Southend United 0, Gillingham 1

Having a go - Gavin Tomlin gets a shot off past Gillingham goalscorer Chris Whelpdale

Having a go - Gavin Tomlin gets a shot off past Gillingham goalscorer Chris Whelpdale

First published in Sport by

AFTER going two months without defeat, Southend United suffered their second reverse in the space of four days at Roots Hall this afternoon, losing 1-0 to promotion rivals Gillingham.

Former Billericay Town winger Chris Whelpdale bagged the only goal of the game in front of Blues' biggest home crowd of the season so far.

And, although Paul Sturrock's side improved significantly after the break, they were unable to net an equaliser with substitute Barry Corr wasting their best chances to score.

That meant Whelpdale's second minuted strike proved to be the difference between the two teams.

The 23-year-old winger out muscled Chris Barker to meet a chipped free-kick forward from full-back Joe Martin and, with Blues goalkeeper Paul Smith rooted to his line, Whelpdale was able to guide his fifth goal of the season in to the bottom left hand corner of the North Bank net.

The Gills, who had played just once since December 15 before visiting Southend, looked fresher in the opening exchanges and remained on top for the majority of the first half.

As a result former Blues skipper Adam Barrett soon fired wide of the left post before the hosts almost levelled when a left wing corner from Kevan Hurst dropped to Tamika Mkandawire at the near post.

But the midfielder, who was making the last appearance of his loan spell from Millwall, was quickly closed down and saw his six yard shot blocked by the covering Gills defenders.

However, the visitors almost extended their lead in the 16th minute when uncertainty between Ryan Cresswell and Smith allowed the lively Myles Weston to sprint through.

But his attempted chip was clawed to safety by a back-pedalling Smith.

The former Brentford goalkeeper then did well to parry out a well struck shot from Barrett and Blues dug deep to ensure they remained just a goal down at half-time.

During the interval, boss Sturrock made a change with Corr coming on to replace Marc Laird, who suffered a nasty facial injury during the first 45 minutes.

And the alteration helped to get Blues back on top and, with 56 minutes on the clock, the fit again Britt Assombalonga, saw a 12 yard shot impressively diverted over the crossbar by Gillingham defender Leon Legge.

Moments later, a stunning 30 yard shot from Kevan Hurst was tipped over the crossbar in fine fashion by visiting goalkeeper Stuart Nelson.

But, with 59 minutes on the clock, the Gills had a huge let off when Gavin Tomlin burst in to the right hand side of the penalty area before delivering a cross in to the path of Corr who, with the goal gaping, sent an instinctive volley over the crossbar.

In a bid to stem the Southend pressure, Gillingham's animated manager Martin Allen soon made a double substitution with Charlie Lee replacing Whelpdale and Danny Jackman coming on for Adam Birchall.

That made the Kent club a little more solid but Blues soon began to pile on more pressure with Hurst firing over from 12 yards after Luke Prosser's long throw from the left hand side had been flicked on by Cresswell.

Shortly after that and, with 75 minutes on the clock, Blues made their second change with Freddy Eastwood replacing Assombalonga before Scott Donnelly also came on in place of Mkandawire.

But sandwiched in between the chances came a big chance for Gills when Weston sprinted through and fired a low 12 yard shot against the foot of the left post.

Southend attempted to make the miss increase in significance and pushed Cresswell up front for the final few minutes.

He soon headed a left wing cross from Prosser just wide of the left post and, in the dying seconds, Corr seemed destined to net a late equaliser for the home-side.

However, his six yard shot was blocked by Legge to ensure Gillingham grabbed their second 1-0 win of the season against Southend and moved back to the top of the League Two table.

Comments (8)

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3:19pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Dumain says...

We will get nowhere under Sturrock's boring football. We must get rid of him of him now and appoint Sean O'Driscall immediately.
We will get nowhere under Sturrock's boring football. We must get rid of him of him now and appoint Sean O'Driscall immediately. Dumain
  • Score: 0

4:25pm Tue 1 Jan 13

benfleetblue says...

are blues going the same way as last season? Hope not but the signs are there.
are blues going the same way as last season? Hope not but the signs are there. benfleetblue
  • Score: 0

4:59pm Tue 1 Jan 13

adolf jones says...

BRING BACK TILLY
BRING BACK TILLY adolf jones
  • Score: 0

6:44pm Tue 1 Jan 13

shrimperd2 says...

just gone 14/15 games without losing,lost to burton who seem to be our bock team,then gills who have had a couple of weeks off and who are a decent side,should of atleast got a draw today,ps has made some good loan signings who have helped put this run together,hope we can extend the loans,of the two midfielders,i dont think its right to be calling for ps head in play offs,with half a season still to go,we are a lq 2 side with no money,so i think hes doing a decent job
just gone 14/15 games without losing,lost to burton who seem to be our bock team,then gills who have had a couple of weeks off and who are a decent side,should of atleast got a draw today,ps has made some good loan signings who have helped put this run together,hope we can extend the loans,of the two midfielders,i dont think its right to be calling for ps head in play offs,with half a season still to go,we are a lq 2 side with no money,so i think hes doing a decent job shrimperd2
  • Score: 0

8:00pm Tue 1 Jan 13

The Northern Shrimper says...

