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Great Wakering Rovers 0-4 Southend United
Mark Molesley got an opportunity to run the rule over his Southend United squad, fielding separate sides in each half of a routine 4-0 victory over Great Wakering Rovers at Burroughs Park.
A fixture which has traditionally been the Blues pre-season curtain-raiser was played in an unusually eerie, empty Rovers home.
Stephen Humphrys opening the scoring – sending Rovers stopper, Tim Brown the wrong way from the spot after he’d been felled by Danny Hurford.
Rovers competed well without providing a viable threat. Meanwhile, Humphreys doubled his, and Southend’s account, providing the formalities from close range after Isaac Hutchinson had fired across goal.
Molesley rang the changes at the break. After the restart, Charlie Kelman was denied a third – the frontman frustrated by an assistants’ flag. However, Eren Kinali extended the visitors’ lead eighteen minutes from time, sending a crisp finish beyond Brown after Brandon Goodship had seized on some hesitant defending from the villagers.
Goodship somehow then managed to hit the underside of the bar from little more than three yards when faced with a gaping goal. But Matt Rush was fouled by Lewis Jaggs allowing Cypriot international, Jason Demetriou, the opportunity to comfortably net Southend’s second penalty of the evening to complete the scoring.
In truth, Blues were, at times, unconvincing and rusty against their Isthmian League North hosts. Nevertheless, Molesley focused on the positives in what was Southend’s first run out of any description in more than five months.
“We’ve only had three sessions with them at the moment, not quite a week. But what I can say is that their attitude and application has been fantastic.
“Again, I’d like to think it should be with a new regime coming in and everyone keen to impress.
“We will work a few more things out as we go along, but at the moment the enthusiasm, attitude and application is great and I think you could see out there what a talented group as well.”
Top goal frontman, Humphrys, added: “As a striker, the most important thing is to score goals so to do it in the first five minutes was more of a relief than anything.
“Obviously, theses games are more for fitness. To get a goal, it’s the most important thing – to get two, so I’m happy.”
Great Wakering Rovers: Tim Brown, Louie Hay, Danny Hurford, Billy Harris, Trialist, Alex Stephenson, Ayo Odukoya, Jacob Wiggins, Steve Butterworth, Tom Ranger, Billy Johnson
Southend United (first-half): Mark Oxley, Elvis Bwomono, John White, Richard Taylor, Idemudia Udebhu-Osimeh, Terrell Egbri, Jack Bridge, Michael Klass, Sam Barratt, Isaac Hutchinson, Stephen Humphrys
Southend United (second-half): Harry Seaden, Rob Howard, Miles Mitchell-Nelson, Timothee Dieng, Tom Clifford, Eren Kinali, Harry Phillips, Jason Demetriou, Matt Rush, Brandon Goodship, Charlie Kelman