Southend United 2, Exeter City 3

Echo: Ben Coker on the ball for Southend United Ben Coker on the ball for Southend United

SOUTHEND United conceded two goals in the final eight minutes to suffer a disappointing 3-2 defeat against Exeter City at Roots Hall this afternoon.

Two goals from centre-back from Mark Phillips seemed to have secured victory for the Shrimpers.

But the Grecians had other ideas and hit back to secure their first victory of 2014.

Exeter took just 10 minutes to take the lead when a poor clearance from Daniel Bentley was headed forward by Arron Davies in to the path of Jimmy Keohane who netted with an assured low finish from 12 yards.

However, the Shrimpers were behind for just two minutes as Phillips rose high to head home Ben Coker’s right wing free-kick into the bottom right hand corner of the net from close range.

Exeter were soon back on top and only a fine save from Bentley stop then regaining the lead as he instinctively kept out a six yard header from Keohane.

Moments later, the Blues shot stopper did well to tip a low 20 yard effort from John O’Flynn around the right post.

And, having survived those scares, the Shrimpers hit back to go in front with Phillips again on the target as the centre-back headed home a driven right wing corner from Kevan Hurst.

The hat-trick hunting Phillips then headed a right wing free-kick from Coker over the crossbar from 12 yards before play switched back to the other end of the field with Bentley doing well to tip a low shot from Keohane wide of the left post.

Blues responded with Coker curling a 25 yard free-kick just inches wide of the right post but, at the start of the second, Exeter were almost back level when a deflected Liam Sercombe shot went only just wide of the left post.

The Shrimpers could then have extended their lead when Exeter goalkeeper Christy Pym sent an attempted clearance straight to Barry Corr but the striker could only shoot well wide of the right post from 25 yards.

With Southend staying on top, Adam Thompson then headed Will Atkinson’s cross over the North Bank net from close range following a well worked short corner.

In a bid to stay on top, Blues soon made two substitutes in quick succession with Bedsente Gomis replacing Lee Barnard for his Shrimpers debut and Freddy Eastwood coming on for Corr who appeared to be struggling with an injury.

But it was not enough to stop the visitors coming back in to the game and the Grecians equalised in stunning fashion in the 82nd minute when Sercombe drilled a stunning 25 yard shot in to the top right hand corner of the net.

Blues boss Phil Brown responded by making his third change as young striker Jason Williams was handed his debut in attack after replacing Michael Timlin.

And Williams almost made it an afternoon to remember as he charged forward before seeing his low shot blocked by Pym who then easily collected a poor volley from Hurst after the winger had been picked out by Gomis’ right wing cross.

That miss soon increased in significance too as, with 87 minutes on the clock, Exeter bagged a late winner when substitute Eliot Richards worked his way in off the left flank before drilling home a low shot.

Comments (10)

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5:25pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Techy - SOL says...

Portugal was money well spent then? How's your tan Phil?
Portugal was money well spent then? How's your tan Phil? Techy - SOL
  • Score: -1

6:49pm Sat 15 Feb 14

gary 51 says...

Tactics wrong, Exeter had the answers
Never mind we lost a battle but it is the war we need to win, let's get it back on track Tuesday!
Tactics wrong, Exeter had the answers Never mind we lost a battle but it is the war we need to win, let's get it back on track Tuesday! gary 51
  • Score: 2

10:51pm Sat 15 Feb 14

smudge65 says...

Looked shaky at the back today and miss Prosser. Is the constant 110% effort much of the team have put in all season taking its toll? Some looked jaded and no number of warm weather traing breaks will sort that out.
Fan of PB but have to admit strange substitutions. Need some pace up front but is Jason Williams the answer? Hope so as Barnard looks well off the pace at the moment. Gomis? The club obviously rate him as have jumped through hoops to sign him up but looked erratic to say the least. First night nerves?
Hope this is a wobble but the form since the Hull game isn't promising. Need a win sharpish so the pressure will be on Tuesday night against a very confident Hartlepool. I can't handle a THIRD season of wheels coming off just when it matters!
Looked shaky at the back today and miss Prosser. Is the constant 110% effort much of the team have put in all season taking its toll? Some looked jaded and no number of warm weather traing breaks will sort that out. Fan of PB but have to admit strange substitutions. Need some pace up front but is Jason Williams the answer? Hope so as Barnard looks well off the pace at the moment. Gomis? The club obviously rate him as have jumped through hoops to sign him up but looked erratic to say the least. First night nerves? Hope this is a wobble but the form since the Hull game isn't promising. Need a win sharpish so the pressure will be on Tuesday night against a very confident Hartlepool. I can't handle a THIRD season of wheels coming off just when it matters! smudge65
  • Score: 0

11:18pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Reginald47 says...

