Portsmouth 4 Southend United 1
Southend’s fight against the drop took another severe blow on Tuesday night.
Despite a spirited display, this rearranged clash ultimately ended in massive disappointment after goals from John Marquis, an Ellis Harrison double and a Marcus Barness clincher gave under-pressure Kenny Jackett’s men all three points. Brandon Goodship’s strike was scant consolation for a sinking Southend.
Having soaked up early pressure, the Seasiders settled well. Youngster, Isaac Hutchinson pulled the midfield strings and set up Goodship, who wasted a glorious 33rd minute chance – shooting straight at Alex Bass.
Pompey were barely in the contest and Harrison blew a decent opportunity soon after, before that man Hutchinson picked out Simon Cox, who was only inches over with a rasping drive.
Cruelly and definitely against the run of play, Marquis got the faintest of touches to sub, Brandon Haunstrup’s cross with literally the last kick of the opening half.
Southend started the second period on the attack, with Tom Hopper and Goodship seeing efforts blocked.
But, the game was effectively over on 50 minutes when the Shrimpers failed to clear and Harrison blasted home from close range.
And, there was no let-up as the one-time Premier League outfit piled on the agony, with skipper, Tom Naylor’s speculative 55th minute drive only rebounding to safety off Bishop’s near post.
Portsmouth then wasted several chances with Ryan Williams the chief culprit – heading a gilt-edged opportunity over from literally under the Southend crossbar.
But, Southend didn’t give up and Goodship – from a short Elvis Bwomono pass – reduced the arrears with a powerful drive, on 69 minutes, which Bass embarrassingly fumbled into his own goal.
Soon after, Bwomono tested the red-faced gloveman with an audacious lob, much to the derision of the 316-strong Shrimpers’ support.
Harrison then restored Portsmouth’s advantage, on 80 minutes, from the spot, following a foul on Sean Raggett.
Harness made it a flattering four, rubbing salt into Southend’s wounds with an angled drive past a despairing Bishop, six minutes from time.
Portsmouth: Alex Bass, Ross McCrorie (Brandon Haunstrup 40), Christian Burgess, Sean Raggett, Lee Brown, Ryan Williams (Marcus Harness 73), Tom Naylor (captain), Ben Close, Ronan Curtis, John Marquis, Ellis Harrison. Subs (not used): Luke McGee, Paul Downing, Gareth Evans, Andy Cannon, Brett Pitman.
Southend United: Nathan Bishop, Elvis Bwomono, Joe Shaughnessey, Timothee Dieng, Harry Lennon (Rob Kiernan 74), Nathan Ralph, Mark Milligan, Isaac Hutchinson, Simon Cox (Emile Acquah 61), Brandon Goodship, Tom Hopper (Matt Rush 86). Subs (not used): Mark Oxley (gk), Layton Ndukwu, Jason Demetriou, Richard Taylor.
Referee: Lee Swabey
Assistants: Conor Farrell and Ollie Williams
Fourth Official: Sam Allison