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Archived News from August 2003

24th August 2003 19:27

report from thelittlegazette.com (unofficial Southend site)

Southend United 0 Mansfield Town 3
by Mark Wallis

MANSFIELD Town striker Iyesden Christie scored at hat-trick for his side at Roots Hall on Saturday afternoon as Southend United's second half capitualtion led to a most comprehesive home defeat...

Fourteen days ago, at the very same venue, the sun shone so brightly on Southend United as Steve Wignall's side turned the heat on with a fantastic performance and victory over Cheltenham Town, but two weeks later with the sun notably absent, there also wasn't a single bright spot in the Shrimpers performance against Mansfield.

In the first half Southend did at least compete with their visitor's and this reporter is willing to stick his neck out and say that, despite being a goal down at the break, that the Shrimpers were the better of the two sides in the first period.

Indeed it was Wignall's men who had the first opportunity of the match after just four minutes. A Kevin Maher free kick was flicked back from the goalline by Jim Corbett and Mark Warren crossed into the penalty area for Leon Cort to head just off target. Then, five minutes later, a great run by Michael Husbands was only ended by a fine tackle by David Artell, unfortunately though Husbands picked up a knock in the challenge and had to leave the field eighteen minutes later to be replaced by debutant Leon Constantine.

The Stags first real chance didn't actually arrive until the 23rd minute when Christie managed to evade challenges from both Maher and Leke Odunsi before firing a shot straight into the arms of Carl Emberson. Ten minutes later and midfielder Neil MacKenzie volleyed a shot over the top of Emberson's crossbar.

Odunsi then did well to chest down a Mark Gower cross before firing a half volley just over the top before a worryingly unmarked Artell nodded a Wayne Corden centre over the bar.

A dangerous Jamie Stuart centre saw a full stretched Drewe Broughton just fail to get a killer touch, but then, on an amazing breakaway, Mansfield took the lead on 42 minutes. Gower did very well to cut back into the area and found himself in a very promising position, but his cross was terrible and only went as far as MacKenzie who played a beautiful long ball out to the right wing where Bobby Hassell crossed for Christie to head home from five yards.

That goal was the last sniff of action in the frirst half and undoubtedly changed the course of the game as Southend turned in an utterly shocking performance during a second half which was completely one-sided as Southend's midfield and defence were continually torn to shreds.

Southend had two early half chances; Town goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington was at full stetch when he cut out Odunsi's angled shot and Cort headed a Gower cross wide of the post, but the match was basically over as a contest just six minutes after the interval when Christie grabbed his second to double the visitor's advantage. A Corden corner saw Artell put Emberson under great pressure and the Shrimpers custodian could only get his fingertips to the ball, and Rhys Day played it back into the danger area where Christie reacted first to nod in from close range.

Corden volleyed straight into the arms of Emberson, who was now being rediculed, amazingly by his own supporters for his part in the second goal, before, at the other end another half chance fell to Gower who saw his shot deflected wide of the post by Christie.

As one-sided as the second period was, Southend did have two great opportunities within the space of three minutes just after the hour mark, but both times the Shrimpers were denied by fabulous stops from Pilkington. First the ex-Manchester United custodian pushed the ball to safety after Constantine had got a flick onto Cort's header from a Gower corner and then Maher saw his 25 yard curling shot plucked away from the top left hand corner.

The action however soon returned to the end where the joyous visiting supporters were sat and Christie shot just over from a tight angle on 69 minutes before Colin Larkin nipped in front of a dozy Cort and lobbed the ball over the bar from 15 yards.

Hassell was required to hack a Cort header off the line with ten minutes remaining after the tall defender had outjumped Pilkington before Duncan Jupp had to peform similar duties for the home side after Christie had taken the ball around Emberson.

Southend's embarrassment, and Christie's joy, was completed in the first minute of stoppage time, the pacey Town striker found space 20 yards from goal and his low shot took a huge deflection off of Cort and looped over the head of the helpless Emberson.

Southend were booed from the pitch as referee Clive Penton brought an end to proceedings, and there is no doubt that performances like this are no good if Southend want to succeed this season.

SOUTHEND UNITED (4-4-2, with ratings out of ten):- Carl Emberson 5; Duncan Jupp 5, Jamie Stuart 7, Leon Cort 5, Mark Warren 5; Leke Odunsi 4 (Che Wilson 64, 6), Kevin Maher 4, Mark Gower 4, Jim Corbett 5 (Luke Nightingale 64, 6); Michael Husbands 7 (Leon Constantine 27, 8), Drewe Broughton 6. Unused subs - David McSweeney, Ryan Robinson.