Thank goodness - for a while there I thought we were serious about promotion this year. But now it's back to normal at last.
Thank goodness - for a while there I thought we were serious about promotion this year. But now it's back to normal at last. Reginald47
  • Score: -1

12:00am Sun 16 Feb 14

Canada Boy says...

What a pity to lose after banging in two goals. Got to get back on track!
What a pity to lose after banging in two goals. Got to get back on track! Canada Boy
  • Score: 0

6:34am Sun 16 Feb 14

tophat27dt says...

I feel sorry for Phillips who put The Blues in front. The manager made a weiord choice with the two subs. Why didn't he bring on Eastwood first, who may well have got a third goal for us earlier on, which MAY have rauised the team spirit a bit. Sort out the defense, and kick a few backsides.
I feel sorry for Phillips who put The Blues in front. The manager made a weiord choice with the two subs. Why didn't he bring on Eastwood first, who may well have got a third goal for us earlier on, which MAY have rauised the team spirit a bit. Sort out the defense, and kick a few backsides. tophat27dt
  • Score: -1

12:34pm Sun 16 Feb 14

TheEssexWay says...

15 minutes into the second half I turned to my mate and said that Southend were going to throw it away if they carried on playing the way they were and throw it away they did! You could see the writing on the cards, they just sat back and let Exeter come at them, thinking they had won the game. How many times have we seen them do this? It was the old style Southend I saw yesterday, not the ones challenging for promotion. Looks like they thought they were still plodding around in Portugal. I agree with all the previous comments, if we don't get a result against Hartlepool on Tuesday, we will surely throw all our hard work away. Hopefully this will be a wake-up call?
15 minutes into the second half I turned to my mate and said that Southend were going to throw it away if they carried on playing the way they were and throw it away they did! You could see the writing on the cards, they just sat back and let Exeter come at them, thinking they had won the game. How many times have we seen them do this? It was the old style Southend I saw yesterday, not the ones challenging for promotion. Looks like they thought they were still plodding around in Portugal. I agree with all the previous comments, if we don't get a result against Hartlepool on Tuesday, we will surely throw all our hard work away. Hopefully this will be a wake-up call? TheEssexWay
  • Score: -1

1:24pm Sun 16 Feb 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

Tough game coming up now against Hartlepool.
Tough game coming up now against Hartlepool. Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: -1

2:01pm Sun 16 Feb 14

bluedazza777 says...

Two sloppy goals and a wonder strike,we had our chances and didnt take them,thats footie no such thing as a easy game and after taken 2pts from 4 games we are still in the hunt,its not over yet jez moan when season is over if we dont make it, as for now home and away im cheering the lads and mr brown on. UTB
Two sloppy goals and a wonder strike,we had our chances and didnt take them,thats footie no such thing as a easy game and after taken 2pts from 4 games we are still in the hunt,its not over yet jez moan when season is over if we dont make it, as for now home and away im cheering the lads and mr brown on. UTB bluedazza777
  • Score: 1

2:33pm Sun 16 Feb 14

southend loser says...

Very disappointed to see Southend lose ,cannot get to many games whilst living in Scotland,depend on your comments to get idea of how the game went.
Still only mid February so still time,just not the strongest squads.
Why did they bring Barnard back?? Never really rated him personally
Very disappointed to see Southend lose ,cannot get to many games whilst living in Scotland,depend on your comments to get idea of how the game went. Still only mid February so still time,just not the strongest squads. Why did they bring Barnard back?? Never really rated him personally southend loser
  • Score: -1
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