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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:03 1st April 2002

Southend United v Exeter City

The Grecians' start the game with just one change as youth trainee Sean Goff takes his place in the team at left back due to the injury that Graeme Power picked up on Saturday against Lincoln City. You join us here today on a overcast day on the coast in Southend-On-Sea.  City start the game attacking the two tiered end where the Shrimpers fans are situated.  City create the first chance as a throw from Goff was played back to Roscoe who chipped the ball through to Tomlinson who couldn't quite get to the ball before Flahavan. Nine minutes into the game and Beard crossed the ball into the box and Whelan outjumped the City defence and put the ball just over the bar.  Eleven minutes in to his first game and Sean Goff earnt himself a booking for a tackle on Ian Selley. City won their first corner after fourteen minutes as Flack won a free kick on the edge of the box, Roscoe whipped the ball in and a defensive header let Buckle have the chance to put in City's first corner which Curran was adjudged to have fouled. Seventeen minutes in and a long ball was headed down by Flack to Tomlinson who controlled the ball and hit his shot over the bar.  Belgrave entered the book on nineteen for a foul on Ampadu, Mr Ross seems a bit card happy already and seems to want to take centre stage. Twenty one minutes and City take the lead, a long ball was won by Flack, he combined with Breslna who in turn helped the ball through a crowd of defenders for Tomlinson to coolly slot the ball past Darryl Flahaven to give the Grecians' the early lead. Belgrave could have pulled the game back as a Searle chip was chased down, racing out was Van Heusden who claimed the ball first to keep City in the driving seat.  Thirty eight minutes in and from a corner Belgrave hooked the ball towards goal, looking like Van Heusden had saved the ball Buckle was sent off for apparently handballing the effort. Damon Searle stepped up to take the resulting penalty and stroked the ball past Van Heusden to level the scores up at one a piece.  Immediately Southend put the ball in the back of the net again when Whelan climbed at the far post and headed the ball into the back of the net. A bit of a fracard between Flack and Selley.  With both players booked that put it up to one sent off and four players on yellow cards.  Judging by the referees performance you can still see more cards and more sendings off. City looked to be in firm control of the game after taking the lead but since the referee intervened the game has switched in the favour of the Shrimpers. Half Time Southend United 2-1 Exeter City There are no changes at half time as City start attacking the 108 Grecians' fans situated behind the goal.  Barrington Belgrave should have given Southend a bigger lead as five minutes into the second half he dispossessed Curran in the box but scuffed his shot into the hands of Van Heusden. City made the first change of the game on fifty three minutes as Jay Richardson came on to replace Andy Roscoe just after City had an attempt on goal that went woefully wide.  Southend are now starting to take control over the tem men of City, picking holes and pulling us all over the park. City again made another change four minutes later with captain Chris Curran coming off to be replaced by Neil Whitworth.  The focus of play has now changed as Southend have decided to sit back and let City attack them running the risk of letting us back into the game. The game has gone very flat with neither team doing anything, Tomlinson is winning the ball in good positions but there is no support for him and he keeps on losing the ball.  Sixty seven minutes and Breslan became the fifth player in the book for pulling back a Southend player.. Steven Broad then came on to replace Mark Beard in the sixty ninth minute for the Shrimpers.  Flack and Richardson combined well to create a good chance, Flack nodded down the ball to Richardson who struck the ball on the ball first time to see the ball end up on the roof of the stand. Southend again almost increased their lead, after claims for a penalty as Breslan brought down Selley, the ball came out to Kerrigan who curled in a ball that Van Heusden pushed over the bar.  From the resulting Searle corner Maher crossed the ball into the edge of the six yard box and a flying Broad headed the ball past Van Heusden after seventy five minutes.  Three one Southend. Southend are now queuing up to put the ball in the back of the net, or have a go as the extra man is making a big difference.  With ten minutes remaining a change at the front as McCarthy came on for Flack.  Southend then made a change as Belgrave came off to be replaced by Stuart Thurgood. City are lucky to keep the score to three against offering no real threat to Darryl Flahavan except for a couple of half chances that tended to end up high over the bar. After such a promising start the match ended up being a big disappointment as City's cause wasn't helped by the appalling refereeing by Mr Ross.  Next up Torquay United at home on Sunday with a 2.15pm kick off. 
    Data provided by Press Association