The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Chris Phillips

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

PIC­TURES: Daniel Ch­ester­ton/phcim­ages.com

INCH PER­FECT: Barry Corr gets Southend up and run­ning in the sec­ond half

SKY HIGH: Southend’s Shaq Coulthirst looks to heavens



-W Southe


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