Captain Craig turns from sinner to saint as Shrimpers shock Chairboys in five goal thriller
By westfield shrimper
Updated Tuesday, 15th February 2011
Southend United 3 Wycombe Wanderers 2: A final two minutes of madness in a game that had it all saw the Shrimpers grab a stoppage time winner after a last minute Chairboys equaliser!So in the end the only change was a straight swap, Mark Phillips in at centre-back for the injured Bilel Mohsni, so much for livening the side up, but probably Blues boss Paul Sturrock never had any intention of bringing in a number of new faces, and against third placed Wycombe Wanderers he's probably right.
This was certainly a game of two halves from the Shrimpers point of view, the first very average; the second, just amazing! I'll have what Sturrock puts in the players half-time tea!
Little happened early on the ball moving around midfield, a free-kick here, a cross there, before Kane Ferdinand had a go from outside the box that went wide on 15 minutes.
Three minutes later the home side nearly took the lead, an Anthony Grant gets a shot in inside the six-yard box but hits the left hand post!
Then the returning Mark Phillips even tries his luck but his effort is easily saved by Chairboys keeper Nikki Bull.
At last Wycombe started getting in the game, Matt Bloomfield, Jon-Paul Pittman going close, Rhys Evans in the Shrimpers goal though looks safe.
Former Shrimpers wideboy Kevin Betsy is brought on after only 27 minutes and immediately strikes the ball way over Evan's crossbar.
However, the increased pressure finally paid off for the promotion chasers from Buckinghamshire when on the half-hour Stuart Beavon found Pittman after a superb Scott Rendell dummy 16 yards out and his low drive finds the bottom left corner.
Wycombe continue to press as shots by Dave Winfield and Anthony Straker have shots saved by Evans, Southend need the half-time whistle to calm things down which eventually comes.
And the break did the trick as five minutes in Shrimpers top scorer Barry Corr returned to some form as his header close in found the net from a Ryan Hall left wing corner, his 13th goal of the season.
Just before the hour the game was turned on it's head, Hall the provider again, this time from a staright cross, the talented youngster Kane Ferdinand taking advantage heading home.
The Chairboys must have wondered what had hit them and tried to claw there way back into the game as they stepped up the pressure, believing they had drawn level when Evans fumbled a Betsy corss, Beavon hitting the crossbar from eight yards when scoring seemed easier.
Luggy reacted to all this by taking off Corr for Harry Crawford on 75 minutes and just two minutes later the Essex boys had a chance to close the game when Grant was fouled in the box by Marvin McCoy, penalty, but Blair Sturrock's spot-kick was saved by Bull, a poor effort.
A miss that looked as if it was going to be punished by Wycombe when with a minute left on the clock referee Woolmer adjudged that Captain Craig Easton had handled the ball in the penalty area, it was the away side's turn to have chance 12 yards out allowing Chairboys top scorer Scott Rendell to step up to take it, and level the scores.
So that seemed it, two points lost, but five minutes of stoppage time gave the Roots Hall faithful hope, and they only needed 13 seconds of it!
Craig Easton had the bit between his teeth due to the earlier penalty incident, he was not to be denied vegence; finding himself deep in the opposition box his superb strike found the top left hand corner!
What a game, what a night, bring on Torquay.
Southend Player Markings: Evans - 6, Clohessy - 6, Barker - 6, Phillips - 7, Gilbert - 6, Ferdinand - 8, Grant - 6, Easton - 7, Hall - 7 (Sawyer - 93), Sturrock - 6, Corr - 6 (Crawford 76 - 6).
Referee: Mr. A. Woolmer - 6.