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Things go the right way for Southend United at Wycombe Wanderers
COMING on the back of the midweek Johnstone's Paint Trophy heroics, Southend United's visit to Wycombe Wanderers at the weekend was always destined to go one of two ways.
Either Blues would be distracted by beating Leyton Orient and working their way to Wembley or the extreme momentum generated by seeing off the O's would help them also beat the Chairboys.
As it proved, Paul Sturrock's side were able to produce a spirited second half performance to secure a 2-1 victory.
But that came after a sluggish first 45 minute period which is becoming something of a norm for Blues.
They have now not scored before half-time in their last 10 outings while just 20 of the 69 goals netted by the team this season have come in the first half.
Such a statistic again demonstrates the fighting spirit and high fitness levels which do exist in the current Southend side.
However, the slow starts have to be a concern and Blues cannot keep going behind or being outplayed before finding their form and getting on top.
Because in recent weeks, matches against Accrington Stanley, Northampton and Cheltenham Town have shown the importance of being at your best for the majority of the match.
And, with Southend taking on high-flying Rotherham United and Port Vale after tomorrow's trip to Barnet, they cannot afford to give their opponents such a head-start if they are to stay right in the race for promotion.
Blues were able to rescue the situation against the Chairboys though and that moved them up to eighth in the League Two table, just two points below the play-offs.
That delighted the noisy contingent of travelling supporters behind the goal and it was a particularly pleasing afternoon for both of Southend strikers, Barry Corr and Britt Assombalonga who both worked their way on to the score-sheet.
Corr headed Blues back level at the start of the second half and again produced an impressive all round performance in attack to confirm his return to full fitness.
That is in stark contrast to Corr's last visit to Adams Park in May 2011 when he started what proved to be an 18 month spell on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.
But the Irishman is now back to full fitness and form and has been among Blues' best performers in their last three outings.
Alongside him, Assombalonga also looked lively in attack against the Chairboys and crucially ended his barren run in front of goal.
The on loan Watford youngster had gone 12 games and three months without hitting the back of the net and had started to look short of confidence.
However, Assombalonga was full of pace and power against Wycombe and caused their defence all kinds of problems before hitting home what proved to be the game's decisive goal.
The fine finish will do wonders for the striker's confidence and everyone connected with the club will now be hoping it helps get Assombalonga firing on a more consistent basis once again.
The striker started the season in stunning fashion, scoring nine goals in his first 14 games but injuries and the sheer number of matches have halted his progress since then.
But there were signs on Saturday of the old Assombalonga and, if that can be maintained, then both he and Corr could have a huge part to play in the remainder of the season, especially with top goalscorer Gavin Tomlin currently out injured.
They will be hoping to maintain that form and fire their side to more success because promotion and not only Wembley is still very much achievable for Southend this season – just as long as their first half form can finally be sorted.