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fbm

Blue tinted optimist⭐
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
8,741
Location
Cloud cuckoo land
There is something about a fixture against Swindon that conjures up special memories for me.  Two of the finest games I have ever seen at the Hall have been against the Robins, a 5-3 victory in the early 80’s and a 3-2  victory in our first season in the old division 2, with Ian Benjamin laying the ball off for Brett Angell to volley into the top corner to nab one of his 2 goals in probably the most entertaining match in the last 15 years.

Even last season’s 2-3 reverse in the league cup was a cracker, and probably produced the most fluent and attractive 45 minutes of football played in the first half of the roller coaster ride that was the 2003/4 season, one of the most memorable campaigns in our history.

Following on from the 6-1 thumping Swindon handed out to us at the County Ground in this very competition the season before that (the last time we lost in the LDV, excluding last years final, incidentally) I reckon we owed them one.

It was probably a good time to be playing them.  They have had some questionable results lately and manager Andy King obviously decided that a change of formation and personnel would be sufficient to face us.  Perhaps he should have had a word with QPR manager Ian Holloway, who cites our 4 - 0 thumping of them at the same stage last season as the most humiliating result of his entire career.  No doubt he would have advised him to field his strongest team in order to try and beat a Southend side that seem to save their best performances for this competition.

Arguably Blues also fielded a “weakened” side, with Eagle missing, Freddy on the bench and Mark Gower not fully fit.  But this was the chance for Lawrie Dudfield to stake a claim and for Mark Bentley to maybe redeem himself after a few below par showings.

From the start, the difference in the oppositions class was evident as Swindon were a yard quicker and much more football orientated than recent visitors to the Hall.  The 9 men behind the ball was missing, the clumsy and aimless lumps forward also absent, and Swindon actually got the ball down and tried to knock it about.

But once Southend got the tempo of the game, they started to carve the Wiltshire side open at every opportunity.  Kavin Maher played a sublime ball through to a stretching Dudfield who toe poked the ball a fraction wide.  Moments later Dudfield turned and outpaced  Heywood (one of the worst defenders I’ve seen down here for a while) before shooting wide when he should have hit the target, and in almost the next attack another fine move saw Adam Barrett shoot wide from 8 yards out.  In fairness, all 3 chances should have at least tested highly rated Rhys Evans, but he was not forced into a save.

Then, after 36 minutes, a comedy of errors led to Blues opening the scoring.  Wilson and Bentley contrived to get in each others way before the ball was cleared towards the visiting goal.  Defender Ifil trod on the ball and Dudfield raced clear before shooting goalwards.  Evans half stopped the ball but was unable to stop the ball going over the line, probably assisted by Duke who was unable to clear.  Still, they all count.

Highly rated forward Parkin had a chance to level but his header was easily gathered by a very impressive Flahavan, who has obviously realised his shortcomings and has been working on them accordingly.  Good for you Darryl and well done.

At half time Blues were one up although three would have been fairer.

After a brief flurry at the start of the second half, Swindon were again on the back foot and were extremely lucky not to concede a second.  Dudfield forced his way behind the back line and produced a superb reflex save from Evans when clean through.  A corner a minute later saw Gray rise above everyone to power a header goalwards but again Evans foiled the striker by brilliantly tipping over.  Then, 2 minutes later, only a last ditch tackle stopped Dudfield doubling the score as he was again clear with just the keeper to beat.

Swindon stepped up a gear, knowing that Blues had failed to capitalise but Southend stood firm.  There was an immense amount of effort and work by every blue shirt as they showed that they wanted it more than their league one counterparts.  Prior headed off the line to keep Blues ahead, and after 73 minutes the Hall erupted as a Nicolau corner crept under the feet and body of Evans to give Blues a 2 goal lead and more breathing space.

The Swindon onslaught never really materialised and although they had a lot of possession in the last 15 minutes they failed to capitalise.  Fallon produced a fine save from Darryl in injury time but Blues had the last word as Nicolau went on a mazy run which forced Evans into yet another diving save to keep the ex Arsenal player at bay.  Freddy came on for Gray in the 90th minute and the Southend faithful were cheering every pass whilst the visiting fans were calling for the managers head.  After some Swindon huffing and puffing and a few further hurried and wayward goal attempts, the referee blew to signal the fact that Blues were in another LDV area final.  This was made even sweeter by learning that Orient had been beaten in injury time in front of only 1800-odd supporters.  

