BLUES BLOWN AWAY BY BLACKPOOL
Southend United were blown away by Blackpool as three goals inside the first half were enough for the Tangerines to inflict a 3-1 defeat on Blues at Roots Hall.
There was some fortune with Blackpool’s opener after Liam Ridgewell had headed Jordan Thompson’s free-kick into the air, Mark Oxley’s punch came off Harry Lennon and crept in.
Three minutes later and Nathan Delfouneso was put clean through and the Tangerines striker done well to clip the ball over the onrushing Oxley and in to double their lead.
Blackpool then grabbed a third before the break when Blues failed to deal with a corner, allowing Delfouneso to grab his second and put Simon Grayson’s side firmly in control.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though for the visitors who had James Husband given a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Elvis Bwomono by the corner flag.
Southend took advantage of the extra man by getting a goal back through Simon Cox but it was nothing more than a consolation for Blues who made it two defeats from two games.
In spite of the defeat in last weekend’s opening league game against Coventry, there was plenty to be positive about for Southend going into this afternoon’s home game against Blackpool.
Blues made four changes to the side that started at St. Andrew’s with Liam Ridgewell coming in for his Southend debut alongside Stephen Humphrys, Simon Cox and Isaac Hutchinson.
But Kevin Bond’s side made a nightmare start to their first game at Roots Hall this campaign, with Simon Grayson’s Blackpool scoring twice in a matter of minutes early in the first-half.
Their first came when Jordan Thompson’s free-kick was headed into the air by Ridgewell. Mark Oxley, pinned to his line, attempted to punch only for the ball to rebound in off Harry Lennon.
And three minutes later Blackpool’s lead was doubled when Nathan Delfouneso got in behind the Blues backline, calmly lifting the ball over the advancing Oxley and into the bottom corner.
It was an awful start for Blues, but things would go from bad to worse before the break as Delfouneso grabbed his second and Blackpool’s third with eight minutes of the half remaining.
A mix up at the back between Lennon and Ridgewell led to a Tangerines corner. Blues didn’t deal with the initial ball in from Thompson, leaving Delfouneso to fire home from close range.
Bond made no changes at the break, but it wasn’t long after that loanee Layton Ndukwu was introduced, replacing Ridgewell, as Blues changed shape.
It didn’t appear to make much of a difference though as Sullay Kaikai went close to extending Blackpool’s lead when his shot was deflected but well saved by Oxley who tipped it onto the post.
Armand Gnanduillet then missed a great chance, heading over from close range, before Southend were given a potential lifeline as Blackpool’s James Husband was shown a straight red card.
Husband went flying in with a two-footed tackle on Elvis Bwomono in the corner, sparking a furious reaction from Blues players and fans, with Husband receiving his marching orders on the hour.
With the man advantage, Southend started to get a grip in the final third and they nicked a goal back with 15 minutes remaining when Simon Cox nodded in from an Isaac Hutchinson corner.
Mark Milligan then forced a superb save from goalkeeper Jak Alnwick with a rasping drive that needed tipping over as Southend threw everything they could forward.
Southend went close to grabbing a second late on when Blues’ three subs combined with Ndukwu’s cross being headed on goal by Charlie Kelman only for Theo Robinson to nod the rebound wide.
Ultimately though, Blues had left themselves too much to do after a poor first-half meaning they suffered a second successive defeat of the new campaign.
Blues XI: Oxley, Bwomono, Ralph, Milligan (C), Ridgewell (Ndukwu 52’), Humphrys (Robinson 55’), Cox, Mantom (Kelman 72’), Shaughnessy, Lennon, Hutchinson. Subs Not Used: Bishop, Hyam, Blackman, White
Blackpool XI: Alnwick, Edwards, Delfouneso (Nottingham 62’), Spearing (C), Kaikai, Feeney (Nuttall 73’), Thompson, Tilt, Turton, Gnanduillet (Bushiri 87’), Husband. Subs Not Used: Mafoumbi, Hardie, Pritchard, Shaw
Attendance: 6,823 (480 Away)
Credit: Southend United