Report: Exeter City 0 Southend Utd 2
Exeter City fell to their fourth-consecutive defeat in all competitions as they disappointingly went down by a 2-0 scoreline at home to Southend United.
Goals from Cauley Woodrow and Kevan Hurst were the difference at SJP as the Grecians dropped to tenth in the League 2 ladder.
The Shrimpers had won each of their previous two fixtures by three goals to nil, with a home win over Mansfield and an FA Cup victory at Morecambe Phil Brown’s side’s two results in the month of November so far.
Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale handed a first start to Matt Jay, and the young forward came within a whisker of opening his account less than ten minutes into the action. Craig Woodman played a ball over the top of the Shrimpers defence and Jay just needed to make a stronger contact if he was going to beat goalkeeper Daniel Bentley.
Matt Grimes had a header from just outside the area saved moments later, before Liam Sercombe was tackled as he too found himself on the attack, Luke Prosser making the crucial block.
But the away side broke the deadlock with their next attack. Cauley Woodrow made it 1-0 to Southend as he capitalised on some confusion between Artur Krysiak and Pat Baldwin. Woodrow pulled off another dangerous effort four minutes later when he took Michael Timlin’s chip on the volley, with Krysiak getting down low to his right to push the ball round for a corner.
A passing move that involved Matt Jay and Liam Sercombe ended with Scot Bennett miscuing with his cross, as the Grecians sought to recover from their early setback, but again the away side managed to find a way through. After Sam Parkin had conceded a free-kick, Kevan Hurst found the bottom-left corner of the net, Phil Brown’s side two goals to the good. Ryan Leonard also brought a save from Krysiak shortly after, as the home side struggled to build any kind of real tempo with their play.
Hurst’s execution of a volley straight from a corner was just off in the thirty-ninth minute, though had he been more successful he might have had a sure-fire goal of the season contender on his hands.
Half-time: Exeter City 0 Southend United 2
Sam Parkin took just two minutes to muster the first chance of the second half; the City frontman getting down low to head just wide of Bentley’s left post.
Danny Coles was there to block as Woodrow tried to side-foot past Krysiak, and in truth the Grecians’ defence were fortunate that neither of the two follow-up efforts were neither on target nor capitalised upon by any of the Shrimpers attackers.
Paul Tisdale made a double-substitution shortly before the hour, with Tom Nichols on for Arron Davies and John O’Flynn in place of Matt Jay.
Luke Prosser blocked a Sercombe effort before Michael Timlin produced an air-shot where it looked easier to score following the pull-back on the left-wing from Anthony Straker, and then Cauley Woodrow was booked for unsportingly blocking a Krysiak free-kick as referee Steve Bratt finally reached for his cards – there had been numerous instances previously that had controversially been allowed to pass by the official.
After Danny Butterfield came on for Matt Gill, there were a series of chances at both ends: John O’Flynn, bearing down on goal, was tackled by Rob Kiernan. Next, Anthony Straker crossed and Barry Corr took it on the half-volley, Krysiak saving well to his right. Former Grecian Barry Corr replaced goalscorer Cauley Woodrow in the visitor’s first change. John O’Flynn had a chance to net in Tony Yeboah-style as he took the ball on his knee before half-volleying it just wide of the post.
Southend boss Phil Brown withdrew his other goalscorer as Marc Laird replaced Kevan Hurst. Craig Woodman had a free-kick which was comfortably dealt with by Daniel Bentley. O’Flynn was booked for clattering into a defender off the field of play, but it was undeniably a demonstration of fierce commitment from the City substitute.
United’s final substitution saw Anthony Straker replaced by defender Mark Phillips. The visitors held on and leapfrogged their hosts in the Sky Bet League 2 table.
Full-time: Exeter City 0 Southend United 2
Exeter City: Krysiak, Bennett, Baldwin, Coles, Woodman, Davies, Sercombe, Jay, Gill, Parkin, Grimes.
Subs: Pym, Butterfield, Nichols, O’Flynn, Gow, Wheeler, Moore-Taylor.
Southend United: Bentley, White, Coker, Prosser, Timlin, Straker, Atkinson, Hurst, Kiernan, Leonard, Woodrow.
Subs: Smith, Laird, Phillips, Reid, Corr, N’Jie, Payne.
Attendance: 3547 (255 away)
Referee: Steve Bratt