Shrimpers bring in new year with a bang after a couple of crackers!

Last updated : 03 January 2011 By westfield shrimper

Corr Blimey, the lads must have though they were are still playing at Cheltenham!

But for starters, Blues boss Paul Sturrock made five changes to the Southend line-up for the League Two clash at the Kassam Stadium and the three wins in a row Oxford United.

The big surprise was Anthony Grant out with a knee injury, we're told, hope it's not because someone's come in with a bid, while Bilel Mohnsi's ankle sadly didn't recover in time.

Our two best players, this should have been a tough afternoon, there were a few youngsters out there!

One of them, Kane Ferdinand, makes his senior debut in midfield, and Graham Coughlan has also started, slipping into the back four.

Luggy has chosen Rhys Evans over Glenn Morris in goal, who has also been struggling with an ankle injury, while Louie Soares replaces the Crawley-bound Josh Simpson on the right flank.

Up front, Barry Corr returns to the side in place of Jack Midson who has returned to his parent club but Oxford have not even placed him on the bench as they did in their 2-1 home win over Macclesfield last Tuesday.

Now the good bit.

With 5 home defeats we felt the U's were fragile at the Kassam, but with the Shrimpers seriously weakened due to the loss of Grant and Mohsni, a two goal lead at the break is bloody Disneyland!

Though possession has been roughly equal, at the business ends of the pitch it's been all Blues, with three Oxford players receiving cautions, and two of them have been substituted already!

The inconsistant Soares has started well, looking busy, and it was his corner that opened Southend's account on 18 minutes.

Coughlan was making himself a nusiance and his flick found Barry Corr inside the area to score with a low drive through a sea of legs.

That would have good enough to welcome in the New Year for the travelling faithful in the 7,362 crowd as the home side continued to be ineffective against the hard working Essex boys when with a minute to go before the break, that goal scoring sensation at right back, one Sean Clohessy, decided to cheer them up even more.

Assisted by the veteran Coughlan again, the former Gillingham defender let fly, er, well, his cross from near the touchline 35 yards out drifted over U's shot stopper Ryan Clarke and went in off the woodwork, but it still sent the away section of the crowd absolutely crazy, with the U's support stunned into a eerie silence. Two bloody nil, at half-time, away from home; again!

And the second period started just as well with the Shrimpers bossing the game now, Blair Sturrock should have done better two minutes in when somehow clearing the bar from six yards in, and Corr also went close soon after.

Another corner by Soares, this one cleared by an increasingly busy Clarke.

Then at last, decent efforts from Oxford's Alfie Putter and James Constable, both goes wide left, yet on the whole the home side are reduced to being caught off-side or fouling their opponents, as a fourth U's player goes into the book!

This is looking good!

Southend are now seeing time out, with the forgotten man Matt Paterson replacing a tiring Corr with ten minutes left and he was soon in the action with a rasping shot.

A couple of token Oxford strikes are easily delt with by Evans, though Steve Maclean was unlucky with a far-post header that came back off the post, and there was just time for son of Luggy to lob keeper Clarke but it fell wide and the match came to an end.

A cracking six points from two away games in a row spread over two and a half weeks!

And it's the first of them, the Robins of Cheltenham, that we welcome to Roots Hall on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon for the first match at the home of football since November the 16th!

Bring it on!

Southend player markings: Evans - 7, Clohessy - 7, Barker - 9, Coughlan - 8, Herd - 7, Soares - 5, Easton - 8, Ferdinand - 6, Hall - 6, Sturrock - 7, Corr - 8 (Paterson 79 - 7).

Referee - Mr. C Sarginson - 7.

U's 0-2 Shrimpers: View commentary, squad, and statictics of the game as it happened.

Four points from the play-off zone!

10Torquay United 2032313104621813785312329+8
11Bradford City 215141283267178310192527-6
12Southend United 2032391143514127582323260
13Oxford United 215161413243913759232626-3
14Macclesfield Town 2141512163441416759263226-6

Npower League Two, Saturday, 1st January 2011 @ 15:00
Click for Oxford United squad list
Corr 18
Clohessy 44
Click for Southend United squad list
Starting Line-ups
18Kinniburgh (Craddock 62)
30Futcher (Wright 46)
28Payne (Hall 43)
14Hall (Payne 43)
6Wright (Futcher 46)
29Craddock (Kinniburgh 62)
0Goal Attempts2
0On Target2
0Off Target0
0Hit Woodwork0
Starting Line-ups
10Corr (Paterson 79)
9Paterson (Corr 79)
Chris Sarginson
Oxford Utd. Cards
Heslop32 Unsporting behaviour
Payne36 Unsporting behaviour
Futcher45+3 Unsporting behaviour
MacLean76 Unsporting behaviour
Southend Utd. Cards