Cool Collin the hero in Blues spot-kick drama

Brian Jeeves

Southend United v Dorking Wanderers – Buildbase FA Trophy Third Round – Roots Hall Stadium -Report

Southend United 2-1 Dorking Wanderers

A stunning second-half strike from substitute, Matt Dennis, coupled with a brilliant penalty save from debutant goalkeeper, Collin Andeng Ndi helped Southend United past Vanarama National League South opponents, Dorking Wanderers and into the fourth round of the Buildbase FA Trophy following an entertaining tie at Roots Hall Stadium.

With much of the pre-match patter centring around the transfer embargo and Southend’s indifferent form, the last thing the hosts needed was an early setback.

However, the majority amongst the 1,728-crowd feared the worst when Alfie Rutherford cut in from the left, leaving Shaun Hobson for dead, before dispatching a crisp, right-footed strike beyond Andeng Ndi.

Minutes later it should have been two for the visitors. Matt Briggs blazed over after racing clear of a static Blues backline. Meanwhile, Andeng Ndi produced a decent save low to his right to deny James McShane from distance.

Blues had offered little or nothing. However, Lewis Gard was a whisker away from a telling touch after Zak Brunt’s deflected centre had flashed across goal.

Southend’s fortunes were summed up after half an hour when Rhys Murphy blasted over from the penalty spot after Luke Moore had tripped James Dunne. The miss was received with anguish and anger from the Roots Hall faithful. The mood, dark and dismayed.

Brunt was once again Southend’s brightest spark, and the Sheffield United loanee was involved in lifting the gloom five minutes before the break. His centre eluded Murphy and confused Dorking stopper Daniel Lincoln, allowing Sam Dalby the opportunity to net his sixth goal of the campaign.

Blues started the second period brightly. But when Hobson was clumsy on Josh Taylor, Andeng Ndi was provided with a memorable debut moment – The 18-year-old turning aside Bobby-Joe Taylor’s spot-kick.

Penalty save – Southend United’s debutant goalkeeper, Collin Andeng Ndi (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Andeng Ndi saved from Rutherford as Dorking began to look the more likely. Blues responded, but Brunt was too high after Dalby had teed him up. Nevertheless, Southend were to turn the game on its head in spectacular fashion.

Dennis send a superb angled effort looping over Lincoln and high into the Dorking net. The Blues support roared their approval.

Louis Walsh passed up a decent opportunity to put further daylight between the sides, while Taylor was agonisingly close to sending the tie to penalties with a low drive that fizzed inches the wrong side of an upright.

Southend United return to Vanarama National League action on Sunday, December 26 when they face Bromley at Hayes Lane (5:20pm).

Southend United: Collin Andeng Ndi, Nathan Ralph, Shaun Hobson, James Dunne, Rhys Murphy (Matt Dennis 66′), Sam Dalby, Tom Clifford, Nathan Ferguson, Lewis Gard (Louis Walsh 46′), Jason Demetriou (Capt), Zak Brunt (Will Atkinson 82′) Subs not used: Harry Seaden (GK), Josh Coulson, Matt Rush, John White

Booked: James Dunne (foul), Jason Demetriou (dissent)
Goals: Sam Dalby 40′, Matt Dennis 74′

Dorking Wanderers: Daniel Lincoln, Bobby-Joe Taylor, Niall McManus, Matt Briggs, Alfie Rutherford, James McShane (Jason Prior 52′), Kane Wills, Nick Wheeler (Jimmy Muitt 75′), Josh Taylor, Luke Moore, Dan Gallager Subs not used: Isaac Philpott, Sami El-Abd, Luca Ash-Brazier, Josh Wilson

Booked: None
Goals: Alfie Rutherford 4′

Referee: Robert Massey-Ellis
Assistants: Jonathon Block and James Hurst
Fourth Official: Alexander Kyriacou

Attendance: 1,728 (73 from Dorking Wanderers)


Brian Jeeves