Essex Senior Cup Third Round
SOUTHEND UNITED 3 BRENTWOOD TOWN 0
JOHN CHUBB at Roots Hall
Southend United beat Brentwood Town to progress to the fourth round of the Essex Senior Cup on Tuesday night, in a very entertaining encounter at Roots Hall.
The Shrimpers fielded a side which mixed youth and experience against their Isthmian North opponents, with three of the first team squad currently recovering from injuries, namely Nathan Ralph, Harry Cardwell and Dan Mooney all included in the starting line-up.
Tom Clifford and Oli Coker were the other players with first-team experience in an otherwise young side, who had the first good chance of the match when Mooney’s corner was flicked on to allow a good goalscoring chance for Ralph, whose header was tipped over the bar by Brentwood goalkeeper Harry Girling.
Mooney was once again involved in the 17th minute, when he set up Coker only for his effort to be saved by Girling, then Mooney found himself in loads of space shortly afterwards, but his effort sailed over the bar.
Brentwood had their first real chance of the game with 20 minutes on the clock, but Ben Wyss saw his shot sail over the bar.
Southend were awarded a penalty after 24 minutes, following a clear handball in the box from a Ralph cross.
Aaron Cosgrave stepped up to take the spot kick, and placed it past Girling to put his side 1-0 ahead.
Cardwell wasn’t far away from doubling the score just after the half-hour mark, following great work by Coker who set off on a marauding run before setting up the striker, only for his shot to be blocked by Girling.
Then, in first-half injury time the Shrimpers doubled their lead, perhaps by accident!
Clifford sent in what looked like a cross from the left flank, but it proved to be on target and sailed over Girling to give the hosts a 2-0 lead at the interval.
Thirteen minutes into the second half, Southend made it 3-0 when a great cross from Clifford found youngster Jaden Crowhurst, who slotted home to ensure a place in the fourth round for his team.
Clifford, who had a fine game nearly made it 4-0 in the 74th minute, when his free-kick hit the crossbar.
The Southend side who contested this tie were good value for their win, as they looked very impressive at times and took their chances.
As for Brentwood, they had decent spells of possession and movement but were unable to find an end product all evening, and no doubt that is something their manager Rod Stringer will want to improve on if they are to be serious contenders in the Isthmian North promotion race.
SOUTHEND UNITED (Coach: Mark Bentley): Blondy Nna Noukeu, Jaden Crowhurst, Nathan Ralph (Omari Williams 59), Tommy Davis, Louis Lomas, Dan Mooney (Patrick Droney 59), Jack Wood, Oli Coker, Aaron Cosgrave, Harry Cardwell (Henry Sandat 45), Tom Clifford.
BRENTWOOD TOWN (Manager: Rod Stringer): Harry Girling, Matt Cripps, Callum Leahy, Jack Humphrey, Jack Dickinson (Connor Hogan 57), George Craddock, Ben Wyss (Jeremiah Amoo 50), Chris Gregan, Flavio Jumo (Andrew Freeman 64), Sam Park, Tom Richardson.