Southend United ‘B’ 6; Southend United ‘C’ 0
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It’s not often that a club sends out a team in a cup game with the guarantee that they will be represented in the next round whatever the result but that is what happened here last week.
First of all I sincerely hope you have a good head for letters. Southend ‘B’ are the league leaders of the Under 11 ‘D’ League. Southend United ‘C’ are placed in the middle of the Under 11 ‘E’ League. With me so far? Great – let’s get cracking.
The United ‘B’ team went into the game as favourites and they duly ran out winners but the losing team can be very proud of their performance. They gave everything but the class of players such as Jake Mooney, Conor Hartley and Justin Croke proved too much for them. The management team of the ‘B’ squad are now looking for a double: the Under 11 ‘B’ Cup and the Under 11 ‘D’ League. On this performance they may do just that in the coming weeks.
The Southend ‘B’ team took up the running straight from the kick-off and they forced three early corner kicks, all of which were cleared by the ‘C’ defenders and goalkeeper Daniel Jacob.
The ‘C’ team went close to opening the scoring when Lotti Ibrabhimi went on a surging run into the penalty area, but defender Conor Dunphy got in an excellent tackle. The winners took the lead after 11 minutes, however.
Referee Mark Lucal awarded an indirect free kick just outside the penalty area. Daragh Corcoran squared the ball to Jake Mooney and he rattled the net from 20 yards.
Four minutes later Jack Power went charging down the right flank before cutting into the box and passing to Conor Hartley who somehow managed to find the net despite the fact that he was surrounded by a number of defenders.
Jake Mooney almost scored his second goal on 20 minutes. He let fly from the edge of the box but ‘C’ goalkeeper Daniel Jacob produced a terrific diving save, tipping the ball onto his upright.
Justin Croke made it 3-0 two minutes later with a delightful chip following good build-up play by his colleagues. Jake Mooney did succeed in scoring his second goal five minutes before half-time. Small in stature, the extremely talented No 8 cracked home a real beauty from 20 yards with his gifted right foot.
George O’Grady, the long-serving Southend coach and his colleagues who have brought some wonderful players through the club down through the years, gave a heart-to-heart team talk to the ‘C’ crew at half-time and they gave their all during the second period, just as they had during the opening 30 minutes.
Ten minutes into the second half, however, it was the ‘B’ boys who scored again. Daniel Jacob produced a wonderful treble save but try as he might he could not prevent Ben Flanagan from scoring when the ball ran loose.
When Martin Costello made it six with a lovely angled drive from the right one would have thought that the ‘C’ lads would have buckled but that was not the case. Lotti Ibrabhimi went close, following another super solo run and in the last minute Josh Longeran saw his effort come crashing back off an upright.
Southend United ‘B’ (panel): Ben Murray, Eamonn Mitchell, Martin Costello, Conor Dunphy, Ben Flangan, Justin Croke, Kyle Houlihan, Jake Mooney, Conor Hartley, Daragh Corcoran, Jack Power, Charlie Costello, Ian Chester.
Southend United ‘C’ (panel): Daniel Jacob, Liam O’Connell, Shane Murray, Conor White, Daragh Fitzpatrick, Chris Ryan, Lotti Ibrabhimi, Dylan Kearney, Alex White, Alex Browne, Josh Lanigan, Jack Walsh, Luke Power.
Referee: Mark Lucas (St Pauls).