SOUTHEND United’s under 18 side saw off Cambridge United 2-1 in a dress rehearsal for next week’s FA Youth Cup first round clash.

Tommy Lambourne’s third goal of the season and a slightly fortuitous own goal just before half-time helped the Shrimpers overturn an early deficit at the Clare College Sports Ground.

But Blues’ academy manager Ricky Duncan does not feel it will give the team too much of an edge going into next Thursday’s cup clash.

“In youth football it’s just about what happens on the night but it was good to get the win at the weekend,” said Duncan.

“Cambridge came to ours and beat us earlier in the season so it was good to go and for us to win there.

“But they’re a good side and the two teams are evenly matched so it has the makings a good cup tie and hopefully we can win that one too.”

Blues almost fell behind in the third minute after midfielder Cameron Brown had brought down a marauding full-back just outside the penalty area. But the free-kick was curled against the base of the right-hand post and cannoned to safety.

Cambridge could also have scored after a quarter-of-an-hour when a centre was chipped over.

But they did eventually take the lead when Brown was dispossessed in the 18th minute and a finish was arrowed into the bottom left-hand corner.

Crucially Blues took less than 60 seconds to respond. Goalkeeper Callum Taylor cut out a left-wing cross at his near post and set Unwin away down the opposite touchline.

The first-year flyer got to the goal-line before cutting back to Lambourne, who had little difficulty in side-footing home from inside the six-yard box.

The Shrimpers then bagged what proved to be the winner just before the break when the Cambridge goalkeeper allowed a backpass to slip past him and into the back of the net.

Blues: Taylor, Chandler, Biler, Brogan, Wallace, Davis, Anyadike (Eastwood 46), Brown, Lambourne (Adeooja 86), Coker, Unwin.