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Rotherham United 0, Southend United 3
A SECOND half brace from Britt Assombalonga helped Southend United record a fantastic 3-0 win at Rotherham this afternoon.
The on loan Watford forward took his season’s tally to nine with a double strike just after the break.
And he was joined on the score-sheet by David Martin as Blues won on their first ever visit to the New York Stadium.
Paul Sturrock’s side looked lively from the start but it was the Millers also had their chances with Gareth Evans forcing Paul Smith in to a decent save low down to his left hand side before Ben Pringle fired inches over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area.
Having survived the scares, Southend thought they had opened the scoring in the 31st minute when Britt Assombalonga tapped home Ryan Cresswell’s header from Kevan Hurst’s right wing free kick but the close range effort was ruled out for offside.
Assombalonga then had a near post shot tipped wide for a corner by Shearer in the closing action of the first half and Blues remained on top after the break with Millers defender Ian Sharps doing well to stop Ryan Leonard converting Gavin Tomlin’s right wing cross.
But Blues did not have to wait long to break the deadlock as they went in front in the 52nd minute, with Assombalonga on target.
The on loan Watford forward was brilliantly picked out by a left wing cross from Martin and headed the ball down in to the back of the net from six yards.
Moments later, Leonard dragged a long range shot wide of the left post and, in the 66th minute, Southend doubled their lead, with Assombalonga scoring his second goal of the afternoon.
The striker latched on to a low right wing cross from Sean Clohessy and composed himself before firing a brilliant 12 yard shot in to the top right hand corner of the net.
Southend continued to push forward and almost went further ahead when a fantastic move resulted in Hurst crossing for Assombalonga who, on the stretch, sent the ball past the left post.
Martin then drilled an inviting low cross fizzing the across the face of goal before Blues made it 3-0 in the 66th minute, with Martin this time the scorer.
Tomlin initially started the move as he broke free down the right hand before delivering a right wing cross which was met by Assombalonga.
His instinctive effort was pushed up on to the crossbar by Millers goalkeeper Shearer but Martin was on hand to head the resulting rebound in to a gaping goal from close range.
Southend continued to push forward and almost made it 4-0 in the 78th minute when Tomlin latched on a mis-hit shot from Assombalonga, only to fire the ball inches wide of the left post from a narrow angle.
Three minutes later, Blues were forced in making their first change of the afternoon as Cresswel l limped off against his former side and was replaced at the heart of the back four by Graham Coughlan.
Three minutes from time, new boy Jonson Clarke-Harris came on for Assombalonga in attack as Blues easily held on to record an impressive win on the road.