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Match Reports


27 November 2021

Blues picked up a huge three points on the road against Altrincham as first-half goals from Rhys Murphy and Sam Dalby secured a hard-fought 2-1 win at the J Davidson Stadium.

Southend got off to a flyer, scoring inside the first minute as Murphy bundled the ball in following a shot by Louis Walsh. And Blues would double their lead before the interval when a well-worked free-kick routine allowed Dalby to get in on goal and score Southend’s second.

A double change at the break from Altrincham allowed them a foothold in the game and after Ryan Colclough’s penalty was saved by Steve Arnold, they reduced the arrears through substitute Dan Mooney, but Kevin Maher’s side stayed firm to see the game out and pick up a vital three points.  

After an unexpected, extended break following the postponement of Tuesday night’s clash with Maidenhead, Kevin Maher’s side travelled to Altrincham for a first-ever meeting with the Robins looking to pick up their first away win under his stewardship.

Maher made two changes from the side that lost narrowly to Grimsby last time out with Nathan Ralph coming in for John White and Sam Dalby partnering Rhys Murphy upfront, in place of James Dunne.

And in freezing conditions, Blues got off to a hot start as they opened the scoring inside 40 seconds with Murphy bundling Southend in front. Ralph’s cross from the left found its way through to Louis Walsh whose cross-shot was diverted in by Murphy to give the visitors the ideal start.

Altrincham responded to the early setback well, commanding the bulk of the possession without really troubling Steve Arnold in the Blues goal, with headed efforts from Toby Mullarkey and Tom Peers the best the home side could muster.

Despite not having as much of the ball, Southend were creating the clearer of the chances and after Murphy had missed a great opportunity to double Blues’ lead, Dalby put the finishing touches on a superb free-kick routine to put Southend 2-0 ahead.

After Ralph had been brought down on the left, Zak Brunt played a low ball into the path of Dalby who took one touch to set himself and create enough space to fire across the face of Tony Thompson and double the visitors’ advantage.

Altrincham’s first-half performance prompted boss Phil Parkinson to make a double change at the interval and the Robins piled the pressure on the Blues backline before going close when Connor Hampson’s shot flew across the face of goal and just wide.

The home side though were gifted a lifeline when referee Adam Herczeg pointed to the penalty spot just after the hour mark for a handball by Nathan Ferguson. Ryan Colclough stepped up to take it but Arnold made a superb save to his right to tip it round the post.

But Blues’ two-goal lead wouldn’t last much longer as Altrincham got one back just five minutes after missing from the spot as substitute Dan Mooney carried the ball forward, riding several challenges, before firing into the bottom corner to bring the home side back in it.

Having come from 2-0 down to grab a point away at Chesterfield in midweek, Altrincham were growing in confidence of repeating the trick again as they continued to flow forward and put pressure on Maher’s side.

Five minutes of added on time at the end of the game gave the home side hope of snatching a late point. The Robins had several set-piece opportunities to nick an equaliser but Southend stood strong and secured Maher’s first away win as Blues boss.

Altrincham XI: Thompson (C), Hampson, Hannigan, Porter (Moult 46’), Colclough, Kosylo (Hancock 70’), Pringle (Mooney 46’), Peers, Senior, Mullarkey, Whitehead. Subs Not Used: Digie, Leitch-Smith

Blues XI: Arnold, Ralph, Hobson, Murphy (Rush 84’), Dalby, Ferguson, Walsh (Phillips 75’), Atkinson, Lopata, Demetriou (C), Brunt. Subs Not Used: Howard, Dunne, White

Referee: Adam Herczeg

Assistants: Blake Antrobus & Danny Guest

Fourth Official: Mark Ryder


Altrincham: Dan Mooney 68’

Southend United: Rhys Murphy 1’, Sam Dalby 34’

Yellow Cards:

Altrincham: None

Southend United: Jason Demetriou 45+1’, Harry Phillips 80’, Kacper Lopata 85’

Attendance: 1,288 (256 Away)

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