Southend Utd 2 Tramore 0
Southend United, who suffered a heartbreaking defeat two weeks ago to Arklow in the SFAI Under 16 Cup, were back to their best against Tramore in the local league on Saturday last.
They were to strong for the Seasiders who battled hard all through but they had to play second fiddle for most of the game. This victory will prove to be a morale booster for the players and also the managerial team of Paddy Carey and Peter Dempsey.
This win keeps the Tangerines in with a big shout for the title. Tramore on the other hand are going through something of a sticky patch at the moment, but just one win would lift their spirits once again.
Former player scores
Southend went in front after less than four minutes thanks to a goal from a former Tramore player, Eamon Power. Glen Hawe whipped in a left-wing corner kick that was flicked on by Stuart Mitchell, who outjumped Conor McGough and when the ball fell into the path of Power, he just couldn’t miss when firing past the helpless Mark O’Reilly from close range.
Hawe could have doubled the Southend lead on 11 minutes when the winger got onto the end of a Martin O’Neill cross from the right flank; however, his left-footed strike on the run found the side-netting with keeper O’Reilly struggling.
The visiting netminder came to his side’s rescue with a fantastic one-handed stop less than six minutes later when Anthony Fitzpatrick played a brilliant ball over the top and when it fell into the path of Mitchell, the striker’s right-footed effort was rilliantly tipped over the bar.
Southend were bossing the whole field and Martin O’Neill that went close to a second goal on 21 minutes when he latched onto a loose ball inside the penalty area, but his left-footed shot flashed just the wrong side of the target.
For all their dominance Southend only held a slender lead at the half-time break but they started the second period as they ended the first and within three minutes Paddy Barrett picked out O’Neill but his stunning left-footed striker flew inches over the bar.
The only real opportunity that Tramore created came on 46 minutes when David Purcell had a golden chance to level the tie after getting on the end of a Damien Cashin right-wing cross, but he skied the ball wide.
Eamon Power could have scored his second goal of the contest on 50 minutes but was denied by a fine Mark O’Reilly save, before the home side made sure of all three points after 69 minutes when Glen Hawe’s cross was finished by Sean O’Loughlin who hammered home from close range.
Stephen O’Neill should have added a third goal six minutes from time when he saw his close-range effort come crashing back off the crossbar after another Hawe delivery, and Stuart Mitchell had two late chances to score but failed to find a way past Mark O’Reilly. Good stuff from a talented Southend United team. More hard graft ahead for Tramore however.
Southend United: Dale Sheridan, James Griffin, Stephen O’Neill, Anthony Fitzpatrick, Craig Keane, Eamon Power, Martin O’Neill, Paddy Barrett, Glen Hawe, Stuart Mitchell, Sean O’Loughlin and Aidan O’Neill
Tramore: Mark O’Reilly, Michael Chan, Sean Cheasty, Dylan Bolster, Conor McGough, Drew Keating, Damien Cashin, David O’Sullivan, Gavin Duffy, David Purcell, Eoin Kiely, Aaron Coughlan and Luke Middleton
Referee: Noel Ryan.