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Forest Green Rovers 1-3 Southend United
Southend United produced a stunning performance at the New Lawn to stop hosts Forest Green Rovers from topping Sky Bet League Two while hauling themselves off the bottom in the process.
Victories for Grimsby Town and Barrow twenty-four hours earlier had seen the Blues slip back to the foot of the table. However, Mark Molesley’s men handled the pressure superbly to record their seventh success of the campaign.
Shaun Hobson’s stunning volley stunned the home side midway through the opening period and they were to take another big blow ten minutes after the restart when Timothee Dieng’s curling effort doubled the Blues advantage.
Nathan Ferguson delivered an incredible knockout blow twenty-minutes from time, rattling high into the top corner of the Rovers net from a considerable distance. And although Mark Cooper’s side pulled one back through leading marksman, Jamille Matt. It proved to be little more than a consolation as Southend claimed the points and moved back out of the dropzone.
Boss, Molesley was understandably delighted with the performance and result: “We see that in them every day so it’s nice to see it coming together,” he enthused.
“All I saw was a group of men out there working hard for each other. We’ve always done that but in fits and starts.
“A good performance from us, and it had to be. Forest Green would have gone top had they beat us tonight. They are a very good side, they play a very good brand of football, and you’ve got to be organised against them otherwise, they’ll pick you apart.
“I thought we worked really hard for each other tonight and got what we deserved.”
Southend United return to Sky Bet League Two action on Saturday, February 27 when Salford City visit Roots Hall Stadium (3pm).
Forest Green Rovers: Thomas, Stokes (Capt) (Richardson 46’), Cargill, Hutchinson (Collins 46’), Adams, Cadden, Moore-Taylor, Bailey (Young 84’), Whitehouse (Wagstaff 71’), Godwin-Malife, Davison (Matt 46’) Subs not used: McGee, Bernard
Southend United: Oxley, Bwomono, Hobson, Dieng, Akinola (Goodship 87’), Clifford, Hackett-Fairchild (Holmes 87’), Acquah (Nathaniel-George 80’), K Taylor (McCormack 71’), Ferguson (Demetriou 87’), White (Capt) Subs not used: Seaden, Cordner
Referee: Lee Swabey
Assistants: John Flynn and Grant Taylor
Fourth Official: Dean Treleaven