WITH INCLEMENT weather conditions hampering local sporting events, Southend United staged their Central League fixture with Bristol Rovers on the impressive 3g pitch at Garon Park on Tuesday afternoon.
The new ground, home to ProKit UK Essex Olympian League club, Old Southendian FC, hosted the Blues under 18 side at the weekend, and with the sodden surface at the Blues Boots & Laces training ground, still unfit, Garon was again chosen, this time for the under 23 sides fixture.
A sizable crowd witnessed what turned out to be an entertaining contest. Freddy Eastwood capitalised on some hesitant defending to fire Southend into an early lead. However, Rovers hit back before the interval to lead. Harry Warwick restored parity before Theo Widdrington netting from the spot for the Gasheads.
But the game was to twist back in Southend’s favour after the break. Substitute, Bobby Unwin, rifled home from distance. Then, a Matthew Rush penalty reestablished Southend’s lead after Oli Coker was felled by Rovers stopper, Alexis Andre-JR.
And that proved to be decisive as Southend honed in on an impressive victory. Isaac Hutchinson added a fourth sixteen minutes from time, then Rush added a fifth and his second with a deflected effort in the final minute.
Southend United U23: Seaden, Howard (Capt), Osimeh, Brogan (Brown 80’), Taylor, Wallace (Knock 85’), O Coker, Hutchinson, Acquah, Rush, Eastwood (Unwin 46’)
Bristol Rovers U23: Andre-JR, Russe (Capt), Hoole, Mehew, Noble, Raymond, Matthews, Clutton (Tomlinson 70’), Warwick, Widdrington, Barrett