Controversial spot-kick drama as in-form Blues snatch it late

Southend United v King’s Lynn Town – Vanarama National League – Roots Hall Stadium – Report

Southend United 2-1 King’s Lynn Town

Southend United extended their unbeaten Vanarama National League sequence to four matches after seeing off a dogged King’s Lynn Town side thanks to Sam Dalby’s controversial stoppage-time spot-kick.

Maher handed debuts to recent signings, Harry Cardwell and Leon Davies, while Noor Husin, recruited from Dartford earlier in the day, was named on the bench as the Blues looked to win three league matches on the spin since October 2018.

Matt Dennis and Cardwell provided power and pace in attack, while Will Atkinson’s early attempt was deflected behind by Ross Barrows as the early traffic remained distinctly one-way.

Twice Dalby’s route to goal was blocked as the visitors continued to defend deeply and in numbers. However, Blues were indebted to Steve Arnold after the stopper produced a superb save to keep out Gold Omotayo’s thundering effort.

Blues had dominated, but they were left stunned when Harry Phipps met Theo Widdrington’s centre with a diving header, which crept past the stranded Arnold, much to the delight of the travelling support.

Shaun Hobson’s goalbound header was pushed over by Paul Jones in the Town goal. Soon after, the keeper used his feet to rebuff Dennis after the Norwich City loanee had wriggled in from the byline. Meanwhile, Widdrington almost caught Arnold out with an audacious attempt from twenty yards.

Blues goalkeeper, Steve Arnold made a couple of superb saves as King’s Lynn threatened to upset the applecart at Roots Hall Stadium (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Jones rebuffed Dalby’s low drive immediately after the restart. But with their next foray forward, Hobson brilliantly turned and centred, providing Dennis with the simplest of opportunities to net his fourth goal of the season, much to the delight of the majority amongst the 6,122-strong crowd.

Matt Dennis bagged his fourth goal of the season as Southend United came from behind to beat King’s Lynn Town at Roots Hall Stadium (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

King’s Lynn refused to buckle. Arnold was forced into another flying save, denying the busy Widdrington and Josh Barrett, while in between Jones was equal to Harrison Neal’s fizzing strike as Blues responded.

Cardwell nodded over after substitute, Husin had picked him out. But deep into stoppage-time, Blues were handed a huge stroke of fortune. Ross Barrows appeared to take the ball when challenging Dalby. Incredibly, referee, Lloyd Wood pointed to the penalty spot.

In the melee that followed, furious Town boss, Tommy Widdrington was sent to the stands. Dalby stepped up, sent Jones the wrong way to hand the home side three priceless points.

Southend United return to Vanarama National League action on Tuesday, January 25 when they take on Aldershot Town at the EBB Stadium (7:45pm).

Southend United: Steve Arnold, Nathan Ralph (Capt), Shaun Hobson, Sam Dalby, Tom Clifford, Will Atkinson, Harrison Neal, Kasper Lopata, Leon Davies, Matthew Dennis (Noor Husin 78′), Harry Cardwell (Nathan Ferguson 90+4′) Subs not used: Colin Andeng Ndi (GK), Matt Rush, Ollie Kensdale

Booked: Shaun Hobson (foul)
Goals: Matthew Dennis 48′, Sam Dalby (penalty) 90+3′

King’s Lynn Town: Paul Jones, Michael Clunan (Capt), Ethan Coleman, Gold Omotayo, Theo Widdrington, Brett McGavin (Munashe Sundire 69′), Aaron Jones, Josh Barrett, Ross Barrows, Oliver Scott (Tyler Denton 71′)(Zain Walker 86′), Harry Phipps Subs not used: Kyle Callan-McFadden, Ken Charles

Booked: Aaron Jones (foul), Tyler Denton (foul), Ross Barrows (foul)
Goals: Harry Phipps 27′

Referee: Lloyd Wood
Assistants: Craig Green and Craig Simpson
Fourth Official: Craig Barnett

Attendance: 6.122 (85 from King’s Lynn Town)

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]