Southend 2 v Wimbledon 0
Wimbledon were again made to pay for failing to take their chances as they suffered an Easter Monday defeat at play-off chasing Southend yesterday (9 April).
Manager Terry Brown continued his rotation policy, with League Two survival all but assured, giving a chance to Byron Harrison and Jason Prior to show what they could do up front.
And, in the first half, the Dons had chances to take the lead against a home side that struggled to get going. George Moncur had one effort saved by Southend keeper Cameron Belford, before Harrison just fired wide after a clever lay-off by Billy Knott.
Knott was again involved when he beat two Southend players in the Dons' own left-back position before sending forward a languid through ball that only just evaded the rampaging Prior.
The loss of Knott through injury didn’t initially dampen the Dons' efforts as they ended the half with a sequence of corners that saw the Southend defence frantically trying to clear their lines.
The Dons continued the second half in a similar vein, with Christian Jolley causing the home defenders some discomfort and Prior going close with a curling effort.
But slowly the home side started to come into it and they achieved a breakthrough with 20 minutes remaining. Freddie Eastwood got the goal, stopping to head home from close range and make it 1-0.
By now the Dons seemed spent as an attacking force but it was still against the overall balance of play when Anthony Grant unleashed a spectacular last-minute effort that beat Seb Brown to make it 2-0 to the home side.
The Dons’ forwards will have a chance to rediscover their shooting boots when they travel to Crawley on Saturday (14 April) before hosting promotion-chasing Torquay the following week.
Southend: Belford, Gilbert, Hall, Mohsni, Grant, Timlin, Ferdinand, Martin (Harris 57), Phillips, Prosser (Barker 82), Eastwood (Crawford 90). Subs not used: Coughlan, Sawyer.
Goalscorers: Eastwood 70, Grant 90.
Booked: Hall 84, Grant 90.
Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Bush, S. Moore, Mitchel-King, Stuart, Knott (Yussuff 36), Moncur (L. Moore 74), Harrison, Prior (Midson 64), Jolley. Subs not used: Gwillim, Turner.
Booked: Mitchel-King 59, Bush 72.
By Rob Crane
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April 10, 2012