Southend United manager Paul Sturrock praises Kane Ferdinand after victory over Ipswich Town (From Echo)
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Southend United manager Paul Sturrock praises Kane Ferdinand after victory over Ipswich Town
SOUTHEND United manager Paul Sturrock heaped praise on Kane Ferdinand after the young midfielder helped his side beat Ipswich Town 2-1 at Roots Hall tonight.
Ferdinand opened the scoring with a header before another of his efforts was diverted past his own goalkeeper by Town defender Luke Chambers.
And Sturrock feels Ferdinand has improved since the end of last season.
“Kane has come back stronger and with more belief about him too,” said Sturrock.
“There’s a still long way to go for him but he’s done well and I was pleased with the performance tonight.
“We played well in the first half but I always knew we would be leg weary in the second because of all the work we did in Spain with the side at the weekend.”
Blues started brightly against the Tractor Boys and were nearly a goal ahead inside the opening minute when Ryan Hall’s back post cross was met by the head of the unmarked Ferdinand who headed narrowly over the bar.
However, Southend did take the lead in the seventh minute and it was the same duo again with Ferdinand glancing Hall’s left footed free-kick into the bottom corner past Scott Loach in the Town goal.
Blues continued to press and extended their lead four minutes later after Ferdinand headed Hall’s deep cross back across goal with the ball ricocheting off the unfortunate Chambers and in to the Ipswich goal.
Town attempted to get themselves back in the game, passing the ball around well but to no avail with Southend looking the most likely to score.
As a result, a long kick up field from goalkeeper Daniel Bentley was soon flicked on well by Neil Harris but Roach just beat Gavin Tomlin to the ball at the second attempt.
Town’s first shot of the game came in the 24th minute after Michael Chopra found Josh Carson 18 yards out before the midfielder scuffed his shot straight into the arms of Bentley.
Ipswich continued to look for a way back into the game with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas firing over from long range but, with play soon switching back to the other end of the field, Carson cleared a Harris header from another Hall free-kick off the goal-line.
Having survived the scare, Ipswich fashioned a rare chance with Carlos Edwards firing a dangerous ball across the face of the goal and, at the start of the second half, only a last gasp clearance from Ryan Cresswell stopped Ryan Stevenson getting on the end of Aaron Cresswell’s skidding delivery.
From the resulting corner Stevenson had his close range effort blocked by the body of Bentley as the young stopper closed the ball down well.
Blues replied instantly in the 58th minute with Mark Phillips heading over a cross from Ryan Leonard but Ipswich should have got back in to the game shortly after when Luongo shot wide from close range.
However, Town were not to be denied for long as they pulled a goal back in calamitous fashion in the 71st minute when Phillips played a back pass towards Bentley only for the keeper to misjudge the ball before slipping over as it bobbled over the line.
Ipswich then pressed hard for the equaliser with Chopra hitting the crossbar from 20 yards before Thomas shot just wide as Southend hung on to beat the Championship club.
Southend United: Bentley, Clohessy, Phillips, Cresswell, Straker, Hall, Ferdinand, Leonard (Brogan 80), Hurst (Martin 81), Harris (Eastwood 69), Tomlin (Benyon 69).
Subs not used: Barker and Prosser.