Southend United 3-0 Fleet

In-form Southend continued to chip away at their 10-point deduction by taking maximum points at home to the Fleet.

The Fleet handed a debut to new loan signing Mustapha Olagunju who took his place in defence but it was Mark Cousins who was called into action earliest when a miskick towards Franklin Domi was intercepted by Harry Cardwell. His initial shot was blocked but the ball fell to Daniel Kanu requiring Cousins to make the vital block. The hosts earned another chance in the 10th minute as a delivery from the left found Jack Bridge who pulled it back for Kanu but once again the shot was blocked.

Kanu came ever so close to goal once again when Wes Fonguck whipped a ball into the area to find the Southend number 19 who saw his shot go wide.

Dominic Poleon had the first chance of the match for the Fleet in the 22nd minute. A superb through ball from Ben Chapman was received by the Fleet striker but his effort was dragged wide.

But the hosts broke the deadlock in the 25th minute with a well-executed strike from Oli Coker from distance after Southend broke through the middle, pouncing on a misplaced pass. Cardwell played a 1-2 with Bridge who teed up Coker with a ball across the box and he finished very well.

The hosts thought they had a second moments later, Cardwell on the end of the shot but this time his effort drifted just past the post.

The Fleet applied themselves well in the closing stages of the first-half. Billy Clifford placed Josh Wright’s corner over the bar before Hayden White’s strong run down the right opened up the Southend defence. His cross towards Poleon was left for Clifford following up but he couldn’t get a clean connection and Nick Hayes made the stop. Craig Tanner then sent a rising shot over the bar.

The opening stages of the second half started brightly for the Fleet with a shot coming in from substitute Nathan Odokonyero which went just high and wide of the goal in an attempt to level the playing field.

However, the hosts doubled their goal tally with a superb finish from skipper Gus Scott-Morriss. Goal scorer became provider as Coker laid a neat ball to the full-back who then fired a looping shot into the top corner.

Moments later, Ben Chapman almost clawed one back but a diving block from Ollie Kensdale kept the Fleet at bay. 

A combination between two substitutes led to a third for the Shrimpers, this time Jack Wood the scorer. Good attacking football from the hosts allowed the ball to be carried through the Fleet backline, with Mauro Vilhete beating his man to provide Wood with the third of the night.

The Fleet ended the match with 10 men as White was unable to continue in added time, all three substitutions having been used.

EUFC: Cousins, White, Olagunju, Hollis, Solly, Wright, Clifford (Odokonyero 46), Chapman, Domi (Edser 63), Tanner (Sterling-James 68), Poleon. Subs not used: O’Neill, Amoo
SUFC: Hayes, Scott-Morriss, Kensdale, Bridge, Husin (MacDonald 90), Cardwell, Taylor, Fonguck, Kanu (Wood 78), Kabongolo, Coker (Vilhete 68)
Attendance: 6,339 (242 EUFC)

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