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Britt Assombalonga shows again that he's Southend United shining light
BRITT Assombalonga’s stunning second half strike secured Southend United a deserved share of the spoils at Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.
The on-loan Watford striker brilliantly beat Darren Purse with a fine piece of skill before sprinting forward and firing a neat finish past Pilgrims goalkeeper Jake Cole.
But the hard fought 1-1 draw again perfectly demonstrated both the good and the bad about Blues.
The main highlight was again the spirit on show as Southend pulled together to fight back from going a goal behind to pick up a determined 1-1 draw.
That extended Blues’ run of good results and they have now been beaten just once in their last eight games.
Seventeen points have been taken from the last 24 on offer and it was the excellence of Assombalonga which again contributed to avoiding defeat.
The 19-year-old has now scored six goals in eight league starts and his latest effort was the best of the bunch.
The equaliser will enhance his already blossoming reputation in the game and the fine form of the youngster has been one of the brightest aspects of the opening few games of the season for Southend.
But for another of Blues’ strikers, Barry Corr, it was an afternoon to forget at Home Park.
Just seven days after scoring in his comeback match against Exeter City following 17 months out injured, Corr was sent off following a clash with Plymouth defender Purse.
Corr appeared to make minimal contact with the centre-back who made the most of the situation by crashing to the floor.
However, Corr was unwise to confront Purse in the first place as it gave referee Steve Rushton a needless decision to make.
And, having shown six red cards in his last nine games, the official always seemed likely to dismiss the striker.
Corr will now have to serve a three-match suspension and with Gavin Tomlin, Neil Harris, Paul Smith and Mark Phillips already out injured his absence will be felt hard by Sturrock.
The Scotsman, who was facing his former side at the weekend, remains short of options and there lies the problem for Blues at this stage.
Sturrock has worked wonders with limited options and the players are also to be commended for their efforts.
But the manager’s tactical awareness can only take the current squad so far.
At Plymouth on Saturday, there were signs the side may soon need freshening up in order to maintain its impressive energy levels, but that simply cannot happen at the moment.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Blues are also absolutely crying out for a ball-winning midfielder in the centre of the park and the club must do all they can to get out of their transfer embargo.
For right now it is stifling Sturrock’s plans and the hopes of supporters because every injury and suspension will cause major concern, especially with three games coming up in the space of just seven days.
Southend need to soon bolster their squad, which currently consists of just 15 fit senior players.
And only when the Blues boss is able to go back into the transfer market to bring in loan signings will the team be able to sustain a serious push for promotion.