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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: SOUTHEND 2-1 BARNET

1 February 2022

Southend United launched themselves into 13th in the National League standings after extending their unbeaten league run to seven matches with a 2-1 victory over Barnet at Roots Hall this evening.

Kevin Maher’s side started at a blistering pace, with Matt Dennis scoring twice within the first half hour, sweeping home loose balls in the Bees box on both occasions.

But they were made to work for the full three points, Adam Marriott reduced the arrears late in the first 45 minutes to make for a nervy second half.

Blues made one change to the side that beat Dover Athletic 1-0 on Saturday, Callum Powell making his first start in place of the injured Harry Cardwell.

And they enjoyed a perfect start to an action-packed first half, just four minutes in they opened the scoring in front of the buzzing Roots Hall crowd.

Jason Demetriou was found with space on the right-hand side of the Bees’ box to unleash a fierce low effort, which Aston Oxborough palmed into the path of Dennis to sweep home.

The hosts’ go-ahead goal was nearly cancelled out a quarter of an hour in, but Reiss Greenidge couldn’t quite get on the end of Rob Hall’s superb free-kick delivery.

And the visitors’ failure to take their chance came back to bite them, Maher’s side doubling their lead just shy of the half hour mark.

Great intelligence by Will Atkinson saw a ball out to Tom Clifford in space in the visitors’ box.

His low-driven effort was again spilled by Oxborough with Dennis reaping the rewards via a close-range follow up, gaining the forward his sixth goal in his last eight matches.

But Blues’ two-goal lead didn’t last long, Barnet reduced the arrears nine minutes before half-time as Marriott found himself in behind the hosts’ backline with a well-executed threaded through pass, his assured low finish beat Steve Arnold and worked Dean Brennan’s side back into the game.

And they nearly profited from a momentary lapse by Blues just a minute after, again working their way down the right flank, Ephron Mason-Clark headed inches wide from a perfect cross by Daniel Powell.

In end-to-end action, Clifford nearly regained his side’s two goal advantage just before the break, as he was set free on the left, but his low-powerful effort was sent crashing off the right post.

Barnet were quick out of the blocks in the second half; they threatened the Blues backline just 10 seconds in, but the Mason-Clark fired an effort onto the head of his striking partner Marriott.

Maher’s side recovered from an early spell of pressure by the Bees to forge attacks of their own midway through the second period, but failed to test Oxborough in the process.

With 16 minutes to go, Kacper Lopat found himself in an unlikely position with space to shoot on the edge of Blues’ area, his effort was initially spilled by Oxborough but gathered at the second attempt.

Callum Powell was testing Barnet’s backline with his blistering pace, and sparked a counter attack 14 minutes before time which ended with Blues’ new signing sending a shot straight at the Bees ‘keeper.

But neither of the two men in goal were really put through their paces in the final stages, as the Blues faithful roared their side on to their fifth league victory from their last six matches.

Southend XI: Arnold, Ralph, Hobson, Dalby, Powell (Dunne 83’), Clifford, Atkinson, Lopata, Demetriou, Dennis, Husin.

Barnet XI: Oxborough, Thomas, Howe, Richards-Everton, Hall (Bloomfield 61’), Powell, Mason-Clark (Flanagan 73’), Marriott, Greenidge, Fonguck (Payne 84’), Woods.

Referee: Sunny Gill

Assistants: Thomas Holden & Alan Cresswell

Fourth Official: George Laflin

Scorers:

Southend United: Dennis (4’ 27’)

Barnet: Marriott (36’)

Yellow Cards:

Southend United: Dennis (24’) Demetriou (45+2’)

Barnet: Greenidge (24’)

Attendance: 6036 (145)

 


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