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Southend United v Walsall

Southend United
3 - 2
Walsall

Roots Hall

18/03/2017

Attendance: 6,756

Referee:

Jon Whitney's Walsall are still looking for a first away win of 2017 after they squandered a 2-0 advantage to lose 3-2 against play-off chasing Southend United.

The first surprise of the afternoon came in the Walsall team news as record signing Andreas Makris started his first game since November 2016. Ex-Walsall defender Jason Demetriou was on the bench for the home side.

The game started with Southend having plenty of possession and an early Anthony Wordsworth strike flashed past Neil Etheridge's post as Phil Brown's side looked to seize the early initiative. The omens weren't looking good for Walsall when top scorer Erhun Oztumer was forced off with an injury in the 15th minute. Former Southend midfielder Franck Moussa replaced Oztumer, and it was Moussa who opened the scoring as he converted Joe Edwards' low left-wing cross with a deft finish into the far corner. Moussa, who has come in for plenty of deserved criticism this season, sensationally made it 2-0 just seven minutes later as he again finished from another Edwards cross.

Makris, Moussa and the rest of the Saddlers midfield linked up well for the remainder of the first half and Southend rarely threatened to ensure it remained 2-0 at the break.

The second-half started in a similar fashion with Southend struggling to break down a resilient Saddlers defence and it was no surprise to see Phil Brown introduce Demetriou and Theo Robinson into the action on the 52nd minute. The two substitutes instantly added some more drive to The Blues' attack and the visitors' backline dropped deeper and deeper to counter the pace of Robinson.

The increasing pressure told on the 63rd minute as Walsall switched off at a free-kick and Nile Ranger took advantage to head home Will Atkinson's left-wing cross. The momentum was now with the home-side and it was only a matter of time until Southend got the equaliser, and again the goal from a set-piece. This time, a Wordsworth free-kick was defended poorly and Anton Ferdinand lashed home a volley from the edge of the box past Etheridge.

By this stage there really was only one winner, and Southend scored the winning goal after James O'Connor fouled Wordsworth on the edge of the box and substitute Simon Cox curled the free-kick beyond the reach of Etheridge.

The game fizzled out after the sensational turn-around and Whitney will now have two weeks to reflect and prepare his team for another difficult away trip to Bradford City.


Writer:TP1992
Date:Sunday March 19 2017
Time: 8:42PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Sheff Utd 45 29 10 6 97 44
2 Bolton 45 24 11 10 83 28
3 Fleetwood 45 23 12 10 81 21
4 Scunthorpe 45 23 10 12 79 24
5 Bradford 45 20 18 7 78 19
6 Millwall 45 19 13 13 70 8
7 Southend 45 19 12 14 69 16
8 Rochdale 45 19 11 15 68 9
9 Oxford 45 19 9 17 66 11
10 Bristol Rovers 45 18 12 15 66 -1
11 Peterborough 45 17 11 17 62 3
12 MK Dons 45 15 13 17 58 -1
13 Walsall 44 14 16 14 58 -3
14 Charlton 45 13 18 14 57 4
15 Wimbledon 45 13 17 15 56 -3
16 Northampton 45 14 10 21 52 -13
17 Oldham 45 12 16 17 52 -13
18 Shrewsbury 45 13 12 20 51 -15
19 Bury 45 13 11 21 50 -11
20 Gillingham 45 12 13 20 49 -20
21 Port Vale 44 11 12 21 45 -25
R Swindon 45 11 11 23 44 -19
R Coventry 45 9 12 24 39 -29
R Chesterfield 45 9 10 26 37 -34
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