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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: SOUTHEND 0-1 WEALDSTONE

15 April 2022

Good Friday didn’t prove kind for Southend United, they crashed to their fifth successive defeat as Wealdstone edged to a 1-0 win in a tightly contested match at Roots Hall.

Blues were made to rue missed chances, most notably Jason Demetriou’s penalty which was saved early in the first half.

Stephen Browne’s spectacular 68th minute strike condemned Kevin Maher’s side to their worst run of the season, as they kick off a busy schedule of fixtures with the season drawing to a close.

The Blues boss made four changes in attempt to alter his team’s fortunes, and they started at a strong tempo.

Blues had the share of the opening exchanges, Jack Bridge wreaking havoc with the Stones’ back line, and he forced a chance within 50 seconds.

The winger cut inside from the left flank and fired a shot into a sea of Wealdstone defenders, the follow up fell to Callum Powell who could only fire over from close range.

Maher’s side continued to apply pressure and forced Tom Bishop to point to the penalty spot nine minutes later, as Connor McAvoy brought down Noor Husin illegally.

Goalkeeper George Wickens received a yellow card for his protests, but the Fulham loanee kept enough composure to thwart Demetriou’s spot kick, diving to his right to subsequently stifle Harry Cardwell’s follow up effort.

In their groove, the hosts again came close to that illusive first goal just moments later, Bridge again toying with the Stones’ backline, he fired across goal and Demetriou failed to make true contact to guide the ball in from inches out.

But as the first half petered out, so did Blues’ momentum and the Stones were next to threaten with two good chances.

In the 29th minute, Aaron Henry flicked a cross into Joshua Umerah, his guided header could only loop just over Steve Arnold’s goal.

Seven minutes later, Umerah again went close as Arnold superbly stopped the forward’s header, the loose ball was swept towards goal by Jerome Okimo, but Shaun Hobson was present to heroically hook the effort off the goal line.

Both sides struggled to get the go-ahead goal, but the Roots Hall faithful celebrated the opener two minutes into first half stoppage time.

Demetriou drilled a ball into Cardwell, who, alongside Bridge bundled the ball in, however referee Bishop ruled the effort out as he adjudged the ball to have hit the hand of one of the Blues’ forwards.

Maher’s outfit mirrored their early chance of the first half with an equally quick start in the second, Bridge had an effort cleared off the line by Ashley Charles after Husin’s improvised pass in the box.

14 minutes into the second period, Tom Clifford’s free kick was met in the air by McAvoy, and his header glanced onto the post of the Stones’ goal, Blues failed to force the ball home.

It looked as though it’d take something special to break the deadlock in the cagey affair, and that was the case when, in the 68th minute, the Stones took the lead through a superb Browne strike.

Browne received the ball 25-yards out and illuded Blues’ challenges before striking the ball past Arnold in front of the 217 jubilant Wealdstone fans.

Little goalmouth action followed despite ‘keeper Arnold getting a head to a late attacking corner, which was eventually cleared.

Ultimately, Blues were made to regret poor finishing and cutting edge in the final third, as the Stones ran out narrow victors to cement their hopes of retaining their National League status.

Southend United – Arnold, Hobson, Bridge (Wood 79’), Powell (85’), Clifford, Gubbins (Dennis 71’), Neal, Clark, Demetriou, Husin, Cardwell.

Wealdstone – Wickens, Cook, Charles, Okimo, Ferguson, Umerah, Sesay (Browne 56’), McAvoy, Clayden, Elito (Mascoll 82’), Henry (Mundle-Smith 45’).

Referee: Tom Bishop

Assistants: Alexander Bradley & Marc Meeten

Fourth Official: Joseph Gray

Scorers:

Southend United:

Wealdstone: Browne (68’)

Yellow Cards:

Southend United: Neal (35’)

Wealdstone: Wickens (11’) Elito (11’) Cook (58’) Ferguson (61’) Charles (87’)

Attendance: 5849 (217 Away)


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