Southend United 0, Crawley Town 0

Echo: Cameron Belford keeps out Billy Clarke's penalty Cameron Belford keeps out Billy Clarke's penalty

SOUTHEND United held promotion rivals Crawley Town to a 0-0 draw at Roots Hall tonight – despite playing the final 10 minutes of the match with just nine men.

Blues had skipper Chris Barker sent off on the hour mark for deliberate hand ball and had to rely on goalkeeper Cameron Belford saving the subsequent Billy Clarke penalty.

Things got worse for Southend when striker Liam Dickinson was stretchered off in the 80th minute after manager Paul Sturrock had already made his three substitutions.

Yet Blues were still able to hang on to record a heroic draw.

Crawley were left to reflect on a wasted opportunity and were on top early on when midfielder Sergio Torres headed straight at Belford.

But both sides struggled to deal with the strong wind and rain in the opening exchanges.

Goalscoring chances and any excitement therefore remained quite limited but, with 12 minutes on the clock, Town striker Billy Clarke curled a 25 yard free kick just past the right post.

In reply, Southend striker Jack Sampson fired a deflected snap shot wide of the left post following a long throw in to the box by Lee Hills.

However, Crawley were causing problems again in the 38th minute when Scott Davis latched on a to a loose pass from Neil Harris and unleashed a low 25 yard shot which Belford did well to divert around the right upright.

With play immediately switching back to the other end of the field, Harris then dragged a left footed shot wide of the right post after being teed up by his strike partner Sampson.

As a result, the game remained goalless at the break but Crawley were back on top at the start of the second period with Clarke cutting in off the right flank before forcing Belford in to action with a well struck left footed shot.

Town then came even closer to opening the scoring when Shaun Batt’s left wing cross was flicked in to the path of Josh Simpson by Clarke.

But the midfielder, who spent the first five months of last season on loan at Blues, could only send his six yard volley wide of the left post when he should have done better.

Blues had an even bigger let off on the hour mark when another shot from Simpson was parried out by Belford and Clarke’s follow up effort, from a seemingly offside position, was handled on the goal-line by Barker.

Referee Neil Swarbrick immediately pointed to the spot and sent off the Southend skipper but Crawley were still unable to open the scoring as Clarke’s penalty was well saved by Belford.

The on loan Bury keeper dived full length to his left hand side to keep out the original effort and then also recovered well to dive on the loose ball.

Blues reorganised by bringing on Luke Prosser for Sampson with the substitute reverting to the heart of the back to take Barker’s place before Dickinson quickly followed him on to the pitch as a replacement for David Martin.

Fourteen minutes from time, Kane Ferdinand also entered the action in place of the injured Lee Hills but four minutes later Dickinson was also forced off.

The striker left the pitch on a stretcher after a challenge from Warren Cummings and that left Blues with only nine men.

Crawley attempted to make the most of their extra men with Davies shooting inches over the crossbar from long range before Clarke volleyed wide of the left post from six yards.

But the visitors could not make the breakthrough, despite six minutes of added on time being played, as Blues dug deep to pick up a determined share of the spoils.

Comments (13)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:50pm Mon 5 Mar 12

Nazzarooney says...

A valuable point, good team spirit but another poor advert for SUFC on the telly :-(
A valuable point, good team spirit but another poor advert for SUFC on the telly :-( Nazzarooney

10:59pm Mon 5 Mar 12

Techy - SOL says...

The conditions were poor out there tonight, so expectations of a decent game soon went out of the window.

Creepy (Crawley) looked hungry and their counter attacking was frighteningly quick but we dealt with everything they had with spirit & determination especially as we lost Barker, then Dickinson.

My MotM was Barker for his save although deservedly it went to Belford for stopping the penalty. Sign him up!!!

Well pleased with the result.
The conditions were poor out there tonight, so expectations of a decent game soon went out of the window. Creepy (Crawley) looked hungry and their counter attacking was frighteningly quick but we dealt with everything they had with spirit & determination especially as we lost Barker, then Dickinson. My MotM was Barker for his save although deservedly it went to Belford for stopping the penalty. Sign him up!!! Well pleased with the result. Techy - SOL

11:23pm Mon 5 Mar 12

gerrywithag says...

