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SUFC Youth Teams - News, Match Reports

Sounds like Mikey Faulkner had another good game.

Southend United bag late leveller in eight goal thriller with Dartford​

BEAU MacDonald’s last-minute penalty earned Southend United a share of the spoils in an entertaining National League Under 19 Alliance South Division fixture with Dartford at Roots Hall.

MacDonald showed composure to convert upon his return to the team as a substitute following a back injury after league champions Dartford had fought back from 2-0 and 3-2 behind to lead 4-3 with 11 minutes remaining.
Mikey Faulkner had put Blues in front after just 12 minutes, and midway through the first half Obi Okafor doubled the lead befo
Ashton Day equalised early in the second period, but George Pulham swiftly restored the lead before Atkins notched a second to level again and Olly Box edged the Darts in front, only for the visitors to be denied at the death.
And Blues coach Danny Heath was delighted with the display.

“It was a pleasing performance against a team that has won the league," said Heath.
"We showed, in patches, that we were better than them on the day, and definitely overall that we were as good as them.
"That’s a compliment to the boys because that shows how far they have come as a group this season and how much they’ve improved."

It did not take long for Southend to find their stride, with Pulham and Faulkner combining to set up Tyrese Sibanda in the third minute for a 20-yard shot that was gathered by Reece Hobbs in the Dartford goal.
The visitors then showed the pedigree that had earned the title with 17 wins from their first 23 fixtures as Box found Jayden Boulton on the overlap and his cross was powered wide from close range by Atkins in the sixth minute.

Atkins won possession from the restart and dragged a left-footed shot wide before defender George Whitefield nodded a Box free-kick wide on 11 minutes.
However, the growing confidence around the Blues squad was on full display just 60 seconds later as Faulkner put the hosts in front.
The playmaker latched onto a long ball and took the ball in his stride, rounding goalkeeper Hobbs and slotting into the unguarded net.
Box saw another set-piece headed wide by Louie Earley at the other end, with Blu Husthwaite’s fierce effort charged down shortly afterwards, but the Shrimpers were more than capable of matching their opponents going forwards and Faulkner slid Sibanda clear for an effort that Hobbs had to tip around the left-hand upright.
There was to be no stopping Southend a few moments later as the hosts doubled their advantage.
Luke Cerullo’s long goal-kick was helped into the path of Okafor by Ellis Lawson, and he sprinted away from the Dartford defence before rolling the ball beyond Hobbs and wheeling away in celebration.
The Darts responded within a minute to halve their deficit immediately through Atkins, who received the ball on the left-hand side of the penalty area and sent a left-footed finish underneath Cerullo and in off the base of the right-hand post.
Blues almost restored their two-goal lead in the 27th minute after Faulkner picked out Lawson’s run and he sent a rasping shot against the left-hand post, whilst Jake Huet’s through-ball released Pulham for a left-footed finish that was curled marginally over the crossbar.

Both teams continued to craft opportunities, and a foul on Sibanda led to Blake’s free-kick being fielded by Hobbs before the visiting custodian bravely dived at the same player’s feet on 33 minutes to prevent him from converting a measured Faulkner pass.
At the other end Cerullo cleared ahead of Jeremiah Pinder before brilliantly turning a low Atkins attempt away from goal.
The half ended with Southend on top as Shehu firstly set-up Pulham for a fierce 25-yard strike that was sent over before finding Faulkner with his next pass, with the second-year scholar driving into space before seeing Hobbs spring off his line to smother the ball at his feet as he entered the penalty area.
Blues were straight into their work at the start of the second period, with Faulkner and Okafor combining to set up Blake for a 15-yard attempt that was dispatched over.
But they were dealt a set-back when Dartford equalised on 49 minutes as Box’s left-wing corner wasn’t claimed by Cerullo and sub Day turned home from inside the six-yard box.
Cerullo managed to push a Box strike over a couple of minutes later, and that enabled Southend to edge in front again on 53 minutes.
A sweeping left-wing move ended with Lawson squaring the ball to Pulham eight yards out and he coolly side-footed past Hobbs.

Heath sent on Piers Hatcliff and Jack Stone for Lawson and Blake 10 minutes later as he sought to keep Blues on the front foot, although Box curled over from 25 yards out immediately afterwards.
Then, with 13 minutes remaining, Dartford levelled again as Box centred from the left for Atkins to tap home from close-range.
Two minutes later, Southend were behind for the first time in the game.
Cerullo over-committed himself and brought down Day outside the penalty area, and Blues were punished in the most severe fashion when the excellent Box sent a dipping free-kick into the left-hand corner of the net.
Heath made further changes, emptying the bench with the introduction of Louis Bragg, Joshua Jackson and MacDonald, and Southend’s persistence paid off in the final minute of regulation time when Sibanda turned Day as he received Faulkner’s short corner and was sent tumbling to the ground.
MacDonald took responsibility for the penalty and slammed it home to make it 4-4.
Blues had a huge shout for another spot-kick when Stone was sent to the ground by Hobbs two minutes later, and despite those appeals being waved away the forward had a chance to seal a dramatic victory in the fifth minute of stoppage time when he was fed by Hatcliff, but he skewed wide and the two teams had to be content with a draw.
Southend United U19s: Cerullo, Huet (Bragg 80), Lawson (Hatcliff 63), Shehu (Jackson 86), Molefi, Shobowale, Pulham, Blake (Stone 63), Okafor (MacDonald 80), Faulkner, Sibanda.
Comprehensive report on a fixture no-one saw fit to advertise in advance.