Jack’s spot-on for play-off hopeful’s Southend

Southend United v Dagenham & Redbridge – Vanarama National League – Roots Hall Stadium – Report

Southend United 2-0 Dagenham & Redbridge

Two second-half penalties from Jack Bridge saw Southend United through to a crucial 2-0 win over local rivals Dagenham & Redbridge and extend their unbeaten run to four games – the victory leaving Blues now only three points outside the play-off spots in ninth place.

After a slow start to the match, twenty minutes in Harry Cardwell ran onto a loose ball in the Daggers area before his low effort was well saved by Dagenham goalkeeper Elliot Justham and although the hosts continued to threaten, former Blues winger Myles Weston won the ball on the right before cutting inside and running through on goal, only to see his curling effort parried away by Collin Andeng Ndi.

On the stroke of half-time, Henry Sandat’s ball put Harry Cardwell clear only for Manny Onariase to force the striker wide before Justham diverted his shot over the bar.

Just following the break, Josh Hare upended Bridge in the box and after referee Daniel Middleton awarded the spot kick, it was Bridge himself who cooly converted past Justham into the bottom left-hand corner to put Blues 1-0 up.

Just minutes after, Southend were awarded a second penalty when Sandat was brought to ground in the box by Harry Phipps and Bridge stepped up to put the ball into the same spot once more to net his twelfth goal of the season.

With just a quarter of an hour to go, substitute Callum Powell was put through on goal, only for Justham to save the ex-Kettering Town striker’s effort with his legs.

A crucial win for Blues, who now head to Oldham Athletic on Tuesday, April 18 whilst Dagenham, who remain in tenth spot – one place behind Southend, travel to Altrincham on the same night – with both games kicking off at 7.45pm. 

Southend United: Andeng Ndi, Bridge (Demetriou 88’) Lomas, Kensdale, Hobson, Scott-Morriss, Miley (Capt.) Taylor, Husin (Fonguck 90’) Sandat (Powell 68’) Cardwell Subs not used: Mooney, Wreh

Dagenham & Redbridge: Justham, Johnson (Saunders 83’) Phipps, Onariase, Hare, Ling, Longe-King (Mussa 66’) Sagaf, Effiong, Balanta (Capt.) Weston (Ibie 74’) Subs not used: Strizovic, Bird

Referee: Daniel Middleton

Assistant Referees: Marcus Carmichael and Ryan Head

Fourth Official: Matthew Norton

Attendance: 7,345 (735 from Dagenham & Redbridge)