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Cheltenham Town 1, Southend United 3
THREE goals in the space of eight minutes handed Southend United a 3-1 win at Cheltenham Town this afternoon.
Blues went behind when Jermaine McGlashan fired the Robins in front.
But strikes from Sean Clohessy, Britt Assombalonga and Mark Phillips saw Paul Sturrock’s side successfully fight back to secure a fourth successive win.
Despite the eventual result though, it was the Robins who were on top early on and, after 10 minutes, a low right wing cross from Sam Deering flashed across the face of Southend’s goal.
Blues hit back with Assombalonga having a close range header from David Martin’s left wing cross parried out by Scott Brown.
But, having survived the scare, Cheltenham responded by taking the lead from a neatly constructed counter attack in the 15th minute of the match.
Deering was again involved as he crossed from the left hand side to pick out McGlashan at the far post and his low, 12 yard shot fizzed past Paul Smith and Chris Barker on the goal-line to put the home-side in front.
Cheltenham nearly doubled their lead when Sean Harrad’s well struck shot was parried to safety by Smith before the Blues goalkeeper also collected Darren Carter’s close range header.
Smith then kept out a 25 yard shot from Marlon Pack before Blues almost netted in unbelievable circumstances when Assombalonga 50/50 challenge with McGlashan resulted in the ball firing 60 yards back towards Cheltenham’s goal before it landed on the roof of the net.
In reply, a scorching long range shot from Pack then fizzed just past the left post from long range before Smith did well to tip over a similar effort from Town winger Kaid Mohamed.
However, Southend hit back with Assombalonga having a curling shot tipped on to the top of the right post before they leveled on the stroke of half-time, with Clohessy on target for the first time in 21 months.
The right back collected a half cleared cross from Kevan Hurst and drilled a 12 yard shot in to the bottom left hand corner of the net. Blues then went in front four minutes in to the second half when Hurst’s right wing free-kick picked out Ryan Cresswell and his header was tipped on to the inside of the left post Brown.
But the keeper was unable to do anything about the rebound as Assombalonga headed home from inside the six yard box for his fifth goal in five games.
And, just three minutes later, Southend extended their advantage even further when Hurst’s inswinging free-kick from the left hand side was powered home by the head of Phillips.
With Blues remaining on top, they should have soon made it 4-1 when Gavin Tomlin teed up Hurst but the winger could only fire wide of the left post from 12 yards.
Southend threatened again in the 69th minute when Cresswell’s header from another Hurst corner was blocked in front of goal by Tomlin and, just moments later, Assombalonga’s 20 yard shot was tipped wide of the left post by Brown.
After that Cheltenham began to get back on top as they attempted to get back in to the game.
But Blues stood firm to move up to eighth in the table.