Southend United U23 4-1 Fleetwood Town U23
LIAM RIDGEWELL and Jason Demetriou both featured in the Southend United under 23 side which swept aside their Fleetwood Town counterparts at Roots Hall Stadium this afternoon.
Former Aston Villa, Birmingham and West Brom defender, Ridgewell completed the full ninety minutes, while Cypriot skipper, Demetriou completed almost an hour as the pair gleaned valuable minutes in a bid to bolster Kevin Bond’s first-team options.
The match itself proved to be an entertaining one for the sparse but enthusiastic crowd. Demetriou was involved in the opening goal, exquisitely picking out Emile Acquah, who powerfully headed beyond Scott Pengelly in the Fleetwood goal.
Fleetwood restored parity when Harvey Saunders seized on a defensive error, then beat Harry Seaden with a superb speculative 40-yard strike
Acquah, certainly looking the part, reestablished the Blues advantage with another neat header – this time, Tom Clifford the provider. And the Blues extended their lead in first-half stoppage time. Matt Rush supplying the close-range finish after Terrell Egbri’s centre had eluded Pengelly.
Freddie Eastwood’s deflected effort cannoned back off the face of the bar. However, minutes later Eastwood was again involved – teeing up Rush, who slotted low past Pengelly for the Blues fourth.
Blues will now face either Scunthorpe United or Shrewsbury Town at Roots Hall, the winners elevated to the group stages of the competition.
Southend United: Harry Seaden, Jason Demetriou (Ide Osimeh 56’), Tom Clifford, Sam Brogan (Capt), Richard Taylor, Liam Ridgewell, Freddie Eastwood, Zak Pianim (O’Shane Stewart 63’), Emile Acquah, Matt Rush, Terrell Egbri Subs not used: Miles Nelson, Jamie Grossart, Bobby Unwin.
Fleetwood Town: Scott Pengelly, Liam Goldsborough, Ryan Rydel, Laurence Smith, Harrison Holgate, James Hill, Jay Matete (Shayden Morris 61’), Gerard Gardner, Harvey Saunders, Dan Mooney (capt) (Sam Halleron 77’), Barry Baggley Subs not used: Jonathan Borwick, Carl Johnston, Michael Fowler.
Referee: Kane Dempster