Bad luck, Sky, following that awful game at Gillingham, this was another dreadful display from a footballling point of view. Sadly, Blues have hardly a single player with the ability to pass the ball to a team mate and no one with the composure to look up and try to create something. If you're going to play that way, then why leave Dickenson on the bench for most of the game when he is ideally suited to hit and hope football with his strength in the air, something which Harris never had even in his prime. On the other hand, the goalkeeper was superb (no wonder Bury had such a good defensive record last season) and when down to ten men and especially nine, the whole team undeniably did show terrific team spirit and real character. As a supporter for more than fifty years I do recognise what a herculean job Paul Sturrock is doing to turn things around against all the odds and I do wish them well: it would be nice if they could play a bit of football now and then!
Bad luck, Sky, following that awful game at Gillingham, this was another dreadful display from a footballling point of view. Sadly, Blues have hardly a single player with the ability to pass the ball to a team mate and no one with the composure to look up and try to create something. If you're going to play that way, then why leave Dickenson on the bench for most of the game when he is ideally suited to hit and hope football with his strength in the air, something which Harris never had even in his prime. On the other hand, the goalkeeper was superb (no wonder Bury had such a good defensive record last season) and when down to ten men and especially nine, the whole team undeniably did show terrific team spirit and real character. As a supporter for more than fifty years I do recognise what a herculean job Paul Sturrock is doing to turn things around against all the odds and I do wish them well: it would be nice if they could play a bit of football now and then! gerrywithag

12:24am Tue 6 Mar 12

Rachy7 says...

Moshni was missed tonight we needed to win headers and have players In the box when we had chances.
Our goalie was amazing And glad
We managed to hold on for the point
Moshni was missed tonight we needed to win headers and have players In the box when we had chances. Our goalie was amazing And glad We managed to hold on for the point Rachy7

6:38am Tue 6 Mar 12

tophatdt says...

Difficult weather conditions for both sides...a well earnt point...I agree with Rachy7 that Moshni might have headed one in, but all credit goes to the goalie....wish we could buy him.
Difficult weather conditions for both sides...a well earnt point...I agree with Rachy7 that Moshni might have headed one in, but all credit goes to the goalie....wish we could buy him. tophatdt

8:02am Tue 6 Mar 12

bluedazza777 says...

Belford has been fantastic in his 2 games with us and has been best player by miles,lastnite we was poor again 11 v 11,10 v 11 we looked better,but something is missing from our home games,9 v 11 have to say well done lads,not seen many good games at the hall,seems we like playing away better :(,sign belford martin!!!!!. UTB
Belford has been fantastic in his 2 games with us and has been best player by miles,lastnite we was poor again 11 v 11,10 v 11 we looked better,but something is missing from our home games,9 v 11 have to say well done lads,not seen many good games at the hall,seems we like playing away better :(,sign belford martin!!!!!. UTB bluedazza777

9:58am Tue 6 Mar 12

westcliffeblue says...

Miserable night, weather and football. 10/10 for the 9 man efforts to save a point, however, Crawley did miss a few sitters! We are a poor team at home, we look bereft of ideas - no shots on target says it all. Strikers have been pitiful this season - Dickinson has a few, but the rest, Sampson, Benyon, Flood and Harris are not good enough, bring back Blair and Paterson at least they both brought a goal threat.

Ferdinand not interested, Grant back to his best - some lovely free kicks won and Chris Barker was unlucky but took one for the team. Well done Prosser when you came on, got in front of everything. Don't really get what people see in either Sawyer or Martin, both headless, both run down blind alley's!

Our League position is unbelievable - to even make the play off would be a massive acheivement imho.
Miserable night, weather and football. 10/10 for the 9 man efforts to save a point, however, Crawley did miss a few sitters! We are a poor team at home, we look bereft of ideas - no shots on target says it all. Strikers have been pitiful this season - Dickinson has a few, but the rest, Sampson, Benyon, Flood and Harris are not good enough, bring back Blair and Paterson at least they both brought a goal threat. Ferdinand not interested, Grant back to his best - some lovely free kicks won and Chris Barker was unlucky but took one for the team. Well done Prosser when you came on, got in front of everything. Don't really get what people see in either Sawyer or Martin, both headless, both run down blind alley's! Our League position is unbelievable - to even make the play off would be a massive acheivement imho. westcliffeblue

11:10am Tue 6 Mar 12

bong74 says...

We have got to hold onto belford,better then morris!! shame about the weather, it may have been a better game.
We have got to hold onto belford,better then morris!! shame about the weather, it may have been a better game. bong74

12:24pm Tue 6 Mar 12

Shrimper Nation says...