MANSFIED TOWN (4-4-2):- Kevin Pilkington; Bobby Hassell, Tony Vaughan, David Artell, Rhys Day; Lee Williamson, Neil MacKenzie (Alex Baptiste 66), Liam Lawrence, Wayne Corden; Colin Larkin (Junior Mendes 83), Iyesden Christie. Unused subs - Jamie Clarke, Andy White, Jason White.

TLG MAN OF THE MATCH: Leon Constantine.
The inebtude of Southen's performance can be summed up by the man-of-the-match award going to a player who wasn't even on the pitch for the first twenty-seven minutes of the match. Tall striker Constantine, signed on a non-contract basis from Millwall just two days ago was undoubtedly the only threat United had after replacing injured Michael Husbands.

Goals: Mansfield: Christie 42 (a great breakaway goal resulting in an unmarked Chriatie headed home a Hassell cross; inside area. Goal timed at 41 minutes 44 seconds), Christie 51 (Emberson couldn't get a full hand to a Corden corner and Christie headed in after Day had knocked the ball across; inside area. Timed at 50:30), Christie 90 (found space for a low shot which looped over Emberson after taking a huge deflection off Cort; outside area. Timed at 90:47).
Booked: Southend: Maher (62 - unglemanly conduct), Warren (82 - foul). Mansfield: Corden (20 - dissent, kicking ball away), Christie (55 - dissent, abusive language).
Total Goal Attempts: Southend 12, Mansfield 17
Shots/headers on target: Southend 5, Mansfield 9
Shots/headers off target: Southend 7, Mansfield 7
Blocked shots: Southend 0, Mansfield 1
Hit woodwork: Southend 0, Mansfield 0
Free Kicks: Southend 19, Mansfield 17
Corners: Southend 6, Mansfield 5
Caught Offside: Southend 7, Mansfield 2
Match Time: First half: 45:56. Second half: 47:51. Total: 93:55.
Attendance: 3,837 (approx 300 away fans).

Referee: Clive Penton (Woodingdean) 8 out of 10.

Programme Cover: Mark Gower.


- MANSFIELD Town striker Iyseden Christie is in his second spell at Field Mill, returning to Nottinghamshire after an unsuccessful spell at Leyton Orient. He also scored at hat-trick against Colchester United at Field Mill last season.

- CHRISTIE is the first player to score a hat-trick against the Shrimpers since United returned to Division Three, the last player to score a trio of goals against Southend was Lee Nogan for Reading at Elm Park in February 1996, the game finished 3-3. The last player to score three times against United at Roots Hall was Stoke City's Simon Sturridge in November 1995, Southend lost that game 4-2. The last Southend player to score a hat-trick in an away game was Julian Hails in the 3-1 win at Leicester City in September 1995. Ironically all three of those occurances are in the same season.

- THREE players made their debut for Southend in this match. Left back Jamie Stuart, signed from Bury in the summer started his first League game following a three match suspension, whilst Leon Constantine and Che Wilson both made their first appearances from the bench.

- IF anyone thinks that two League defeats out of three signals a bad start to the season, perhapsd you can live with the comfort that Blues only had one point, as supposed to three, at this stage last season!
report from southendunited.co.uk

by Lewis Crowe
Southend United returned to Roots Hall for their second home league match of the season with recently relegated Mansfield Town as their opponents. In a match, that was dominated by the crisp passing and fast counter-attacking play of Keith Curle's Mansfield side, the Blues rarely created any significant goal-scoring opportunities and failed to test keeper Kevin Pilkington on more than a few occasions.

Blues manager Steve Wignall showed confidence in his players by only making one alteration to the side that lost at the hands of Doncaster Rovers last week. Southend built up their possession from the whistle and things looked promising as a cross from Warren was headed over the bar by Leon Cort in the 3rd minute. The Mansfield defence seemed to be struggling to cope with the pace of Blues forward Michael Husbands and this became obvious in the 10th minute as a fast dribble by the forward saw him round 3 Mansfield players before being stopped dead by a firm challenge from the Stags defender Rhys Day.

Mansfield showed their first signs of threatening the Blues goal as midfielder Liam Lawrence played a perfectly weighted through ball towards pacey striker Iyseden Christie. The former Leyton Orient forward attempted to round Emberson on the right hand side of his penalty area, but was prevented by a strong block by the former Colchester United keeper which allowed the Southend defence to clear. Mansfield continued to look a prominent force going forward and Emberson was tested once more as midfielder Neil MacKenzie dribbled between Kevin Maher and Leon Cort before hitting a powerful shot, which Emberson handled well.

