MATCH REPORT: SOUTHEND UNITED 2-2 EXETER

Southend were seconds away from their first win of the season only for Alex Fisher’s 95th minute strike to snatch Exeter a point in a 2-2 draw at Roots Hall.

During an even first-half, Brandon Goodship put Mark Molesley’s side in front with a superbly taken effort from the edge of the area. Picking up Terrell Egbri’s cross before finding the bottom corner with a left-footed strike.

Exeter though levelled just before the interval after a loose clearance from Mark Oxley was latched upon allowing the Grecians to pour forward and play in Joel Randall to slide in the equaliser and his third goal of the season.

The visitors started the second half bright but Blues wrestled back control and were given the chance to go back in front from the penalty spot after debutant Kazaiah Sterling was shoved over inside the area, leaving Jason Demetriou to step up and score what looked to be the winner.

But with Exeter’s last attack five minutes into a minimum of four added on, Fisher stepped up and curled a shot beyond Mark Oxley and into the top corner to steal a point from the jaws of defeat and leave the exhausted Southend players on the floor.

Victory for Blues would have been a first under Molesley since he took over in August but the point did lift Southend out of the relegation places and continued the upward trend that Blues have shown game-to-game since Molesley’s introduction.

Last weekend, Blues got off the mark in the league with a 1-1 draw against Crawley and boss Mark Molesley chose to make just the two changes for the visit of Exeter, with Timothee Dieng coming in along with new loan signing Kazaiah Sterling, replacing Tom Clifford and Richard Taylor.

Exeter were coming into this weekend off the back of successive victories and they were first to threaten when Matt Jay sent a free-kick harmlessly wide before Brandon Goodship had Blues’ first effort on goal with a shot that was charged down on the edge of the Exeter area.

Goodship though would go one better in the 26th minute and put Southend in front with a superbly taken effort. Some neat skill from Kyle Taylor allowed him to find Terrell Egbri down the right, with his cross falling to Goodship who drilled a left-footed strike into the bottom corner.

Molesley’s side were worth their one-goal advantage but they were immediately put under pressure by the Grecians and they went close to levelling when Randell Williams received the ball inside the box only for Jason Demetriou to put his body on the line to block his effort.

Southend would survive another scare when a miscontrol from Harry Lennon lead to Ryan Bowman having a chance, but the visitors would level matters five minutes before the interval with Joel Randall scoring his third goal of the season.

A loose ball out from the back from Mark Oxley was latched upon in the middle of the park, leading to the young winger being played in and sliding the ball beyond the advancing Southend stopped to equalise and send the two sides into the break on level terms.

Having ended the first-half on the front, Exeter carried that momentum into the second-half too and forced a save out of Oxley five minutes after the restart. Randall did well to get to the byline, cutting the ball back to Jay whose curling effort was tipped away.

The Grecians kept coming forward but Southend would grab back control of the game and just after the hour mark, were given the chance to retake the lead from the penalty spot after Lewis Page fouled Sterling inside the penalty area.

Page was adjudged to have shoved the Tottenham loanee to the ground with referee Kevin Johnson immediately pointing to the spot. Jason Demetriou, always reliable from 12-yards, stepped up the take the penalty and sent Lewis Ward the wrong way to put Blues back in front.

Demetriou’s spot-kick had Southend on course for their first win of the league campaign but Exeter weren’t going to lay down lightly as they replaced a defender for a striker in the form of Alex Fisher coming on for Rory McCardle.

And the introduction of Fisher would prove pivotal for the visitors who snatched a point with the last kick of the afternoon. With four minutes added on, Exeter threw everything forward for one last chance and saw Fisher curl the ball into the top corner to break Southend hearts.

Blues XI: Oxley, Ralph, Hobson, Dieng, Goodship (Nathaniel-George 80’), Egbri, Sterling, Acquah, Demetriou (C), Lennon, K Taylor. Subs Not Used: Seaden, Clifford, Phillips, Rush, R Taylor, K Coker

Exeter City XI: Ward, McArdle (Fisher 82’), Taylor (C), Collins, Williams, Bowman (Seymour 73’), Randall, Parkes, Jay (Caprice 56’), Page, Key. Subs Not Used: Maxted, Sparkes, Atangana, Ajose