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Accrington Stanley 1-2 Southend United
AFTER 120 days, 17 weeks and 1 day, 10,368,000 seconds, 172,800 minutes, 2,880 hours and at the seventeenth attempt – Southend United have finally rewarded their long-suffering supporters with a Sky Bet League One victory.
A second-half spot-kick, converted by Jason Demetriou, was enough to see the Shrimpers home at Accrington Stanley, almost four months after the Roots Hall Stadium outfit won at Milton Keynes Dons thanks to an early goal from Charlie Kelman.
For Blues fans, It seems like an eternity since Kelman’s decisive strike at Stadium MK and the promising 18-year-old was in the thick of it again, setting the ball rolling in East Lancashire, thundering home in the eleventh minute after Tom Hopper had fashioned an opening.
But the Blues were swiftly pegged back. Mark Hughes nodding across goal, allowing Dion Charles to supply the finishing touches.
However, following recent concerns over finances, form and above all, the clubs future, this was to be Southend’s moment. Brandon Goodship was felled by Jordan Clark and Cypriot International, Demetriou, rolled in the resulting penalty, reestablishing the Blues lead and setting up a nervy finale for their 233 hardy travelling followers.
Speaking to www.southendunited.co.uk after the game, Boss Sol Campbell enthused: “It’s [a feeling of] relief really and it’s been a long time coming. Some of the results have just not gone our way or we’ve let it slip in the last four, five minutes or just not kept the lead.
“Congratulations to the lads. There have been a few enforced changes today and the lads responded really well and put in a great shift.
Congratulations to everybody that’s a part of Southend, it’s great really.
The former England defender added: “When you look at the Rotherham game, we had really good chances to win the game; same with MK Dons; Bristol Rovers we were two up and let it slip; Bolton, a couple of injuries turned the game on its head – so it’s been coming, we’ve just not finished it off and gotten over the line.
“We had a couple of chances today as well to kill the game completely, but I’m not going to moan about that, I’m just going to be happy and enjoy today.”
Despite recording their second victory of the campaign, the Blues remain next to bottom, twelve points from safety.
Southend United return to Sky Bet League One action on Tuesday, January 28 when they travel to the Keepmoat Stadium to face Doncaster Rovers (7:45pm)
Accrington Stanley: Bursik, Johnson (Zanzala 70’), Hughes, Sykes, Clark, Finley, Pritchard, Bishop, Conneely (Capt) (Diallo 78’), Charles, Alese Subs not used: Savin, Sherif, Maguire, Barclay, Rodgers
Southend United: Oxley, Bwomono, Milligan, Dieng (Capt) (Goodship 10’), Hopper, McLaughlin, Kiernan, Mantom, Kelman (Barratt 75’), Demetriou, White Subs not used: Bishop, Hutchinson, Rush, Phillips, Kinali
Referee: Antony Coggins
Assistants: Robert Akin and Connor Brown
Fourth Official: Helen Edwards
Attendance: 2,146 (233 from Southend)