Southend United 3-1 Scunthorpe United
Brian Jeeves reporting from Roots Hall Stadium
SOUTHEND United produced another notable Roots Hall display as goals from Marc-Antoine Fortune, Simon Cox and Ryan Leonard saw the Blues come from behind to ensured a 3-1 victory over Sky Bet League One leaders, Scunthorpe United.
This eagerly anticipated clash certain saw two of League One’s in-form teams coming together. Blues went into the game have suffered defeat just once in sixteen outings, while top of the table Scunthorpe arrived in south-east Essex having won three on the bounce.
Blues welcomed back skipper, Anton Ferdinand after the former West Ham man was forced out of their clash at Fleetwood Town with a nagging injury. Scunthorpe were without striker, Kevin Van Veen, through suspension. The Iron’s frontman had been subject to a four million pound bid from Chinese club Henan Jiayne.
Nevertheless, even without their sort-after front man, it was Scunthorpe who grabbed an early advantage Neal Bishop’s header came back off the crossbar and Murray Wallace was on hand to make no mistake to nod home the rebound.
Scunthorpe goalkeeper, Luke Daniels, did well getting down to stop Jason Demetriou’s effort as the Blues looked for an immediate response. However, it was the visitors who continued to offer the greater threat. Josh Morris saw his attempt deflected over, while Ivan Toney found Ted Smith’s gloves with a spectacular bicycle-kick. Meanwhile, Simon Cox was off target for Blues, this after Anthony Wordsworth had played him in.
Demetriou fired over and Marc-Antoine Fortune wide as the Blues quest for an equaliser gathered momentum, And shortly before the break, they restored parity. Cox crossed from the left and Fortune was on hand to nod beyond the stranded Daniels, much to the delight of the Roots Hall faithful.
Daniels blocked from Fortune with his feet, then clung to Wordsworth’s chip as Southend started the second period strongly. Soon after, Wordsworth fired over after Daniels had done well to initially thwart Cox and Will Atkinson.
Blues boss, Phil Brown, threw Jermaine McGlashan and new signing, Theo Robinson, into the fray in a bid clinch all three points. And within minutes the move paid dividends. McGlashan swept in from the left and Cox was on hand to send a deflected effort past Daniels to hand Southend the lead.
Cox saw another strike deflected behind as Southend looked to kill the contest. But with their next meaningful foray forward, Ben Coker crossed and Ryan Leonard swept home the Blues third of the afternoon.
Scunthorpe’s afternoon went from bad to worse when Neal Bishop was shown a straight red card by referee, Robert Madley, after a coming together with Demetriou as proceedings began to reach boiling point.
Nevertheless, this had been another fantastic display from Southend, who moved up into the play-off places as a result.
Southend United are next in Sky Bet League One action next Saturday, February 11 when they travel to the Den to face Millwall (3pm)
Southend United: Ted Smith, Ben Coker, Anthony Wordsworth, Adam Thompson, Michael Timlin (Jermaine McGlashan 75’), Simon Cox, Will Atkinson, Marc-Antoine Fortune (Theo Robinson 67’) Ryan Leonard, Jason Demetriou, Anton Ferdinand (Capt) Subs not used: Mark Oxley (GK), John White, Luke O’Neil, Luke Amos, Frank Nouble
Booked: Michael Timlin (Foul), Ryan Leonard (Dissent)
Goals: Marc-Antoine Fortune 39’ Simon Cox 77’, Ryan Leonard 81’
Scunthorpe United: Luke Daniels, Scott Wiseman, Murray Wallace, Stephen Dawson (Capt) (Hakeeb Adelakun 78’), Josh Morris, Neal Bishop, Harry Toffolo, Duane Holmes (Matt Crooks 46’), Charlie Goode, Ivan Toney, Craig Davies (Tom Hopper 63’) Subs not used: David Mirfin, Joe Anyon (GK), Conor Townsend, Jamie Ness
Booked: Murray Wallace (Foul), Duane Holmes (Foul), Stephen Dawson (Dissent), Ivan Toney (Foul)
Goals: Murray Wallace 5’,
Sent-off: Neal Bishop
Referee: Robert Madley
Assistants: James Mainwaring and Harry Leonard
Fourth Official: Michael Thorpe
Attendance: 7,346 (330 from Scunthorpe)
Reaction to follow…...