Hyde’s brace is a boost to Blues’

Dave Bishop
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Southend United v Scunthorpe United – Vanarama National League –

Roots Hall Stadium – Report

Southend United 3-0 Scunthorpe United

Jake Hyde scored twice as Southend United cruised to a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Scunthorpe United at Roots Hall as the Blues extended their unbeaten run in the National League to six games.

Kevin Maher made two changes from the team that lost to Woking in the FA Cup last Saturday with Collin Andeng-Ngi and Wesley Fonguck starting in place of Blondy Nna Noukeu and Jason Demetriou. George Taft, Jacob Butterfield, Colin Daniel, Rob Apter and Tom Pugh replaced Jai Rowe, Caolan Lavery, Dan Gallimore, Alfie Beestin and Cameron Wilson as interim manager Tom Daws made five changes following the Iron’s own FA Cup exit last week – a 1-0 defeat at South Shields.

Southend dominated from the start against a lacklustre Scunthorpe side, who are still struggling to come to terms with National League football following their relegation from EFL at the end of last season.

After a quiet opening spell, the first chance of the game fell to Jake Hyde in the ninth minute, only for him to nod past the upright from Jack Bridge’s cross. Just shortly after, Callum Powell was unfortunate not to put Blues ahead when after chesting the ball down and showing excellent close control, his shot was just wide of the post.

Scunthorpe’s best chance came just before the half-hour mark when Joe Nuthall broke through the Blues’ defence but his intended pass to Butterfield was too long.

By now the match had settled into a pattern of Southend pressure and possession with both Powell and Bridge outstanding on the flanks and it came as no surprise when following Cav Miley’s run, Bridge laid the ball off to the advancing Fonguck to fire home Blues opener from the edge of the box in the thirty-fifth minute.

Kacper Lopata, Noor Husin and Fonguck all had shots from distance before half-time, but it must be said that Southend went into the break having been barely troubled and very much in the ascendency.

Blues began the second half very much in the fashion they ended it and after receiving a long ball out of defence from Ollie Kensdale, Bridge beat his man to put over a perfect cross that fizzed across the area only for there to be nobody in a position to finish the move.

Southend’s second came when Powell played in Hyde, who showed superb close control to round Irons keeper Marcus Dewhurst, delay his shot to wrong-foot the defence and place the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.

Just after the hour mark, Powell’s shot from outside the box was well saved by Dewhurst and the keeper was in action again shortly after when he tipped Kensdale’s shot over the bar.

Just on seventy-three minutes, substitute Chris Wreh’s excellent hold-up play found Bridge, who hit an inch-perfect ball across the area for Hyde to tap home from close range – his fourth goal in five games.

Maher introduced Harry Taylor as a substitute shortly after the goal, with the midfielder coming on to play for the last fifteen minutes of the game – his first match action since being injured against Boreham Wood on the opening day of the season.    

Bridge’s cross gave Hyde an excellent opportunity to complete his hat trick just before the end, but his looping header floated just over the bar. It was the last action of a memorable afternoon for the on-loan Wrexham striker, who left the field to a standing ovation three minutes before the end to be replaced by Rhys Murphy.

The outstanding Bridge almost made it four in stoppage time as his curling free kick went inches past the post but by then the game had long been over as a contest and in truth, Scunthorpe were totally outplayed from start to finish.

A good afternoon for the Blues and a win that takes them up into ninth place & just three points off a play-off position.

Southend United: Andeng-Ngi, Scott-Morriss, Hobson, Kensdale, Bridge, Husin, Powell (Wreh 69’) Miley (Capt.) Fonguck (Taylor 74’) Lopata, Hyde (Murphy 87’) Subs not used: Lomas, Demetriou.

Scunthorpe United: Dewhurst, Daniel (Rowe 69’) Ntlhe, Taft, Boyce, Ogle, Whitehouse (Lavery 52’) Pugh, Butterfield, Nuthall, Apter. Subs not used: Foster, Young, Wilson.

Referee: Aji Ajibola

Assistants: David Hutton and Matthew Morrison

Fourth Official: Lee Hartley

Attendance: 5,842 (114 from Scunthorpe United)