Awww.  No-one like to see that, do they?  They obviously don’t take it seriously enough.

Ratings:

Flahavan – 8.5.  I cannot believe this is the same Darryl Flahavan we have had before.  He has obviously been learning from Bart, because he is distributing the ball quicker than before and is also, wait for it….. <shock, horror> COMING FOR CROSSES!  This would have been a 9 if it weren’t for a couple of dodgy kicks near the end.  Darryl, you don’t have to learn about Bart’s kicking as well.  Please note!  But otherwise well done Mate, you were superb tonight.

Hunt – 8.5 – Another class performance from Lewis.  He showed tonight why he has been able to play comfortably at a higher level.  Excellent.
Prior – 8.5 – Superb.  Totally commanding on the deck and in the air.  Singled out for praise by Radio Swindon.
Barrett – 8 – Usual committed self and is proving what a great attribute he is.  I’d have him over Leon Cort any day.
Wilson – 8.5 – Probably the best I have seen him play for us.  Looked comfortable again up against league 1 attackers and linked up well with Nicky.

Pettefer – 8 – Back on the wide right due to Gowers lack of fitness and put in a superb defensive performance.  Broke up many attacks and made some great tackles.
Maher – 8 – A strong, committed performance from the skipper, interspersed with some fine passes.
Bentley – 7 – An improved display but things just aren’t going for him.  He seems to have lost co-ordination as many of his challenges are clumsy and his first touch is dreadful.  Almost is trying too hard.
Nicolau – 9 – MOM.  The best performance from him since he signed.  He almost got a second after a superb mazy run and shot in injury time that forced a diving save from Evans.  Superb.

Dudfield – 8 – Tireless and got the opener.  On another day would have got a hat trick though.
Gray – 8 – Again, tireless and was desperately unlucky not to score.  Nothing else seemed to go in his favour but back to the phenomenal work rate we have seen before.

Sub –

Eastwood – 6 – didn’t really have very long to get involved and only touched the ball once or twice.

The Ref –

Mr P Joslin – 4 – should have booked a couple of their players and obviously full of his own importance.  Gave us next to nothing in the second half and made some very poor decisions, especially against Bentley whom he seemed to blow up for almost every time he got the ball.
 

Shrimp in a Kilt

Guest
[b said:
Quote[/b] (fbm @ Jan. 26 2005,00:15)]a very impressive Flahavan, who has obviously realised his

shortcomings

Arf Arf...
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Thanks, fbm, as usual well worth waiting up for.
 

Technician

Guest
Excellent as always FBM&#33;
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Without being a fly in the ointment, I would just like to state that Nicolau&#39;s goal was direct from the corner. It bounced awkwardly in front of the keeper, who got a hand to it, but could only help it into the net. I had a pretty good view of it from the South-West corner.
wink.gif
 

fbm

Blue tinted optimist⭐
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
8,741
Location
Cloud cuckoo land
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Technician @ Jan. 26 2005,00:29)]Excellent as always FBM!  
cool.gif


Without being a fly in the ointment, I would just like to state that Nicolau's goal was direct from the corner. It bounced awkwardly in front of the keeper, who got a hand to it, but could only help it into the net. I had a pretty good view of it from the South-West corner.
wink.gif
Then I bow to your better view than mine, whch was from the middle of the West.
 

Beefy

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
18,901
Location
Old Leigh
I&#39;d find it hard to find much to disagree with, fbm. Cracking report and ratings.

Couple of quick points I&#39;d add:

Flav is almost unrecognisable from the keeper he used to be. He&#39;s clearly put a lot of effort in to improve his game and its worked. Some old bloke at the bus stop after the Notts County game was moaning that we&#39;d drop into midtable if Flavs was given a run in the team in Bart&#39;s absense. I hope he was watching tonight.

I thought you might have been slightly generous with your 7 for Bentley. He looked awesome earlier in the season but its just not happening for him at the moment and it&#39;ll be interesting to see what happens when Gower gets fully fit. I don&#39;t see how Tilly can drop Nicolau at the moment so I wonder if we&#39;re going to have a Pettefer/Maher midfield for a while....?
 

fbm

Blue tinted optimist⭐
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
8,741
Location
Cloud cuckoo land
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Beefy @ Jan. 26 2005,00:59)]I&#39;d find it hard to find much to disagree with, fbm. Cracking report and ratings.

