Southend United 1, Oxford United 0

Echo: Ryan Leonard - scored the winning goal for Southend United this afternoon Ryan Leonard - scored the winning goal for Southend United this afternoon

RYAN Leonard’s first goal in 17 months handed Southend United a determined 1-0 win against Oxford United at Roots Hall this afternoon.

The substitute midfielder sent a looping header in to the back of the net from 12 yards.

But Blues were grateful to the fine form of goalkeeper Paul Smith who twice did well to deny Alfie Potter in the first half.

The winger’s first opportunity came inside the opening 30 seconds when Sean Rigg sent him clean through on goal.

However, Potter saw his low shot blocked by the legs of Smith before he fired the resulting rebound wide of the right post from six yards.

Chances were few and far between after that early opportunity but the visitors again came close to scoring in the 19th minute when Adam Chapman’s left wing corner sailed over the head of Blues goalkeeper Paul Smith and was nodded off the goal-line by Kevan Hurst.

Southend soon hit with Sean Clohessy firing wide of the left post from 20 yards but Oxford were soon back on top with Damian Batt shooting over from 12 yards following a fine move from the visitors.

With play then switching back to the other end of the field, Kevan Hurst had a shot deflected wide of the right post but Oxford wasted another great chance to score in the 40th minute, with Potter again one on one against Smith.

The winger raced on to Rigg’s through ball but saw his low impressively tipped wide of the left post by Smith.

That ensured the first half ended goalless but Blues almost broke the deadlock two minutes in to the second period when Michael Timlin collected a short Hurst corner and delivered a right wing cross which Damian Batt headed against his own right post.

In reply, U’s winger Sean Rigg then fired wide of the left post and in to the side netting from the edge of the penalty area before Blues replied by registering the first shot of the game on target in the 54th minute with Barry Corr sending a half volleyed shot straight at Luke McCormick.

The controversial Oxford keeper was making his first Football League appearance since being jailed in 2008 for causing the death of two young children by dangerous driving.

He served half of a four year and seven month sentence and was handed a hostile reception on his return to the professional game by the Roots Hall crowd.

He had little to do for most of the game and, in a bid to improve his side, Blues boss Paul Sturrock made a trio of substitutions in quick succession with Caolan Lavery, Leonard and Ben Reeves all entering the action.

And it was Leonard who proved to the match winner five minutes from time when Corr teed up Timlin and his deep left wing cross was handed head from 12 yards by Leonard to ensure a second successive 1-0 win for Southend.

Comments (8)

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6:19pm Sat 2 Feb 13

Seasider90 says...

Disgusted to see that goalkeeper on the pitch. No problem if someone does their time but those little kiddies parents have a life sentence. Southend were poor today and deserved to lose. Wll done Paul Smith - kept us in the game.
Disgusted to see that goalkeeper on the pitch. No problem if someone does their time but those little kiddies parents have a life sentence. Southend were poor today and deserved to lose. Wll done Paul Smith - kept us in the game. Seasider90

11:32pm Sat 2 Feb 13

TrustMeIKnow says...

Seasider90 wrote:
Disgusted to see that goalkeeper on the pitch. No problem if someone does their time but those little kiddies parents have a life sentence. Southend were poor today and deserved to lose. Wll done Paul Smith - kept us in the game.
That goalkeeper, yes he may have done wrong in the past and yes the parents have a life sentence. But so does he, he has that guilt on him his whole life as well. He didn't do it on purpose and he has served his time! I respect the fact he has been able to get a job and Oxford for giving him a chance. Wether we want to or not life must go on and I'd rather he was earning honest money than living off the taxpayer probably getting himself and others into more trouble!
The past is the past you can't go back and change it!
[quote][p][bold]Seasider90[/bold] wrote: Disgusted to see that goalkeeper on the pitch. No problem if someone does their time but those little kiddies parents have a life sentence. Southend were poor today and deserved to lose. Wll done Paul Smith - kept us in the game.[/p][/quote]That goalkeeper, yes he may have done wrong in the past and yes the parents have a life sentence. But so does he, he has that guilt on him his whole life as well. He didn't do it on purpose and he has served his time! I respect the fact he has been able to get a job and Oxford for giving him a chance. Wether we want to or not life must go on and I'd rather he was earning honest money than living off the taxpayer probably getting himself and others into more trouble! The past is the past you can't go back and change it! TrustMeIKnow

5:26am Sun 3 Feb 13

shrimperd2 says...

