Southend United 0 – 1 Gateshead 1
Southend United went down to their second defeat in succession as Gateshead moved up into the Vanarama National League play-off places with a win at Roots Hall.
Kevin Maher named the same starting line-up following Southend’s 3-0 defeat at league leaders Chesterfield last week with Salford City loanee Marcus Dackers retaining his place to make his first home start since rejoining the club last month after further loan spells at Woking and Altrincham.
Following an uneventful start lacking creativity and spark from both teams, Gateshead had two early attempts at goal with Connor McBride crashing the ball over the bar before Marcus Dinanga’s shot across the face of goal fizzed just wide of the post later in the half.
Cav Miley had a couple of efforts blocked early on for Blues before Noor Husin’s free kick – straight into the midriff of Gateshead keeper Eddie Beach – was Southend’s best opportunity prior to the break.
Gateshead took the lead in the 58th minute when Dinanga netted his eighteenth goal of the season after lashing home past Collin Andeng-Ndi following a frantic goalmouth scramble.
With ten minutes left on the clock, Southend created their first noteworthy chance of the game when skipper Nathan Ralph’s stinging effort was well saved by Beach at the near post.
Blues kept up the pressure and were unfortunate not to take something from the game in stoppage time with Harry Cardwell heading Jack Bridge’s corner against the foot of the post before just a minute later, Ralph headed another Bridge set-piece against the crossbar.
The defeat, their third in their last four games, leaves Southend in seventeenth spot and now only two points off the relegation zone places.
Next up for Blues is the visit of York City to Roots Hall on Saturday February 10 (3.00pm)
Southend United: Andeng-Ndi, Scott-Morriss, Ralph, Husin, Taylor (Crowther 46′), Kensdale, Bridge, Dackers (Waldron 61′), Miley, Fonguck (Morton 65′), Cardwell. Subs not used: Sandat, Demetriou.
Gateshead: Beach, Storey, Jobe, Whelan (Stott 78′), Richardson, Francis, Grayson, Worman, Hannant, McBride (Adom 83′), Dinanga (Brown 89′) Subs not used: Evans, Hasani.
Referee: Aaron Bannister
Assistants: Alex Mathieson, Laurentiu Hantea
Fourth Official: Constantine Hatzidakis