Couple of quick points I&#39;d add:

Flav is almost unrecognisable from the keeper he used to be. He&#39;s clearly put a lot of effort in to improve his game and its worked. Some old bloke at the bus stop after the Notts County game was moaning that we&#39;d drop into midtable if Flavs was given a run in the team in Bart&#39;s absense. I hope he was watching tonight.

I thought you might have been slightly generous with your 7 for Bentley. He looked awesome earlier in the season but its just not happening for him at the moment and it&#39;ll be interesting to see what happens when Gower gets fully fit. I don&#39;t see how Tilly can drop Nicolau at the moment so I wonder if we&#39;re going to have a Pettefer/Maher midfield for a while....?
Bentley did quite a lot well tonight, and I feel was unfairly penalised by the ref for almost every challenge. He was much better than he was against Notts County and to be fair I think because everyone else played so well it maybe made it look worse... I took that all into account.

Having said that if we&#39;d lost he&#39;d probablt have got a 5...

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Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
3,538
Location
Exiled in Westbourne Park
Must admit for the first ten minutes of the game I thought we were gonna be given a master class from the league above. My thoughts of a place in league one were tinged with worries that if this wa sthe standard of football we'd be up against we'd struggle. Years of smashed optomism i guess.
A fantastic night.
Flavs saving the shot towards the end, with his chest....fantastic arrogance  
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. Swindon seemed broken. What a great team we are eh!
I had some nomads behind me who came to mock and scorn the local club they never go and see. Each player was called by his shirt number each mistake, when they happened, derided with catcalls and whoops of derision.
Strangely by the end they were discussing a tri[p to Cardiff  and a trip back here on Saturday...well there's some bands playing too.
Uncle Ron seems to have become a footbal crazed obsessive like the rest of us now.

But Tilly...what about tilly's CV. takes us to the LDV final. Gets us in promotuion spot. Back in the LDV Southern final. All in his first seaso as manager.
Rip off that Chelsea shirt from the mayor because I have an idea who to elect.

...Poor Orient, always scoring in league matches of late in the last minute when, we hoped.... listening to the scores coming in that they were gonna lose. Nice to seem them go out against a last minuter. Poor Hearn, gives Ling a long contract and they've become sh*t
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Time to Pillage and burn the Pirates methinks me hearties.
 

overseas shrimper

Life President⭐
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
9,440
Location
Malta
Thanks FBM, I needed that report.

Since coming back from our Xmas / New Year trip to the UK, I&#39;ve been so busy with my production that listening to Southend games has become very difficult.

Last night I made sure there was no filming scheduled. Mrs. OS made sure her band rehearsals finished early... all so that we could drink wine and listen to the Mighty Shrimpers storm in to another LDV Area Final.

Imagine our reaction when, 1 hour before kick-off, half the island (including our locality) was subject to a freak power black-out.

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bas blue

Coach
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
699
i thought we looked pretty comfertable last night and couldnt really see them scoring. the only threat they seemed to have was the little lad down the left early on. but lewis soon snuffed him out
 

lucus

Coach
Joined
Nov 23, 2004
Messages
800
Location
Chafford Hundred
Probably one of the most commanding performances we have played against a good opposition in recent weeks... only rating i disagree with is Gray&#39;s. I thought he barely touched the ball, didn&#39;t win a header (barring the one he almost scored with), and his passing was poor. Other than that I thought it was a superb team performance. Looking forward to the Darlington game this saturday&#33;
 

BoyWonder2

Life President⭐
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
8,088
Location
Cold Norton, Essex
Just a quick point fbm. Dudfields goal was sent up by an immense pass from Sir Kev in between centre half and right back. Was a class ball.
 

fbm

Blue tinted optimist⭐
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
8,741
Location
Cloud cuckoo land
[b said:
Quote[/b] (BoyWonder2 @ Jan. 26 2005,14:55)]Just a quick point fbm. Dudfields goal was sent up by an immense pass from Sir Kev in between centre half and right back. Was a class ball.
Sky last night only showed the ball airborne so couldn&#39;t see who played it. It was a long ball and may well have been intended for Duds but Ifil intercepted it and the only reason Duds got it was because Ifil trod on the ball.

