Dreadful Blues look down and out

Southend United 0-2 Carlisle United

Shrinking Southend United slipped a step closer to relegation as Carlisle United eased to a 2-0 Sky Bet League Two victory at Roots Hall Stadium – the Shrimpers twelfth reverse on their own patch during this disastrous campaign.

Hopes were lifted after Mark Molesley’s side recorded a surprise single-goal victory at Harrogate Town a week previous. However, they never looked like troubling a Carlisle side still harbouring outside ambitions of a top-seven finish.

Blues appeared nervous from the off. Tom Clifford – arguably Southend’s most consistent performer this season – produced a superb saving tackle to deny Omari Patrick a run on goal as the Cumbrians started on the front foot.

George Tanner saw his goalbound header deflected behind, while Jack Armer caused the hosts issues from the flank. It came as little surprise when Offrande Zanzala drilled Carlisle into the lead – firing low beyond Oxley from twenty-five yards.

Blues looked cumbersome, without purpose and displayed all the worrying traits of a side heading for the drop. Their troubles deepened as Alan McCormack was forced off with what appeared to be a muscle injury – Kyle Taylor the Irishman’s replacement.

But then a lifeline. Simeon Akinola was tripped by Callum Guy – Unfortunately, the former Barnet man’s spot-kick was comfortably rebuffed by Paul Farman in the Cumbrians goal – the chance gone – the trap door creaking.

Oxley scooped out Jon Melis’ effort as Carlisle continued to pull the strings after the restart. Substitute, Gime Toure saw his attempt saved but when the Cumbrians substitute opened up his body and tried his luck again, Oxley was left helpless – Southend’s alarming ineffectiveness punished.

Gime Toure (part hidden) scores Carlisle United’s second goal at Roots Hall (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

The defeat leaves Southend five points adrift of local rivals, Colchester United. The Blues return to Sky Bet League Two action on Tuesday, April 6 when they face Morecambe at the Globe Arena (6pm). Then they take on Crawley Town at Roots Hall Stadium on Saturday 10 (3pm).

Southend United: Mark Oxley, Alan McCormack (Kyle Taylor 34’), Shaun Hobson, Tyler Cordner, Simeon Akinola (Brandon Goodship 73’), Tom Clifford, Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, Emile Acquah (Ricky Holmes 58’), Ashley Nathaniel-George, Jason Demetriou (Capt) (Jacob Mellis 73’), Nathan Ferguson (Elvis Bwomono 73’) Sub not used: Harry Seaden (GK), Greg Halford

Booked: Kyle Taylor (foul)
Goals: None

Carlisle United: Paul Farman, George Tanner, Aaron Hayden (Capt), Joe Riley, Callum Guy, Lewis Alessandra, Offrande Zanzala, Omari Patrick (Gime Toure 73’), Jon Mellish (Nick Anderton 88’), Rod McDonald, Jack Armer Subs not used: Magnus Norman (GK), Taylor Charters, Dean Furman, Cedwyn Scott, Ethan Walker

Booked: Rod McDonald (foul)
Goals: Offrande Zanzala 17’, Gime Toure 79’

Referee: Alan Young
Assistants: Louis Marks and Andy Bennett
Fourth Official: Matthew Lee

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]