Southend United 0-2 Peterborough United
SOUTHEND United remain pointless after Peterborough recorded a comfortable 2-0 Sky Bet League One victory at Roots Hall Stadium – The Blues fourth defeat in as many matches.
Having used his programme notes to apologise to fans following the four-goal drubbing at Lincoln four days ago, Blues boss, Kevin Bond, opted to add an altogether more positive spin, explaining that things can change fast in football, and a positive result would give his charges a massive lift.
However, Bond’s side faced a tough task against a Posh outfit – oddly, themselves having started with a stutter – fancied by many to be amongst the challengers come the end of the campaign.
Bond made three changes to the side that was sunk at Sincil Bank, with Brandon Goodship, Manchester United loanee Ethan Hamilton and Harry Lennon coming into the fray.
It was perhaps understandable that Southend appeared apprehensive and surrendered possession cheaply during a scrappy opening.
Mohamed Eisa’s effort deflected over off Harry Lennon, while Marcus Maddison’s dead-ball attempt was similarly rebuffed. Meanwhile, Lennon was lucky not to breach his own goal after a mix-up with stopper, Nathan Bishop.
Posh keeper, Christy Pym, thwarted Brandon Goodship’s progress, while Hamilton was just off target following neat foray forward as Southend finally displayed a little creativity. Blues were certainly growing into the game. Goodship pulled the wrong side of an upright after tiptoeing through a static Posh backline as the half drew to its conclusion.
Despite their endeavour, the game lacked any real quality. George Boyd looked to redress that with a stinging angled drive fizzed past Bishop but cannoned back off the foot of the post. Blues responded, but Goodship fired wide after latching on to a pinpoint crossfield pass from Mantom.
But there was an air of inevitability about the opening goal. Hamilton was dispossessed – Eisa finishing neatly after Maddison had then picked him out.
Southend’s troubles soon doubled. This time Toney finding the net after Maddison had again fashioned the opening. The mood around Roots Hall darkening by the minute.
Even at this early stage of the season, it is plain that the Blues are embroiled in a battle to avoid relegation, and displaying little sign of the characteristics required to pull them clear.
Skipper Mark Milligan nodded against the frame of the goal in the final stages, but a large percentage of the home crowd had already headed for the exits, undoubtedly concerned and inquisitive as to where their first points – of what is turning into a dismal season – will be coming from.
Southend United return to Sky Bet League One action on Saturday, August 24 when they take on Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park (3pm).
Southend United: Nathan Bishop, Elvis Bwomono, Nathan Ralph (Andre Blackman 72’), Mark Milligan (Capt), Simon Cox, Brandon Goodship (Layton Kdukwu 73’), Ethan Hamilton, Sam Mantom, Joe Shaughnessy, Harry Lennon, John White (Stephen Humphrys 64’) Subs not used: Mark Oxley (GK), Luke Hyam, Charlie Kelman, Theo Robinson.
Peterborough United: Christy Pym, Mark Beevers (Capt), Frankie Kent, Mohamed Eisa (Siriki Dembele 75’), Josh Knight (Joe Ward 90+3’), Marcus Maddison (Serhat Tasdemir 75’), Louis Reed, Ivan Toney, Frazer Blake-Tracy, George Boyd, Niall Mason Subs not used: Conor O’Malley, Dan Butler, Rhys Bennett, Harrison Burrows.
Referee: Alan Young
Assistants: Paul Lister and Stephen Finch
Fourth Official: Stephen Brown