Troubled Blues suffer FA trophy exit

Southend United v York City – Isuzu FA Trophy fifth-round – Roots Hall Stadium – Report

Southend United 0-2 York City

Crisis club Southend United’s Isuzu FA Trophy Wembley dreams ended following a comprehensive 2-0 defeat at the hands of a York City side making their second visit to Roots Hall in a week – a score that did not flatter the Minstermen, who dominated the match throughout to advance to the Sixth Round of the competition.

Kevin Maher made four changes to the team that won 2-1 at Maidenhead United on Tuesday with Jason Demetriou, Wes Fonguck, Callum Powell and Harry Taylor coming in to replace Jack Bridge, Noor Husin, Gus Scott-Morriss and Harry Cardwell. In addition, keeper Collin Andeng Ngi returned from injury to take his place on the substitutes bench, where he was also joined by youth team striker Henry Sandat.

York had far the better of a goalless first half with Ryan Fallowfield going close twice early on before Blondy Nna Noukeu acrobatically tipped Lenell John-Lewis’s shot onto the top of the bar only for the Stoke City loanee to then pulled off yet another superb save to deny Maxim Kouogun’s goal-bound header, following a corner.

John-Lewis was once again unlucky not to put the Minstermen into the lead just after the break when he lobbed Nna Noukeu only for Kacper Lopata to clear – it was only a short reprieve however as on fifty-one minutes, Fraser Kerr headed the visitors into a 1-0 lead from Dan Pybus’ corner.

Despite Maher introducing last week’s match winner Jack Bridge almost immediately after the goal, Southend still found themselves unable to trouble the York defence. Jake Hyde’s header from Bridge’s cross flew straight into the arms of Ryan Whiteley with just over twenty minutes left, being the closest Blues came to scoring in the match.

With Mitch Hancox having a goal ruled out for offside, referee Alan Dale awarded York a penalty following Taylor’s foul only for substitute Manny Duku to see his spot-kick pushed away superbly by Nna Noukeu diving to his right.

It was just a short reprieve for the Blues however as John-Lewis converted a cross from close range with just two minutes remaining to seal the win and York’s place in the next round.

An extremely disappointing afternoon for Southend and they must now turn their attention to National League action once more, with FC Halifax Town due to visit Roots Hall on Tuesday, February 14 (7:45pm). 

Southend United: Nna Noukeu, Ralph, Łopata (Bridge 54’) Kensdale, Hobson, Demetriou, Miley, Taylor, Fonguck (Husin 78’) Hyde, Powell (Cardwell 70’) Subs not used: Andeng Ndi, Scott-Morriss, Clifford, Sandat

York City: Whitley, Whittle, Crookes, Kerr, Kouogun, Fallowfield, Dyson (McLaughlin 78’) Pybus, Hancox (Burgess 90+3’) Forde (Duku 81’) John-Lewis Subs not used: Hurst, James, Campbell, Tanner

Referee: Alan Dale

Assistant Referees: David Hutton and Ryan Head

Fourth Official: Benjamin McDonald

Attendance: 2,780 (103 from York City)