Southend Subs Can't Stop Lambert Lambast


Four goals from Rickie Lambert destroyed Southend as the Bristol Rovers striker confirmed his place as the season's leading scorer.

He was on a hat-trick after just over half an hour and his fourth, early in the second half, took him to 15 for the campaign.

Southend sent on their three substitutes after that and pulled two goals back, but the result was already in the bag.

Macca did get in the side as Sawyer picked up a groin strain from somewhere and not because of rubbish rumours he's off to Ipswich. He can't be, we've got him under contract! The Dubliner though was hopelessly behind the pace for most of the game.

Rovers are unbeaten now in the seven games and Southend were in trouble from the start when their captain Adam Barrett - who used to captain Rovers - mis-hit a clearance onto his own bar.

No-one went up with Lambert as he was left with a free header from Stuart Campbell's corner from the right.

A fine save by Adam Federici, on loan from Reading, denied Lambert a second goal minutes later, but he was ideally positioned to drive home David Pipe's cross from an unchallenged run down the right on 16 minutes.

His hat-trick goal, which was set up for him by new partner Jo Kuffour, left Southend stunned and dispirited.

They could easily have gone in six down with their one decent ball into the box having come from their other Reading loanee, Hal Robson-Kanu.

There were some harsh words spoken in their half-time dressing room and certainly that had an effect as they pressed Rovers for the first time.

But ten minutes in, another Campbell corner from the right saw Lambert bury yet another unchallenged header.

Blues boss Steve Tilson played the only Southend card he could with his triple substitution and drew a brief but dramatic response as centre-back Peter Clarke and sub Francis Laurent grabbed goals to ruin Rovers' hopes of a fourth clean sheet in six starts.

Never Tilly's way of course but should the substitutions been made earlier, in fact should Laurent have been on at the start? He must be against Leeds.

While we have got away with Francis at left back in the previous two games The Gas had a real right winger this time around and Simon was truly found out. Luckily Harding can return on Tuesday.

A third goal would have made it fun at the end as Rovers started to look at touch shaky for the first time, however they got back in their stride but saw substitute striker Darryl Duffy, who came on for the last 20 minutes, miss three good chances, one a super stop by Clarke.

A Day Tripper and some comments to back up the horrible marks given below for the Blues when I get over a less than brilliant day, the M4 was rubbish as well!

Coca-Cola League One, Saturday, 25th October 2008 @ 15:00; The Memorial Stadium
Click for Bristol Rovers squad list
Lambert 10, 16, 33, 55
Clarke 70
Laurent 75
Click for Southend United squad list
Starting Line-ups
1Phillips 7
5Hinton 7
15Anthony 7
32Lescott 7
4Lines 7
20Disley 7
7Campbell 8
14Pipe 7
11Hughes (Jacobson 73)7
9Lambert 9
17Kuffour (Duffy 73)7
Substitutes
13Green, M
3Jacobson (Hughes 73)
2Green, R
18Hunt
10Duffy (Kuffour 73)
16Goal Attempts9
9On Target5
6Off Target4
1Hit Woodwork0
1Offsides3
4Corners8
14Fouls13
Starting Line-ups
32Federici 7
2Francis  4 
5Clarke 6
15Sankofa 6
6Barrett 6
20Christophe 5
21Betsy (Scannell 64)5
8McCormack (Grant 64)5
17Robson-Kanu 6
10Walker (Laurent 63)5
11Revell 5
Substitutes
24Joyce
30O'Keefe
12Scannell (Betsy 64)7
7Grant (McCormack 64)5
26Laurent (Walker 63)7
Referee
K Evans, Greater Manchester 7
Attendance
7055
Bristol Rvs. Cards
(none)
Southend Utd. Cards
Francis55unsporting behaviour