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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: DOVER 0-1 SOUTHEND

29 January 2022

Noor Husin’s first goal for Southend United secured Blues a hard fought 1-0 win against Dover Athletic at the Crabble Athletic Ground.

After a goalless first half with both sides finding chances tough to come by, Husin popped up with 17 minutes of the second 45 remaining to fire in the winner and secure the three points.

Southend United came into the game looking to see out the month unbeaten, travelling to rock-bottom Dover Athletic, the side 30 points adrift of safety, but buoyed but their first win of the campaign against Eastleigh in midweek.

Boss Kevin Maher made two changes to the side that picked up a draw at Aldershot with Jason Demetriou coming back in to captain the side, along with Matt Dennis who returned from injury replacing Leon Davies and the suspended Harrison Neal respectively.

Shooting towards the raucous travelling fans in the first half, Southend had a shout for a penalty inside three minutes as a poor header from Jake Goodman was latched upon by Harry Cardwell. The striker got to the ball first before going over goalkeeper Adam Parkes, but nothing was given.

Blues were having plenty of the ball but were struggling to crack a stodgy Dover defence, with the hosts able to create a couple of opportunities of their own with Harry Ransom’s goal-bound header well blocked and Michael Gyasi slashing at a chance after a poor Steve Arnold clearance.

Southend’s best opportunities of the first 45 minutes came from set-pieces. Tom Clifford needed one of his corners tipped over by Parkes before another corner fell kindly to Noor Husin whose effort was blocked.

And right on half-time, Clifford clipped a free-kick into the box that came back out to Will Atkinson. The midfielder prodded the ball back into the danger zone and onto the head of Dennis, but he was unable to find the target with his header as it remained goalless at the break.

Dover were looking the most likely to break the deadlock after the interval with the direct running of Gyasi causing problems. The number 33 wiggled his way into a shooting position only to fire over early after the restart, before sending another effort over after a Dover counter-attack.

Andy Hessenthaler’s team kept pushing forward without truly testing Arnold in the Southend goal, and Blues would punish them by opening the scoring with their first real chance in the second half as Noor Husin scored his first goal for the club.

Clifford’s corner was whipped into the six-yard box and after Sam Dalby’s header was scrambled off the line, Husin came onto a looping ball and expertly controlled his volley, sending it into the top corner to put Southend in front with 17 minutes remaining.

Blues had shown a clinical edge that their hosts had lacked, but Dover responded to the setback by hitting the post moments after going behind. Koby Arthur’s effort deceived Arnold who was rooted and could only watch as the ball came off the inside of the post before being cleared.

Southend held off Dover’s advances as time whittled away and had a chance of their own late on to put the icing on the cake as Dalby raced through on the counter attack only for his effort to be cleared off the line by Hanson.

Victory for Blues lifts them to 16th in the table, extending their unbeaten league run to six games as Southend secured an unbeaten January ahead of the visit of Barnet to Roots Hall on Tuesday night.

Dover Athletic XI: Parkes, Wood (C) (Wilkinson 83’), Goodman, Ransom, Woods, Arthur, Hanson, Pavey, Judd, Krasniqi, Gyasi (Da Costa 83’). Subs Not Used: Andre Jr, Moses, Twumasi

Blues XI: Arnold, Ralph, Hobson, Dalby, Clifford, Atkinson, Lopata, Demetriou (C), Dennis (Ferguson 82’), Husin, Cardwell (Powell 46’). Subs Not Used: Andeng Ndi, Davies, Kensdale

Referee: Ryan Atkin

Assistants: Ayrton Hursey & Andrew Gray

Fourth Official: Hugh Gilroy

Scorers:

Dover Athletic: None

Southend United: Noor Husin 73’

Yellow Cards:

Dover Athletic: Arjanit Krasniqi 45’, Jake Goodman 53’, Myles Judd 62’

Southend United: Nathan Ralph 68’

Attendance: 2,657 (1,935 Away)


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