 yards out, and with Dons goalkeeper Alfie Jones rushing out, Robinson made no mistake by slotting the ball under his legs.
It was 3-0 in quick in succession thanks to Wright, making his comeback from a hamstring injury. The midfielder got in on the act after Norman Wabo had back heeled it to him 10 yards out and he found the corner of the net.
Blues were well on top and their experience showing when Robinson completed his hat trick after a clever touch took him past the defender and he curled an effort beyond Jones, despite the goalkeeper getting a touch on it.
Robinson’s fourth, and Blues fifth, was a nice attacking move set up by Wabo, who set his striker partner free before a confident finish past Jones.
In a quieter second half Jay Bird fired against the post for the visitors and Wabo and Mantom both had strikes which went wide, but it remained 5-0 to the hosts.
The win extends Blues’ unbeaten run in all competitions to four games following the 0-0 draw to Forest Green and the 1-1 draw against MK Dons in the Central League Cup.
Blues XI: Bexon, Bwomono, Coutts, Kyprianou, Clifford, McGlashan, Wright, Mantom, Cotton, Wabo, Robinson.
MK Dons XI: Jones, Tilney, Hope, Tapp, Evans, Pattison, Wright, Sole, Bird, Bell, Nombe.