Southend United 2-2 Exeter City
Alex Fisher broke Southend’s hearts with a stunning stoppage-time leveller, to deny the hosts their first win of the season, on Saturday.
This was after Brandon Goodship and a Jason Demetriou penalty had sandwiched a Joel Randall strike.
After weathering an early storm the Shrimpers started to find space and on 26 minutes Goodship rounded off a fine move and slotted home, with a superb, angled drive. Just a pity there was no one present to see such a fine finish.
Goodship’s goal all but briefly gave Mark Moseley’s men the lift their disappointing season start needed, and Exeter soon hit back and having seen skipper, Demetriou bravely denied Randell Williams, a poor defensive clearance saw Randall all too easily cash in and curl past Mark Oxley five minutes from the interval.
It’s never a good time to concede and with their tails up, Williams, on 50 minutes, casually beat Terrell Egbri on the bye-line, to find Jay, whose lofted curler saw Oxley expertly paw away.
Again, Southend soaked up considerable Grecians’ pressure and with playmaker Jay having left the fray, the Blues found their rhythm and regained the lead on 65 minutes.
A needless Lewis Page shove on Egbri, from a high cross, saw the referee unhesitantly point to the spot and Demetriou sent Lewis Ward the wrong way with a cool side-foot home.
Spurning late half-chances, with Emile Acquah and the workmanlike, Kyle Taylor missing the target, the Blues were made to pay when late sub, Fisher’s worldy flew into the top corner over a stunned Oxley.
Boss, Moseley said: “It’s a bitter pill to swallow. We had played the full ninety minutes, plus stoppage time and we were into the ninety-fifth minute. But, we can take the positives from today, as we went toe-to-toe with an in-form Exeter team”.
“I just wish our fans had been here to see us play today. And, that’s two encouraging performances in the space of seven days. We had dug deep and it’s frustrating that a couple of ricochets lead to their equaliser.”
“However, again we got a full ninety minutes out of Jason Demetriou and Harry Lennon. Timothee Dieng came back and did well today. And, we’ve got the likes of John White waiting and Alan McCormack will be in contention soon”.
Skipper Demetriou admitted: “It feels like a defeat and we should have been taking four points from our last two games. Today was the best performance I’ve seen in a long time – we have to keep building on today’s showing”.
Exeter manager, Matt Taylor criticised his players: “Whilst I’m pleased with Alex Fisher’s goal, it was a poor performance, with too many errors. Southend never really worked our keeper and I’m disappointed we didn’t win the ball better today, either”.
Point-saver Fisher, added: “I thought we deserved the point, as we did control the game for long periods. But, I’m just relieved with my late goal.”
Southend United: Mark Oxley, Jason Demetriou (Capt), Richard Hobson, Harry Lennon, Nathan Ralph, Kazaiah Sterling, Kyle Taylor, Timothee Dieng, Brandon Goodship (Ashley Nathaniel-George 80′) Emile Acquah Subs not used: Harry Seaden (GK), Tom Clifford, Harry Phillips, George, Matt Rush, Richard Taylor, Kenny Coker
Exeter City: Lewis Ward, Josh Key, Rory McArdle (Alex Fisher 81′), Tom Parkes, Lewis Page, Randell Williams, Jake Taylor (Capt), Archie Collins, Joel Randall, Matt Jay (Jake Caprice 57′), Ryan Bowman (Ben Seymour 73′) Subs not used: Jonny Maxted (GK), Jack Sparkes, Nigel Atangana, Nicky Ajose.
Assistants: G.Viccars & A.Ross
Fourth Official: G.Read