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Match Reports

Match Report: Southend 0-0 Bristol Rovers

5 May 2018

Blues ended their League One campaign with a 0-0 draw against 10-man Bristol Rovers at Roots Hall.

Neither side were able to break the deadlock, despite the fact that Rovers had to play the entirety of the second-half with just 10-men after Ollie Clarke was sent off late in the first-half.

Prior to that, Southend went agonisingly close when Simon Cox struck the crossbar with an acrobatic scissor-kick and Bristol themselves hit the woodwork with a Tony Craig header in the second-half.

Despite the man advantage, Chris Powell’s side were unable to get the goal they desired which would have given them a fourth win in a row to end the season on a high but, thanks to Bradford’s draw, Blues would still finish the campaign in the top 10.   

The draw would extend Rovers’ winless run to seven matches but Darrell Clarke’s side would come away from Roots Hall with plenty of positives having held out for a point.  

It was arguably a disappointing way for Southend to end their campaign having gone into the final day off of three straight wins.

Following last weekend’s victory over Bradford, Chris Powell made one change to his starting line-up with Michael Kightly coming in for Marc-Antoine Fortune while his counterpart Darrell Clarke would make three alterations.

In typical end-of-season style, the opening exchanges produced little in the way of clear chances for either side with Theo Robinson’s scuffed effort at Sam Slocombe and a near-post effort from Dru Yearwood the best Blues could muster early on.

Bernard Mensah forced a smart save out of Mark Oxley midway through the first-half for the visitors before Jason Demetriou had the first clear opportunity of the afternoon after Kightly’s cross fell to full-back whose shot zipped across the face of goal and wide.

Blues would continue to increase the pressure on the Rovers back-line as the half went along and Simon Cox was incredibly unlucky to see his acrobatic scissor-kick bounce up and smash the face of the crossbar before Demetriou’s rebound was blocked.

It would remain goalless as the half-time whistle blew, but Southend were given a boost just before the break when Ollie Clarke was sent off for a second yellow card. Having picked one up for a foul on John White early on, Clarke went in late on Sam Mantom and was given his marching orders.

Blues threatened early in the second-half with a Kightly free-kick that had to be tipped away at full stretch by Slocombe and the Rovers ‘keeper was called into action once again to deal with Robinson’s half-volley from outside the area.

With the man advantage, Southend continued to have the majority of possession and Robinson missed a great opportunity after getting on the end of a low cross from Elvis Bwomono, but he failed to hit the target from a tight angle.

Despite Southend dominating the ball, the 10 men of Bristol would still create a couple of good openings and only a reaction save from Oxley would prevent Ellis Harrison from scoring with his snap-shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Rovers would then go even closer later in the half when Sercombe’s cross found the head of Tony Craig, who saw his glancing effort hit the face of the post with Oxley stranded.

That was to be the closest that either would come to breaking the deadlock as Southend would have to settle for a final day draw.

Blues XI: Oxley, Kightly, Cox, McLaughlin, Yearwood (Coker 38’), Mantom (Fortune 46’), Demetriou, Kyprianou, Robinson, Bwomono (Harrison 81’), White (C). Subs Not Used: Bishop, Ferdinand, McGlashan, Ladapo

Bristol Rovers XI: Slocombe, Lockyer, Sercombe (Nichols 83’), O Clarke, Harrison, Lines, J Clarke, Broadbent, Mensah (Baghdadi 70’), Craig, Bennett (Russe 57’). Subs Not Used: Smith, Kilgour, Hargreaves, Kelly

Referee: Anthony Coggins

Assistants: Callum Winchester & Andrew Williams

Fourth Official: Kevin Howick

Scorers:

Southend United: None

Bristol Rovers: None

Yellow Cards:

Southend United: Mark Oxley 9’, Harry Kyprianou 26’

Bristol Rovers: Ollie Clarke 10’, Tom Broadbent 75’

Red Cards:

Southend United: None

Bristol Rovers: Ollie Clarke 42’

Attendance: 8,179


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