SOUTHEND United under-18s bounced back from the disappointment of a midweek thrashing at Peterborough United to record a 2-0 victory against Northampton Town at Boots & Laces on Saturday.
Academy manager Ricky Duncan stressed after the fixture that this result was only the start of the recovery after a 7- 0 reverse at the hands of the Posh.
But Blues showed good character to defeat the Cobblers thanks to goals from Harry Phillips and George Burton.
Duncan was keen for his team to play football in the early stages and at no stage was that more evident than when Phillips gave the Shrimpers the lead in the 16th minute.
Nico Cotton began the move, sliding the ball out to the right flank for Jordan Williams.
He hung a cross up to the back post, where Brandon Scott nodded the ball back to Phillips and the first-year scholar thumped a volley home through a crowded six-yard box.
Having conceded shortly after going ahead in their fixture against Leyton Orient last weekend, Blues were intent on holding onto their advantage in the immediate aftermath of Phillips’ goal.
In order to do so, they were reliant on goalkeeper Josh Bexon making a smart stop from a side-footed finish and the profligacy of a Cobblers forward who fired wide from a right-sided free-kick.
In reply, Scott sent a shot flying across the face of goal in the early stages of the second period, but Northampton’s threat continued to increase.
Some good defending from Daniel Matsuzaka and Ross Johnson shepherded a forward away from goal in the 57th minute and Bexon made a flying save to his right shortly afterwards as the Cobblers switched play to opposite right flank.
Twelve minutes later the custodian made an even more impressive stop, scrambling along his goal-line to save beside the base of his left-hand upright after a forward had been found in space by a square pass.
Having survived the scares, Southend hit back to seal their victory with a second goal just two minutes from time.
Norman Wabo made good ground to collect the ball down the right and he crossed for Burton to turn in his first goal of the season from 10 yards out.
Blues will nowbe seeking to build on the victory when they welcome AFC Wimbledon to Boots & Laces on Thursday afternoon for a knockout Youth Alliance Cup second round tie.
Southend United U18s: Bexon, Williams, Adeyeye, Johnson, Salami, Matsuzaka, Scott, Bedford, Wabo, Phillips (Dias 73), Nico Cotton (Burton 68).
Subs not used: Macree.