Southend's main attacking threat in the first 20 minutes Michael Husbands was forced to leave the field of play due to an injury he picked up in his earlier challenge with Rhys Days. He was replaced by the Seasiders new signing Leon Constatine in the 26th minute. Constatine was involved in play almost immediately after his introduction to the game and his lay-off allowed Blues midfielder Leke Odunsi to hit a powerful 20-yard half volley, which flew just feet over Pilkington's cross-bar.

Mansfield Town's counter-attacking style of play allowed them to catch the Blues on the break opening chances for the side from Nottinghamshire. A cross from skilful winger Wayne Corden gave young midfielder Craig Disley a perfect opportunity to put the Stags in the lead, but he failed to test Carl Emberson as his firm header flew over the bar from 8-yards. This was soon forgotten as a well flighted cross from right-back Bobby Hassell was headed low to Embersons left by the unmarked Christie to give the Stags a 1-0 lead.

The Blues began the second half quickly with chances from Corbett and Cort. The Stags caught Southend on the break to increase their lead in the 51st minute as a high cross from David Artell forced keeper Carl Emberson to tip the ball onto the head of striker Iyseden Christie to allow him to double both his and Mansfield's tally for the match. This lead was almost extended immediately when in the 53rd minute midfielder Liam Lawrence attempted to catch Emberson off of his line with an audacious lob from 40-yards out which flew just over the cross bar.

As the game proceeded it became more physical. Striker Christie was booked for a push on Cort which lead to a confrontation between the two players. An over-hit through ball by Lawrence gave Christie an opportunity to complete his hat-trick as when he challenged keeper Emberson the ball was dropped at his feet. He then attempted to roll the ball into the ball of the net, but the Blues were saved by a goal-line clearance by Leon Cort.

Cort almost built-upon his solid defensive work with as his headed from Maher's cross was flicked on by Constatine which forced an impressive save from former Manchester United Keeper Kevin Pilkington. The Blues forced another save from the experienced keeper moments later as a corner from Gower was missed by the Mansfield defence and fell to Kevin Maher on the edge on the box. He hit a curling shot towards the top right-hand corner of the net which Pilkington held superbly.

Christie wasted another chance for his hat-trick as he latched onto a cross-field pass from Colin Larkin before blazing the ball high over the bar. Larkin soon had a chance of his own in the 74th minute as he lofted the ball over Emberson as he rushed to meet him only to see it also clear the cross-bar of the Blues goal from the edge of the box. Mansfield continued their pressure for a third goal and it almost came in the 87th minute as Junior Mendes latched onto a loose ball before rounding both Leon Cort and Carl Emberson only to be prevented by a block on the goal-line by full-back Duncan Jupp. The third goal did eventually come for the stags in injury time as a powerful Christie shot from 15-yards was deflected past Carl Emberson.

A poor result for the Blues leaving them in 16th position. The Blues will be hoping to double their current point's total of 3 in their mid-week game at 2nd placed York on Tuesday.

Sport First report:
By Chris Lockwood
(thanks to Carole for the transcription)

Iyseden Christie grabbed a super hat-trick to claim his first goals of the campaign to sink a sad looking Southend outfit.

Christie was Mansfield's leading marksman last season with 22 goals, and on the evidence of this display he looks set for another rewarding harvest.

His pace and awareness proved far too much for the home side and he came close on a couple of other occasions of causing more misery with efforts which flashed just wide.

Mansfield boss Keith Curle said “He was outstanding but so were the rest of the side.”

“For once we took advantage.”

Christie found the target for the first time three minutes before the interval when he directed a header beyond the reach of goalkeeper Carl Emberson after Bobby Hassell had crossed from the right.

Six minutes into the second half he found the net again with his head, after Rhys Day had nodded back at the far post following a corner from Liam Lawrence.

The hat-trick was completed in stoppage-time when Christie's fierce shot from 10 yards deflected off Southend defender Leon Cort.

The visitors were full value for their triumph because they dominated in all areas of the field.

Neil MacKenzie and Lee Williamson sprayed out passes with pin-point accuracy to enable Wayne Corden and Lawrence to pose numerous problems.

Defensively too, the visitors were solid with David Artell and Day closing the door down the middle – so much so that Drewe Broughton hardly had a sniff at goal and keeper Kevin Pilkington was more or less a spectator.

Pilkington's only out-standing save came midway through the second half when he had to dive across his line to keep out a shot which deflected off Artell.


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