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Southend United 0 Rochdale 3
Under-fire Southend boss, Kevin Bond’s men are still pointless after crashing to a humiliting reverse, against the in-form Dale.
The lacklustre Shrimpers had absolutely no answer to Ian Henderson, Aaron Morley and Callum Camps strikes either side of the break.
A slow start saw the Shrimpers at least enjoy territorial advantage, before a 16th minute Nathan Ralph slip lead to a yellow card for a high Luke Hyam tackle on Stephen Dooley.
From Dooley’s cleared free-kick, Stephen Humphrys took responsibility and his run from deep saw it ended with a fine cross, which Brandon Goodship should have swolled up, but missed his kick from barely six yards.
Without really creating any clear-cut opportunities, the Shrimpers were denied a borderline handball appeal against Dale’s Rhys Norrington-Davies, from Ethan Hamilton’s 28th minute set-piece. For his pains, the hapless Hamilton was cautioned for dissent.
Without really testing the home defence, the Lancashire side took a 35th minute lead when skipper, Henderson rounded off a fine, five-man move, tapping home from a yard out.
The patient home crowd then turned on under-fire boss, Kevin Bond, barely two minutes later, when Morley proffited from a Callum Camps flick-on and drilled past a helpless Oxley.
Two so nearly became three seconds after the restart, as Dale’s Norrington-Davies was allowed to cross for Henderson, only for White to make desperate clearance.
Southend were so out of sorts, that it was Rochdale who kept asking all the questions, with White bravely clearing Henderson’s 50th minute cross from the on-rushing Dooley – and getting injured in the process – eventually being replaced by Rob Kiernan – following lengthy treatment.
Man-on-a-mission, Humphrys finally managed the host’s first on-target effort, on 67 minutes, with the grossly underworked Robert Sanchez pushing the striker’s effort around a post.
From Hyam’s flag-kick, Humphrys’ strike partner, Goodship was only inches wide with a curling effort.
Having already used two subs, Charlie Kelman’s 72nd minute introduction was Bond’s last throw of the dice, with Goodship leaving the fray.
But Southend’s turgid second-half showing worsened when Camps finally got his goal twelve minutes from time, blasting past Oxley, from ten yards, from Norrington-Davies’s pull back.
Failing to trouble the visiting defence in the remainder of this forgettable contest, Dale sub, Ollie Rathbone, spurned a glorious 88th minute chance, but spared the Blues’ blushes by heading Dooley’s flag-kick into the 229 travelling supporters.
Mainly blameless for his side’s goals, Oxley twice denied sub, Matt Done, in stoppage time, before a chorus of boos, several fans calling for Bond’s dismissal rang out around a fast-emptying stadium.
Southend United: Mark Oxley, Jason Demetriou, John White (Rob Kiernan 52), Harry Lennon, Nathan Ralph, Mark Milligan (capt), Ethan Hamilton (Layton Ndukwu 46), Simon Cox, Luke Hyam, Brandon Goodship (Charlie Kelman 72), Steven Humphrys. Subs not used: Nathan Bishop, Elvis Bwomono, Isaac Hutchinson, Andre Blackman.
Rochdale: Robert Sanchez, Jimmy Keohane, Eoghan O’Connell, Jim McNulty, Rhys Montgomery, Refeil Pyke, MJ Williams, Aaron Morley, Stephen Dooley, Callum Camps, Ian Henderson (capt). Subs not used: Jay Lynch, Ryan McLaughlin, Calvin Andrew, Ollie Rathbone, Matt Done, Jimmy Ryan, Tyler Magloire.
Referee: Lee Swabey
Assistant Referees: Anthony da Costa & Oliver Jackson
Fourth Official: Matthew Lee