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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: SOUTHEND 2-0 BROMLEY

8 February 2022

A quickfire double from Matthew Dennis and Shaun Hobson secured a 2-0 win for Kevin Maher’s in-form Southend United as they dispatched Bromley in front of over 8,000 fans at Roots Hall.

Dennis tapped in his seventh goal in nine games, two minutes after the restart, capitalising on a rebound after Sam Dalby’s effort had crashed off the post. Three minutes later and Hobson ran onto Tom Clifford’s near-post corner to flick home a second and extend Blues’ unbeaten league run.

Boss Kevin Maher made one change to the side that defeated Barnet last time out with Harry Cardwell returning from injury in place of Callum Powell, on a night that saw Tom Clifford make his 50th appearance for Southend while Jason Demetriou captained the side in his 200th game for Blues.

The opening quarter of an hour at Roots Hall was a tense affair with neither side creating much in way of chances early on, with Southend being cheered on by a bumper crowd of 8,070 – Southend’s biggest home attendance since October 2019 against Ipswich Town.

A speculative effort from George Alexander in the opening minute was the best the visitors could produce, while Matthew Dennis had a couple of efforts deflected in the opening quarter of an hour with Nathan Ralph also firing one off target.

Bromley were then gifted a chance to take the lead when Ralph inadvertently played Alexander in with a short backpass. Steve Arnold though done superbly well to come off his line and challenge the striker cleanly to spare Ralph’s blushes.

As the first half came to a close, Southend ramped up the pressure with Harry Cardwell seeing a couple of efforts fail to trouble Mark Cousins in the Bromley goal as the two sides went into the break level.

But things weren’t level for long after the restart, as Maher’s side came flying out of the blocks in the second half and scored twice in the space of three minutes to take control of the contest, with the in-form man Dennis opening the scoring in the 47th minute.

After Sam Dalby managed to create enough space inside the penalty area for a shot, the Southend striker was unfortunate to see his effort tipped onto the post by Cousins, but Dennis was on hand to tap in the rebound for his seventh goal in his last nine appearances.

Roots Hall was rocking and the 8000-plus Blues fans were in dreamland when just three minutes later Shaun Hobson ran onto Tom Clifford’s corner, powering his header beyond Cousins to double Southend’s advantage.  

A shellshocked Bromley responded well to the quickfire double and created several chances to get back into the game with sub James Alabi, Michael Cheek and Billy Bingham all having efforts on goal that failed to trouble Arnold.

Arnold though was called upon to keep out Liam Trotter who’d snuck in at the far post, forcing a save from a tight angle. The Blues keeper then made an even better save to prevent Luke Coulson from scoring, saving with his legs after he’d run clean through.

The Ravens had come into this evening with four straight wins and just one defeat in their last six but they had no answer for Maher’s resurgent Blues, summed up by Alabi’s free-header that flew over the crossbar with a few minutes remaining.

Victory for Blues extends their unbeaten league run to eight games as Southend climbed back up to 13th in the National League table and three points ahead of this weekend’s opponents, Woking.

Blues XI: Arnold, Ralph, Hobson, Dalby, Clifford, Atkinson, Lopata, Demetriou (C) (Davies 90+4’), Dennis (Neal 67’), Husin, Cardwell. Subs Not Used: Dunne, Powell, Kensdale

Bromley XI: Cousins, Bush, Sowunmi, Coulson, Arthurs (Trotter 59’), Cheek, Webster (C), Whitely, Alexander (Bloomfield 53’), Bingham, Parsons (Alabi 46’). Subs Not Used: Partington, Dennis

Referee: Paul Johnson

Assistants: Marc Meeten & Mark Pond

Fourth Official: Nathan Oakes

Scorers:

Southend United: Matthew Dennis 47’, Shaun Hobson 50’

Bromley: None

Yellow Cards:

Southend United: Noor Husin 6’, Will Atkinson 11’

Bromley: Billy Bingham 28’

Attendance: 8,070 (121 Away)


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