Blues are beaten by Poolies in a five-goal thriller

Southend United v Hartlepool United – Vanarama National League – Roots Hall Stadium – Report

Southend United 2-3 Hartlepool United

Southend United suffered their second successive Vanarama National League defeat after Hartlepool United twice came from behind before claiming the points following a five-goal thriller at Roots Hall Stadium.

Kevin Maher’s men were looking to bounce back following a midweek setback at Dorking Wanderers: “We were disappointed to lose the game ] the other night, but a lot of it was very good and we’ll be looking to do the same against an opposition who’ll try their best to stop us and play their own football as well because they’re a good footballing side,” the Blues chief explained.

And Southend gave the majority amongst another sizable Roots Hall crowd the perfect start when Jack Bridge handed the hosts a fourth-minute lead. But Hartlepool hit back before the half-hour mark through Tom Crawford.

Maher’s side appeared to be running on empty during the second half at Dorking. However, they re-established their lead seven minutes after the restart through Gus Scott-Morriss.

Again, Hartlepool pulled themselves off the canvas. This time Joe Grey found the net as the entertaining nature of the contest continued.

But Southend were to be undone midway through the second half. Charlie Seaman snatched what proved to be the winning goal. The result saw the Blues slip out of the play-off places to ninth in the table.

Speaking after the match, Maher said: “It’s hard to take anything from it because we hate losing games, but the lads have given everything again.

“We need to bring players in – we haven’t done it for almost a year now and it’s pretty obvious to anyone what’s needed. The players and staff have been incredible but we need help. We knew what we wanted to bring in six months ago and that hasn’t changed.”

Maher added: “We did ever so well to get ourselves in front twice, and we should go on to win the game from there. For us, the goals are soft and they’re our own undoing, allowing the ball to get turned over cheaply.

“We want to play, but we’ve got to play the right pass and it’s just a little bit of sloppiness that’s cost us.

“You can see that the players are knackered. Sometimes our decision-making’s got to be better, but saying that we’ve had enough chances to win, and the disappointing thing is that they’ve gone through us easily.”

Southend United return to Vanarama National League action on Friday, August 25, when they face Eastleigh at Roots Hall Stadium (7:45pm).

Southend United: Andeng-Ndi, Scott-Morriss, Ralph (Capt), Kensdale, Bridge, Husin, Cardwell, Powell (Mooney 61’), Taylor, Miley, Fonguck (Wood 75’) Subs not used: Demetriou, Coker

Hartlepool United: Dixon, Dodds, Ferguson (Capt), Lacey, Mancini (Paterson 90+2’), Cooke (Wallace 83’), Wreh, Dieseruvwe (Grey 54’), Seaman, Crawford, Onarise Subs not used: Jameson, Hastie

Referee: Reubyn Richardo

Assistants: Ryan Head and Bradley Mingay

Fourth Official: Oliver Morris-Sanders

Attendance: 5,547 (170 from Hartlepool United)

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk