Southend United slumped to their fourth consecutive defeat this afternoon, as Solihull Moors ran out 2-0 victors at a rainy SportNation.bet Stadium.
Five changes to the starting line-up didn’t alter the fortunes of Phil Brown’s side, as Shaun Hobson bundled a cross into his own net on the 29th minute, before James Ball netted a spot kick nine minutes after half-time in an ultimately gruelling afternoon in the West Midlands.
The weather somewhat foreshadowed the opening affairs of the match, a drab exchange with neither side managing to get a grip on the game and force a real chance.
The first corner of the match came in the 11th minute, it sparked Steve Arnold into his first bit of action of the afternoon, routinely tipping over a looping header by Callum Howe.
Eight minutes later, debutant Charlie Sayers tried his luck from distance, however his effort did little to trouble Ryan Boot.
As the first half progressed, The Moors began to hold a firmer grip on the game, they were rewarded for their strong start on 29 minutes as a Joe Sbarra cross was converted into the Southend goal by Blues defender Hobson.
Sbarra got in behind the Shrimpers back line, played a simple yet effective ball into the wake of Danny Newton, but in last ditch desperation Hobson turned the cross into his own net to give the home side the lead.
Five minutes later, the visitors came close to levelling the game, Louis Walsh worked his way from the right flank into the penalty area, but his low shot was smartly saved by the legs of Boot.
With the half-time interval looming, Andrew Dallas nearly sent his side into the break with their lead doubled, he hit an audacious volley from 25 yards whilst falling but his effort went wide.
The Moors had to settle for their one goal lead going into half-time.
Brown sent his back onto the field of play early following the interval, but it was the hosts who were first to threaten in the second half; Jordan Cranston thumped a wide free kick at Arnold, who punched the effort onto the crossbar in the 49th minute.
The home side looked accomplished in their work, as a result their second goal was inevitable, and it came in the 54th minute through a spot kick by Moors midfielder Ball.
Jason Demetriou’s attempted clearance was unsuccessful, as he went for a second attempt, he brought down Danny Newton, giving Tom Bishop no option but to point to the spot.
Ball hammered his penalty down the middle to double the hosts’ lead.
It was the Moors who continued to be the more dangerous, nine minutes later Sbarra once again worked himself goal side, but his effort was flashed narrowly wide.
A bleak afternoon for the Blues looked to be getting bleaker when Newton was teed up just yards from goal in the 70th minute, but his effort was cleared off the line by Josh Coulson.
The away side attempted to force an opening in the latter stages of the match but couldn’t make a meaningful dent in the resilient hosts’ defence, Nathan Ferguson whipped a dangerous ball in but it came to no avail.
The weather set the tone for another miserable afternoon for Southend, they were inches from conceding a third when substitute Jamey Osborne sent a screaming effort against the right post in the fourth minute of added time in the last of the afternoon’s action, a comfortable victory for Neil Ardley’s side.
Southend United XI: Arnold, Ogogo, Hobson, Coulson, Bridge, Dunne, Murphy (Dalby 53’), Walsh (Ferguson 75’), Sayers, Demetriou, Kimpioka (Dennis 68’).
Solihull Moors XI: Boot, Cranston, Howe, Gudger, Sbarra, Maycock, Donawa, Ball (Williams 90+3), Dallas (Hudlin 79’), Newton (Osborne 88’), Maynard.
Referee: Tom Bishop
Assistants: Danny Guest and Daniel Jarvis
Fourth Official: Liam Corbett
Solihull Moors: Hobson OG (29’) Ball (54’)
Solihull Moors: Maycock (13’) Cranston (33’) Ball (61’)
Southend United: Sayers (21’) Walsh (62’) Coulson (73’)
Attendance: 1527 (513 away)