But hey&#33; Any pass that leads to a goal is a great pass&#33;
 

BoyWonder2

Life President⭐
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
8,088
Location
Cold Norton, Essex
But doesn&#39;t that make Maher&#39;s assist tally reach 10 our are we still only counting League games?

The ball was played by Maher and was intended for the run of Dudfield.
 

Sandbach Shrimper

Life President⭐
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
5,963
Location
East Cheshire
It&#39;s all gone quiet in East London&#33;
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Superb team performance last night. No one had a bad game in my opinion apart from Bentley, it has to be him who&#39;s dropped for Gower on Saturday. Nicolau was just awesome, really worked hard and got invovled and the moment near the end when he took the p*ss out of about 4 or 5 of their players was brilliant. Not sure that the second goal curled straight in from the corner seeing, if it did it must have taken a lot of curl but I thought it touched their defender. Nevertheless, he deserved a goal. Pettefer is getting better and better at the moment, and Maher had an average game. Bentley was lazy and I can&#39;t remember one good thing he did.

As i said, though, Bentley aside everyone had a good game. Flavs came out for a lot of crosses which he&#39;s obviously realised he needs to do more, although he didn&#39;t have many saves to make as their finishing was terrible. Hunt had an excellent game at right-back, didn&#39;t let anything beat him, and Barrett and Prior were their usual solid selves. Dudfield caused the Swindon defence a lot of trouble and deserved his goal, worked hard all night. Gray again had a fairly quiet game and he reminds me of Mark Rawle, pacey but he has the touch of an elephant.

Yet again we&#39;ve shown that we could quite easily survive in League One. You wouldn&#39;t have guessed that Swindon were a league above us last night, we simply outplayed them. Anyone see their fans shouting &#39;we want kingy out&#39; after the match by the main entrance to the club?
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BoyWonder2

Life President⭐
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
8,088
Location
Cold Norton, Essex
[b said:
Quote[/b] ] Bentley was lazy and I can&#39;t remember one good thing he did.

Thats a bit harsh on the fella. Granted he was below par last night but that was because everyone else different class. He still would have got a seven from me. He was certainly better than Vs Notts County. At the moment, I think his trying too hard and not playing his natural game. His thinking about what to do rather than just doing it and because of his he is making mistakes and being robbed of the ball and in trying to make up for it he is giving away silly fouls.

The boy will come good again. Lets remember, it wasn&#39;t too long ago he was being linked with Coventry City of the Championship, so the boy must have something about him.
 

lucus

Coach
Joined
Nov 23, 2004
Messages
800
Location
Chafford Hundred
[b said:
Quote[/b] (shrimpboy @ Jan. 26 2005,16:44)]Yet again we&#39;ve shown that we could quite easily survive in League One. You wouldn&#39;t have guessed that Swindon were a league above us last night, we simply outplayed them. Anyone see their fans shouting &#39;we want kingy out&#39; after the match by the main entrance to the club?
biggrin.gif
Yeah by the Hospitality entrance??&#33; They looked pretty ****ed off&#33; Can&#39;t blame them really after that performance. We made them look very ordinary&#33;
 

Javea Shrimper

Guest
[b said:
Quote[/b] (lucus @ Jan. 26 2005,16:56)]Yeah by the Hospitality entrance??! They looked pretty ****ed off! Can't blame them really after that performance. We made them look very ordinary!
I think their frustration could be down to a lot more than their team's performance last night, considering that there was a real possibility they wouldn't have a football club to support for much longer. But I see that today "property giants St Modwen are to inject around £750,000 into the club" thereby saving it from the winding up order issued by the Inland Revenue. But would that be good for the long-term future of the club though? Property developer + football club = uncertainty?


WS
 

BoyWonder2

Life President⭐
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
8,088
Location
Cold Norton, Essex
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Javea Shrimper @ Jan. 26 2005,17:04)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] (lucus @ Jan. 26 2005,16:56)]Yeah by the Hospitality entrance??! They looked pretty ****ed off! Can't blame them really after that performance. We made them look very ordinary!
I think their frustration could be down to a lot more than their team's performance last night, considering that there was a real possibility they wouldn't have a football club to support for much longer. But I see that today "property giants St Modwen are to inject around £750,000 into the club" thereby saving it from the winding up order issued by the Inland Revenue. But would that be good for the long-term future of the club though? Property developer + football club = uncertainty?


WS
Isn't/Wasn't Wrexham owned by a property developer?
 
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