Two clean sheets and two solid team performances without Mohsni.
Not a co-incidence, he has too many final chances and has a negative impact on team spirit. Adios, Bilel.
Two clean sheets and two solid team performances without Mohsni. Not a co-incidence, he has too many final chances and has a negative impact on team spirit. Adios, Bilel. Shrimper Nation

12:32pm Tue 6 Mar 12

DannyK86 says...

Sign up Belford! Was impressed with Grant's performance in particular. Harris could certainly have done better, he gave away a pass that resulted in us having to defend frantically for about 5mins after! Quite impressed with Lee Hills too.

Whoever keeps going on about Paterson, just forget him. He's not going to play again and he lacked the strength to be a real threat anyway.
Sign up Belford! Was impressed with Grant's performance in particular. Harris could certainly have done better, he gave away a pass that resulted in us having to defend frantically for about 5mins after! Quite impressed with Lee Hills too. Whoever keeps going on about Paterson, just forget him. He's not going to play again and he lacked the strength to be a real threat anyway. DannyK86

2:04pm Tue 6 Mar 12

westcliffeblue says...

DannyK86 wrote:
Sign up Belford! Was impressed with Grant's performance in particular. Harris could certainly have done better, he gave away a pass that resulted in us having to defend frantically for about 5mins after! Quite impressed with Lee Hills too. Whoever keeps going on about Paterson, just forget him. He's not going to play again and he lacked the strength to be a real threat anyway.
Agree about Belford, two good performances, Morris is now back up as far as I am concerned. Hills looks a much better bet than Gilbert ever did. As for Paterson and Blair - I'd play them coz the rest of the strikers at the club couldn't hit a cows backside with a banjo!
[quote][p][bold]DannyK86[/bold] wrote: Sign up Belford! Was impressed with Grant's performance in particular. Harris could certainly have done better, he gave away a pass that resulted in us having to defend frantically for about 5mins after! Quite impressed with Lee Hills too. Whoever keeps going on about Paterson, just forget him. He's not going to play again and he lacked the strength to be a real threat anyway.[/p][/quote]Agree about Belford, two good performances, Morris is now back up as far as I am concerned. Hills looks a much better bet than Gilbert ever did. As for Paterson and Blair - I'd play them coz the rest of the strikers at the club couldn't hit a cows backside with a banjo! westcliffeblue

5:51pm Tue 6 Mar 12

Shrimper Nation says...

westcliffeblue wrote:
DannyK86 wrote: Sign up Belford! Was impressed with Grant's performance in particular. Harris could certainly have done better, he gave away a pass that resulted in us having to defend frantically for about 5mins after! Quite impressed with Lee Hills too. Whoever keeps going on about Paterson, just forget him. He's not going to play again and he lacked the strength to be a real threat anyway.
Agree about Belford, two good performances, Morris is now back up as far as I am concerned. Hills looks a much better bet than Gilbert ever did. As for Paterson and Blair - I'd play them coz the rest of the strikers at the club couldn't hit a cows backside with a banjo!
we have scored more goals than any other team in league two
[quote][p][bold]westcliffeblue[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DannyK86[/bold] wrote: Sign up Belford! Was impressed with Grant's performance in particular. Harris could certainly have done better, he gave away a pass that resulted in us having to defend frantically for about 5mins after! Quite impressed with Lee Hills too. Whoever keeps going on about Paterson, just forget him. He's not going to play again and he lacked the strength to be a real threat anyway.[/p][/quote]Agree about Belford, two good performances, Morris is now back up as far as I am concerned. Hills looks a much better bet than Gilbert ever did. As for Paterson and Blair - I'd play them coz the rest of the strikers at the club couldn't hit a cows backside with a banjo![/p][/quote]we have scored more goals than any other team in league two Shrimper Nation

8:19am Wed 7 Mar 12

westcliffeblue says...

Point I am making is that Dickinson is the only striker at the club who has double figures, 12 I believe. The rest of the strikers have no more than 5/6 between them all - they are mince. If it wasnt for goals from Bilel and especially Phillips we would be struggling. Now that Dickinson is out maybe PS will off load Bilel, and a few others and bring in someone then who can actually hit the back of the net. I will disappointed if Sampson signs for a further month.
Point I am making is that Dickinson is the only striker at the club who has double figures, 12 I believe. The rest of the strikers have no more than 5/6 between them all - they are mince. If it wasnt for goals from Bilel and especially Phillips we would be struggling. Now that Dickinson is out maybe PS will off load Bilel, and a few others and bring in someone then who can actually hit the back of the net. I will disappointed if Sampson signs for a further month. westcliffeblue

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree