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Albion 0-1 Southend

October 12, 2013

 

I locked the door behind me, as the rain lashed down.

Crossing the recently refurbished Wetmore Bridge, I was in a confident mood.

2 unbeaten. An impressive away win at Wycombe last week, with a brace from Billy Kee.

A win today and that dodgy September would well and truly be behind us. We’d be back in amongst the play-offs, at the stage of the season when you start taking full notice of the league table.

No real surprises in the starting XI as we remain unchanged from last week.

Personally, it pains me to see Zander Diamond on the bench! Does anyone else feel that way? I think he’s the best centre-back we’ve had at the club since promotion. Don’t get me wrong, I can see Rowett’s thinking in playing Sharpesy and Cansdell-Sheriff together given their successful Shrewsbury partnership… But what a waste to have a defender of Diamond’s calibre sat warming the bench.

No place in the squad (the whole 18, not just the starting XI) for Adam Reed or Rene Howe.

Reedy, well there’s serious competition for those centre-mid places. He’s going to have to be patient. And as for Howe, fair play to Rowett for having the balls to leave out one of his main summer signings. Howe still doesn’t look fit to me, hasn’t looked mobile enough, and 2 or 3 good performances aside he has not done enough to warrant his place in the squad.

I know the Howe situation is dividing opinion with Brewers fans, but to me he hasn’t looked one bit like the player who has played so well against us in the past.

Anyway.

It’s 3pm, its kick-off. It’s raining, it’s cold.

It’s 3.02pm, and there’s been 2 yellow card’s already. It’s going to be one of them afternoons.

“They’ll be a red card today”, observes Holden.

Given the conditions, should the ref have maybe thought twice about getting the yellow cards out so quick?

But then again, given the conditions, should the players have given some thought about flying in so frantically?

In Friday’s paper Rowett had stressed the importance of us setting the tempo early on, and the players eagerly went about doing so.

Southend didn’t look all that given their impressive win at Oxford last week.

It was one of them half’s where despite us not taking the lead, we looked comfortable, and you start thinking we’re in for a good attacking half in front of the Bovril terrace.

The ball breaks in the Brewers attacking right-wing position. The Southend player gets to the ball first; but Kee slides in.

From my (not very close) view in the Bovril terrace, it looked a bad challenge. The reaction of the players and Southend bench confirmed this.

The ref blows his whistle and is straight over.

“Has he already been booked??” I think aloud.

The ref produces a yellow card.

The red swiftly follows.

Kee trudges off.

For the 3rd time this season we are down to 10 men with all red cards coming in the first half.

I know Billy Kee is 110% committed to the cause, but it was stupid by him today. No need for that challenge. He was on a yellow already. It’s been raining most of the day. The ref has been giving out yellow cards since the first minute.

Total naivety from Bill.

The half time whistle blows and I’m, for want of a better phrase, pissed off.

Southend were posing us no threat at all. We looked comfortable; Kee and McGurk together up front looking lively.

Now we’re down to 10 men after (another!) moment of stupidity by one of our own players. You didn’t get this indiscipline in Cloughie’s day.

The second half commences with us going 4-4-1, McGurk the lone striker.

I’m surprised; Southend still aren’t posing us much of a threat despite the man advantage.

As the minutes pass by, the Albion attacking threat grows.

Young Matty Palmer comes on for the tired-looking Hussey, and we look more direct, more threatening.

Palmer has been unlucky to spend most of this season on the bench. His performance against Fulham should’ve been enough for him to keep his place but as I said, competition is tough for the centre-mid places… But after today, he has to start at Chesterfield?

Every time Palmer got on the ball the excitement levels rose. You sensed something would happen.

He latched on the end of a ball across the box, the keeper palming the ball onto the post, the linesman’s flag meaning the outcome was irrelevant… But the intent was there, that threat we needed.

Alex McDonald came close with a back post header.

So close.

We were gonna have this, Southend look awful, if we had 11 on we’d be ahead. No argument.

Another Brewers attack.

Palmer gets the ball inside our own half, sprints forward. Shoots from just inside the box, but a defender, possibly Keirnan, deflects it onto the post and it’s flown back out to safety… It’s the 83rd minute and you wonder if our best chance has gone.

As the 90th minute draws in, the 4th assistant’s board displays 4 minutes. There’s no thought on the terraces of merely hanging on for a point; we’ve been the better team, let’s win this.

Obviously the players can’t always let the heart rule the head, and have to show a bit of discipline when the Shrimpers are on the ball, keeping shape and staying tight.

Southend start enjoying a little late spell of pressure.

“They’ll score”, predicts Holden. “It’ll be typical.”

In the 92nd minute the ball flies into the top corner of Jordan Pickford’s net. Freddy Eastwood runs of towards the corner of the away end and stand in celebration. The Southend fans charge across the terrace in chase.

I bet they can’t believe they’re fucking luck. (If you’re reading this Mum, sorry for swearing but it’s what we thought!)

I forgot to ask Holden for tonight’s lottery numbers.

Kick-off, a Brewers attacking free-kick. ‘keeper Pickford comes forward Peter Schmeichel-style. Can there be a Hollywood ending?…

No.

Full time.

We stay to applaud the Brewers off, they’ve given their all and been the better team despite the man disadvantage.

A 4-pack of Carling is purchased on the stroll home, to soften the blow.

I unlock the door in front of me, as the rain lashes down.

Gutted.

 

 

 

 

 

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From → The Albion.

2 Comments
  1. If it’s any consolation I’ve been to Southend – we missed a flight to Barcelona from their silly little airport and spent the night there – and it was pretty grim. A tour around the Roots Hall trophy room doesn’t quite compare to the Bernabeu

  2. The weather does has a major effect on tackles but the players should be experienced enough to take that into account. On the other hand so should the ref!

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