POMPEY’S FIGHT ALL BUT GONE
ANDY AWFORD slammed Portsmouth’s lack of fighting spirit as they sunk to their fourth defeat in five games – Southend their latest tormentors.
Second-half goals from strikers Barry Corr and Shaq Coulthirst ended a run of five games without a win for the Shrimpers.
And Pompey boss Awford was left fuming by how easily his side folded on the road at Roots Hall.
“It was so disappointing how we reacted to them scoring,” said Awford. “If you go behind then you have to dig in and we just didn’t do that.
“We didn’t do enough to gain another foothold in the game and we only really created a couple of half chances after they went in front.
“There wasn’t really a lot between the two teams in the first half, and both playing 4-3-3, I think we cancelled each other out.
“The first goal was always going to be important and unfortunately it went to Southend. It came from a set piece which was also disappointing from our point of view and after that we didn’t look like coming back which frustrates me.”
Both teams struggled to create chances in the first half with Southend’s on-loan left back Jerome Binnom-Williams having a powerful first half header from Kevan Hurst’s neatly-taken corner well parried to safety by Portsmouth goalkeeper Paul Jones.
In reply, Portsmouth’s Miles Storey had a powerful effort blocked at his near post by Daniel Bentley at the start of the second half. But the Shrimpers went in front in the 56th minute when Corr headed home his first goal of the season, nodding in from close range after Hurst’s corner rebounded in to his path.
Southend then made sure of the points in the 90th minute with substitute Coulthirst bagging an excellent individual effort.
The on-loan Spurs striker was picked out by David Worrall just ten yards inside Portsmouth’s half and powerfully charged into the penalty area before rolling home a clinical, left-foot shot.
And that made Shrimpers manager Phil Brown a happy man at the final whistle.
“Three points, two goals and a clean sheet made it a pleasing afternoon for us,” said Brown.
“I didn’t think Portsmouth posed too much of a threat but it was still a bit scary towards the end with all their set pieces. I could go through the whole team and single them out for praise but the front three played a big part and that’s pleasing for us.
“This was the start of a big week for us and hopefully we can go in to these two away games that we have coming up buoyed by this good win
“I’m delighted for Barry Corr and Shaq Coulthirst to get among the goals and hopefully this can really kick start our season now “We started it (the big week) off with a win and now hopefully we can compound it with a decent performance at Cheltenham.”
SOUTHEND UNITED: (4-3-3): Bentley 7, White 6, Thompson 7, Prosser 7, Binnom-Williams 8, Hurst 6 (Worrall 73 6), Leonard 7, Deegan 7, Weston 6 (Coulthirst 87 N/A), Payne 7 (Atkinson 79 6), Corr 7 Subs not used: Smith, Ibenfeldt, Barnard, Clifford
PORTSMOUTH: (4-3-3): Jones 6, Wynter 6, Whatmough 6, Robinson 5, Shorey 5 (Butler 72 6), Dunne 5, Wallace 6 (Agyemang 79 6), Hollands 6, Storey 4 (Barcham 61 6), Westcarr 5, Holmes 5
Subs not used: Poke, Devera, Ertl, Close
INCH PERFECT: Barry Corr gets Southend up and running in the second half
SKY HIGH: Southend’s Shaq Coulthirst looks to heavens
STAR MAN JEROM