Southend United suffered a second consecutive defeat tonight, as Aldershot Town ran away 3-2 victors.
5004 fans were in attendance, the vast majority of which jumped for joy in the 17th minute as Rhys Murphy put Phil Brown’s side ahead in freak circumstances.
However, the evening was to prove more fruitful for the visiting side; they levelled the game before half-time and hit a second-half double as they enjoyed their first victory of the 2021/22 campaign.
Jason Demetriou claimed a late consolation goal, but it was too little too late for the Shrimpers on the night.
The hosts started the brightest, winning the first corner of the match as Murphy cut in from the left flank before sending an effort goal bound; his effort was blocked and sent out of play.
Four minutes later, the Blues again charged forward as, on the counter-attack, Sam Dalby flashed a dangerous cross into the box, it was met by Terrell Egbri who awkwardly made contact to send an effort wide.
Two minutes later, Brown’s side found themselves fortunate to keep the game level.
Aldershot came agonisingly close to opening the lead, Jayden Harris hit a well-struck effort from just outside Blues’ penalty area, forcing Steve Arnold into a smart save before sending his follow up effort inches wide of the right post.
Eight minutes later, it was the hosts who opened the scoring, in bizarre circumstances.
Mitch Walker went to clear the ball from a goal kick, he was halted by Murphy who was lurking by the Shots ‘keeper, Blues’ captain nabbed the ball from Walker and walked it into an empty net.
Despite Danny Searle’s side’s protests, the goal was given with Walker receiving a yellow card for his protests.
The Shrimpers looked comfortable in the game, until the 37th minute when they were pegged back by the visitors.
A good passage of play by the Shots resulted in a ball out wide falling to Alfy Whittingham somewhat fortuitously, he drilled a cross into the box, met only by the foot of Demetriou who turned the ball into his own net.
The home side, looking to regain their lead, nearly got themselves back ahead when Josh Coulson sent a shot into the side netting from close range five minutes later.
But the two sides went in for the half-time interval level, neither side managing to get a real hold on the match.
Six minutes after the break, the visitors took the lead.
Coulson was beaten for pace by Corie Andrews, who whipped a ball in for Mo Bettamer; the striker found himself within plenty of space in the Blues box to calmly slot into the net.
Brown’s side struggled to threaten Searle’s side in the opening exchanges of the half, the visitors nearly had their third midway into the second period, Bettamer converted from a great ball by Whittingham, but the striker was ruled offside.
In desperation of the levelling goal, the hosts came close on the 74th minute.
Jack Bridge did well to work his way to the left-side of the penalty area, he fizzed a ball in with the intention of it meeting Egbri at the back post, Blues’ winger couldn’t quite make contact.
The fate of the game was sealed in the 88th minute, as the Shots scored their third of the evening.
Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong was sent through, in behind the hosts defence; his calm finish was slotted neatly past Arnold, condemning the Shrimpers to more misery, whilst sending the 124 away fans into jubilation.
The home side did, however, score a consolation goal, as Demetriou’s dangerous cross crashed off the left post and into the net.
The Roots Hall faithful made their discontent known when Adrian Quelch blew the full-time whistle, as the Blues were beaten for the second time in four days.
Southend United XI: Arnold, Ralph, Hobson, Coulson (White 57’), Bridge, Dunne, Murphy, Dalby (Rush 80’), Egbri (Walsh 80’), Atkinson, Demetriou.
Aldershot XI: Walker, Fowler, Kinsella, Lyons-Foster, Whittingham, Edser, Bettamer (Berkeley-Agyepong), Andrews, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Phillips, Harris.
Referee: Adrian Quelch
Assistants: Steve Durnall and Stuart Kane
Fourth Official: Aji Ajibola
Southend United: Murphy (17’) Demetriou (90+6)
Aldershot: Demetriou OG (37’) Bettamer (51’) Berkeley-Agyepong (88’)
Southend United: Dunne (31’)
Aldershot: Walker (17’) Kinsella (43’) Harris (79’) Oxlade-Chamberlain (85’) Andrews (88’)