SOUTHEND United's under 18 side completed a 3-0 victory over an Aveley College team at Boots & Laces as they continued their preparations for the new campaign.

On a hot afternoon at Boots and Laces, Blues enjoyed the bulk of the possession in the opening half but they had to wait until the 35th minute before taking the lead.

A scramble in the visitors’ box saw them fail to clear the ball and Mo Amir hammered the ball into the net from 10 yards out.

Both Adetayo Adedoja and Louie Arrowsmith had chances to increase the advantage before half-time, but the Aveley keeper denied them both.

The second period started with more Blues pressure as Amir had a shot tipped over for a corner on 49 minutes.

Moments later Adedoja burst clear, but his fierce shot saw the visiting keeper again in fine form and first-year midfielder Jacob Bland also had a goal disallowed for offside.

But Blues made a raft of substitutions at the water break and, on 72 minutes, one of the replacements, Louie Rodmell made it 2-0 after being left with a tap-in following superb work by Garzon.

Three minutes later Rodmell turned provider as he squared for Joe Shenouda to finish deftly. 

And Shrimpers coach Danny Heath felt it had been a good work-out for his team.

“It was a good, even game,” said Heath.

“I didn’t feel we were at our best. In the first half we had more of the ball, but we were wasteful in the final third with the final ball, whether that was a cross or a shot.

“We’re getting good minutes into the legs of the boys. Jaden Crowhurst put in a good performance in the second half at Hornchurch, and he completed 70 minutes again while Ibrahim Kamara has also got two sets of 90 minutes in the tank.”

“We want as many players as possible doing that before the first league game on 7th August.

"It was also good to see Louie Arrowsmith play 70 minutes after he hasn’t been able to train for a few days. That’s a compliment for Luke Wakeling and Jon Rossi and the work they do behind the scenes.

Southend United U18s: Purcell (Curullo 80), Kamara, Arrowsmith (Fallows 69), Bland (Baines 69), Bolarinwa (Taylor 76), Burkey, Amir (Hewitt 69), Crowhurst (Buers 69), Adedoja (Rodmell 69), Garzon (Ratcliff 76), Williams (Shenouda Avelesss69).