TWO second half penalties saw Concord Rangers beat Southend United 2-1 at the Aspect Arena this afternoon.

A young Shrimpers side took the lead in the final pre-season friendly of the summer with Max Fiddes firing home from close range.

But spot-kicks from Danny Green and Ben Williamson secured victory for the Beach Boys in a game overshadowed by a serious looking injury to Concord defender Jayden Randell.

Blues started brightly with Jon Benton seeing a low 25 yard shot pushed away by Concord goalkeeper Melvin Minter who then also gathered Jaden Crowhurst’s header from Louis Arrowsmith’s left wing cross.

Concord soon suffered their first injury blow of the contest with midfielder James Blanchfield having to be taken off and replaced by Ben Search.

And, shortly after the change, the Shrimpers took the lead with Crowhurst breaking into the right hand side of the penalty area before delivering a dangerous low cross Fiddes slid home at the back post.

But, moments later, the game stopped for close to 10 minutes after Concord defender Randell suffered what appeared to be a broken leg following a strong challenge from Blues youngster Luke Reeve.

After a sustained spell of treatment Randell was stretchered off and the Shrimpers came close to scoring a second goal with Jack Wood sending a free-kick inches over before Minter denied Benton from 12 yards.

Wood then fired wide of the right post from just outside the penalty area in the closing action of the first half.

Blues made a change at the break with Mo Amir taking the place of the fit-again Lomas but it was Concord who threatened first at the start of the second period with Search having a header well saved by Collin Andeng Ndi.

Southend replied with Henry Sandat sending an acrobatic volley wide of the right post before Jon Benton fired just past the same upright from 25 yards.

But Concord stood firm and drew back level from the penalty spot on the hour mark after Ricky Modeste was brought down by Reeve and Green confidently stroked his shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Blues replied with Fiddes and Oli Coker combining well to tee up Wood whose well struck right footed shot was parried away by Minter.

However, Concord broke forward and bagged what proved to be the winning goal in the 70th minute, after converting their second penalty of the afternoon.

Referee Rob Whitton pointed to the spot following an untidy Benton challenge on Green, allowing Williamson to score into the left hand side of the net from 12 yards.

Southend United: Andeng Ndi, Crowhurst, Lomas (Amir 46), Davis, Reeve, Arrowsmith, Coker, Benton, Wood, Fiddes (Bland 85), Sandat. 


>Kevin Maher reacts to Blues' defeat at Concord