Dumain wrote:
We will get nowhere under Sturrock's boring football. We must get rid of him of him now and appoint Sean O'Driscall immediately.
I wish people like this would wind their necks in talking about sacking the manager,does not do any good for morale and makes the players play worse, see what happens in May eh?
[quote][p][bold]Dumain[/bold] wrote: We will get nowhere under Sturrock's boring football. We must get rid of him of him now and appoint Sean O'Driscall immediately.[/p][/quote]I wish people like this would wind their necks in talking about sacking the manager,does not do any good for morale and makes the players play worse, see what happens in May eh? The Northern Shrimper
  • Score: 0

1:43pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Marcus blue says...

I didn't hear any calls to sack ps when we annihalated Chesterfield 3-0 12 days ago. What short memories people have. We DO NOT want Tilly back. At the and he was a very average manager - he could not make anything of Gary Hooper who is now a regular for Celtic and has played in the Champions League. He sold Michael Kightley to Grays who now plays in the Premier League with Stoke. Tilly was lucky to get Freddy and without Freddy and one or two others he would have been a very average manager for us.

PS will not be sacked - we can't afford to. he is one of the best managers in League two. Gillingham are a good side - they have strong defensive players, but only an average attack.

Yes at times our football is boring, but at other times it has been exciting. I am not sure if we are good enough to go up, but we are close. I think we would struggle in League one
I didn't hear any calls to sack ps when we annihalated Chesterfield 3-0 12 days ago. What short memories people have. We DO NOT want Tilly back. At the and he was a very average manager - he could not make anything of Gary Hooper who is now a regular for Celtic and has played in the Champions League. He sold Michael Kightley to Grays who now plays in the Premier League with Stoke. Tilly was lucky to get Freddy and without Freddy and one or two others he would have been a very average manager for us. PS will not be sacked - we can't afford to. he is one of the best managers in League two. Gillingham are a good side - they have strong defensive players, but only an average attack. Yes at times our football is boring, but at other times it has been exciting. I am not sure if we are good enough to go up, but we are close. I think we would struggle in League one Marcus blue
  • Score: 0

6:42pm Wed 2 Jan 13

gary 51 says...

SUFC shoot themselves in the foot yet again, they get the biggest gate of the season so an opportunity to get more fans to come back but oh no they dish up an appalling spectacle.
We are not good enough to go up and even if we did we will come straight back again as there is no money to strengthen the squad, the new ground will not happen and this is the problem all the while there are off the pitch problems then this club will have no stability. Get enough points then take the ten point deduction and go into administration it's worked for other clubs!
SUFC shoot themselves in the foot yet again, they get the biggest gate of the season so an opportunity to get more fans to come back but oh no they dish up an appalling spectacle. We are not good enough to go up and even if we did we will come straight back again as there is no money to strengthen the squad, the new ground will not happen and this is the problem all the while there are off the pitch problems then this club will have no stability. Get enough points then take the ten point deduction and go into administration it's worked for other clubs! gary 51
  • Score: 0

7:01pm Fri 4 Jan 13

benfleetblue says...

Marcus blue wrote:
I didn't hear any calls to sack ps when we annihalated Chesterfield 3-0 12 days ago. What short memories people have. We DO NOT want Tilly back. At the and he was a very average manager - he could not make anything of Gary Hooper who is now a regular for Celtic and has played in the Champions League. He sold Michael Kightley to Grays who now plays in the Premier League with Stoke. Tilly was lucky to get Freddy and without Freddy and one or two others he would have been a very average manager for us.

PS will not be sacked - we can't afford to. he is one of the best managers in League two. Gillingham are a good side - they have strong defensive players, but only an average attack.

Yes at times our football is boring, but at other times it has been exciting. I am not sure if we are good enough to go up, but we are close. I think we would struggle in League one
Youre right would deffo struggle in league 1- As for PS, good manager in league 2, Tilly a better manager any day!
[quote][p][bold]Marcus blue[/bold] wrote: I didn't hear any calls to sack ps when we annihalated Chesterfield 3-0 12 days ago. What short memories people have. We DO NOT want Tilly back. At the and he was a very average manager - he could not make anything of Gary Hooper who is now a regular for Celtic and has played in the Champions League. He sold Michael Kightley to Grays who now plays in the Premier League with Stoke. Tilly was lucky to get Freddy and without Freddy and one or two others he would have been a very average manager for us. PS will not be sacked - we can't afford to. he is one of the best managers in League two. Gillingham are a good side - they have strong defensive players, but only an average attack. Yes at times our football is boring, but at other times it has been exciting. I am not sure if we are good enough to go up, but we are close. I think we would struggle in League one[/p][/quote]Youre right would deffo struggle in league 1- As for PS, good manager in league 2, Tilly a better manager any day! benfleetblue
  • Score: 0
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