The Non-League Football Paper


- By Sheridan Robins

SOUTHEND ended their seven-match losing run with victory over a Yeovil Town side who sit firmly in the National League relegation zone after a 15th defeat of the season.

Jake Hyde fired the Shrimpers in front on 24 minutes before Yeovil saw half-time substitute Alex Fisher stretchere­d off after colliding with Southend keeper Collin Andeng-Ndi.

The home side’s frustratio­ns were compounded by Miguel Freckleton being sent off in the closing stages before former Glover Rhys Murphy made sure of victory in the first of 11 added minutes.

Defeat left the Glovers just a point clear of the relegation places having played two games more than closest rivals Gateshead and boss Mark Cooper said: “That encapsulat­es why we are where we are.

“It is not just aimed at forward players. The opposition have to score for us, and we are powderpuff. We had some great chances, and we just can’t score.

“The first time the ball comes into our box, they score. That is the state of mind and where they are with their mindset and the pressure. We could have been here until next week, and we wouldn’t score.

“We look at all the other clubs down there and they have strengthen­ed in that area, and we haven’t. We have to be better in all aspects and it was clearly shown next season. I cannot question their fight but can I question their quality? Probably.”

Yeovil started the brighter and carved out their first opening inside three minutes when Scott Pollock burst in the box but he was unable to find the target.

And it was Southend who took the lead against the run of play after Yeovil failed to clear their lines from a set-piece, and Hyde struck the ball into the bottom corner.

The goal really affected the home side and they almost conceded a second when Harry Cardwell’s header was well saved by Grant Smith to his righthand side.

Cooper responded by bringing on Fisher for the second half but just seven minutes later he suffered a horrific injury after colliding with Andeng-Ndi. The 11-minute stoppage was awful for all to see, and he was stretchere­d off to rapturous applause from both sets of supporters.

Yeovil tried to push for an equaliser but Pollock again saw his second half effort saved by Andeng-Ndi, while Owen Bevan headed over from a corner.

Freckleton was then giving his marching orders by referee Ed Duckworth after picking up his second yellow card with the Glovers shorn of another player ahead of their big clash with Gateshead on Tuesday.

And the misery was complete when Murphy, back at his former club, returned to haunt them by firing home in the 90th minute to put the game beyond doubt.

STAR MAN: Harry Cardwell (Southend) ATT: 3,615 ENTERTAINM­ENT: ★★★★★ REFEREE: Ed Duckworth

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