i must say that luke mccormick, should be allowed to move on with his life,i do feel very sorry for the parents of the two young lads,but luke has served the time the courts gave him,and im sure he has the thoughts of what he done on his mind 24/7,he could have never played football again,signed on and been supported by tax payers,or got a job out of the public eye,but he has carried on with what he is good at,which i think must have been a hard call for him,as he would have known what sort of reaction he will get from every ground he plays at,im sure he dose not need reminding about that day,and if people do really feel for the parents of the two boys,singing and chanting about it every week is prob not the best way to go on.
i must say that luke mccormick, should be allowed to move on with his life,i do feel very sorry for the parents of the two young lads,but luke has served the time the courts gave him,and im sure he has the thoughts of what he done on his mind 24/7,he could have never played football again,signed on and been supported by tax payers,or got a job out of the public eye,but he has carried on with what he is good at,which i think must have been a hard call for him,as he would have known what sort of reaction he will get from every ground he plays at,im sure he dose not need reminding about that day,and if people do really feel for the parents of the two boys,singing and chanting about it every week is prob not the best way to go on. shrimperd2

5:14pm Sun 3 Feb 13

Barnet Shrimper says...

The Oxford goalkeeper should not have been critisised..........
...his , in many peoples vews, very lenient sentance ( of which he only served about a half), was not his fault, but the Crininal justice sentencing policies.IT has become only too obvious that most sentances for even serious crimes , are more lenient than they were in yesteryear....and to make matters worse,victims are more or less disregarded as in this case., and increasingly "sentancing does not meet the gravity of the crimes" ........except for many minor offences, and when far too many "cautions" are given out which do very little.
The Oxford goalkeeper should not have been critisised.......... ...his , in many peoples vews, very lenient sentance ( of which he only served about a half), was not his fault, but the Crininal justice sentencing policies.IT has become only too obvious that most sentances for even serious crimes , are more lenient than they were in yesteryear....and to make matters worse,victims are more or less disregarded as in this case., and increasingly "sentancing does not meet the gravity of the crimes" ........except for many minor offences, and when far too many "cautions" are given out which do very little. Barnet Shrimper

5:53pm Sun 3 Feb 13

southend loser says...

The scum that was in goal for trash like oxford united got what he deserved in fact not enough
I really feel for these clowns that defend child killers by whatever means I also mean that lower who was playing for ipswich who did the cuffs sign in support of this garbage
A life sentence for wiping out those kids tell that to their parents
Hope you rot in he'll Macormack
The scum that was in goal for trash like oxford united got what he deserved in fact not enough I really feel for these clowns that defend child killers by whatever means I also mean that lower who was playing for ipswich who did the cuffs sign in support of this garbage A life sentence for wiping out those kids tell that to their parents Hope you rot in he'll Macormack southend loser

6:45pm Sun 3 Feb 13

shrimperd2 says...

people drink and drive every day,most still hung over from the night before,just because they get away with it,dose it make them any better?it could have been any number of people on that day,its just that hes in the public eye,what you want him to do,never work again,its his job,if thats how you feel everyone who has been caught drink driving is just as bad,i feel for the parents,not sure how id feel if it was one of my kids,just think if the papers and media let it drop that would make it easier for the parents of the boys.Im sure that when he got behind the wheel,he did not set out with the intention of being a child killer.
people drink and drive every day,most still hung over from the night before,just because they get away with it,dose it make them any better?it could have been any number of people on that day,its just that hes in the public eye,what you want him to do,never work again,its his job,if thats how you feel everyone who has been caught drink driving is just as bad,i feel for the parents,not sure how id feel if it was one of my kids,just think if the papers and media let it drop that would make it easier for the parents of the boys.Im sure that when he got behind the wheel,he did not set out with the intention of being a child killer. shrimperd2

12:40pm Mon 4 Feb 13

Shrimper Nation says...

Nice change for an oppostion player to get more abuse from Southend fans than that given to Southend's own players.
Perhaps this could be made a regular feature at home games?
Nice change for an oppostion player to get more abuse from Southend fans than that given to Southend's own players. Perhaps this could be made a regular feature at home games? Shrimper Nation

4:09pm Mon 4 Feb 13

swoodhou64 says...

I've been supporting Southend for years, and on Saturday I was disgusted by the behaviour of some of the fans. The vileness of the abuse reached a new low, and then for some of these 'supporters' to turn on their own fans when asked to tone down the laguage, especially when there were children present was shocking and sickening.

These adults behaved as if in a bar room brawl, with their fellow fans receiving a torent of abuse, both physical and verbal. I left the ground feeling sick and questioning whether I ever want to see some of these people ever again.
I've been supporting Southend for years, and on Saturday I was disgusted by the behaviour of some of the fans. The vileness of the abuse reached a new low, and then for some of these 'supporters' to turn on their own fans when asked to tone down the laguage, especially when there were children present was shocking and sickening. These adults behaved as if in a bar room brawl, with their fellow fans receiving a torent of abuse, both physical and verbal. I left the ground feeling sick and questioning whether I ever want to see some of these people ever again. swoodhou64
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