Southend United 3-1 AFC Wimbledon
SOL CAMPBELL tasted victory for the first time as Southend United’s manager, overseeing a 3-1 leasing.com Trophy victory over fellow Sky Bet League One strugglers, AFC Wimbledon, at Roots Hall Stadium.
Campbell had called for a reaction from his team following Sunday’s embarrassing Emirates FA Cup defeat at Vanarama National League outfit, Dover Athletic. And his players responded with a rare morale-boosting success.
Nathan Ralph rocketed the Blues ahead midway through the opening period. However, Wimbledon – who had made nine changes from the side which emphatically saw off the Blues by four goals to one in League One just over a month ago – were level ten minutes later through Tommy Wood.
But this was to be Southend’s night. Ethan Hamilton restored the home sides advantage in first-half stoppage-time following a flowing mood. Then, Tom Hopper secured the Roots Hall clubs first victory in any senior competition since MK Dons were beaten in the league way back on September 21.
Campbell was enthused by several things he saw from his side.
“The passing [pleased me most]. There was no fear, just passing and supporting each other, making sure there are angles, and we just played with the handbrake off. There was a marked difference from the weekend,” he told www.southnedunited.co.uk.
“Yes, people say it’s a dead rubber and things like that, but for me, it was more a point to prove that the guys can pass and want to keep the ball and score some goals, and we did. The main thing is the passing, the no fear and passing with purpose as well.”
The former Spurs and Arsenal defender continued: “I wanted them to not just go through the motions. There was a bit of pride in there, a bit of getting the FA Cup defeat out of the system, and I think they had to show a little bit to the fans as well.
“It’s a long road now, but it’s a good start for us to get this win under our belts and hopefully we can kick on. It’s a long road and there’s a lot more that we’ve got to do to start pushing up the table but it’s a great start for us.
Southend United: Bishop, Bwomono, Ralph, Milligan, Dieng (Capt), Cox (Rush 85’), McLaughlin (Hopper 74’), Kiernan, Hamilton, Taylor, Acquah (Goodship 74’) Subs not used: Oxley, Egbri, Kinali, Howard
AFC Wimbledon: McDonnell, Hartigan, Appiah (Robinson 46’), Rudoni, Stabana (Awoyejo 71’), Guinness-Walker, Wood, Kalambayi (Capt), Madelin, Reilly, Assal (60’) Subs not used: Trott, Pinnock, Fisher, Procter
Referee: Will Finnie
Assistants: Bhupinder Gill and Stuart Butler
Fourth Official: Alan Dale
Attendance: 717 (81 from AFC Wimbledon)