Venue: Roots Hall
Sat 24th April 2004, 3pm kick-off.


Scorers: Dani Rodrigues (21, 0-1), Dani Rodrigues (32, 0-2)

Attendance: 5,676 – including an official 704 Glovers fans

Referee: Paul Robinson (East Yorkshire)
Assistant Refs: Mark John (Surrey); Eric Mackrell (Hampshire)

Yeovil: Williams (83, unsporting behaviour)
Southend: None

Line Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
13. Steven Collis
16. Andy Lindegaard 2. Adam Lockwood 12. Hugo Rodrigues 5. Colin Pluck
9. Kevin Gall 8. Lee Johnson 6. Darren Way 20. Gavin Williams
17. Jake Edwards 27. Daniel Rodrigues

7. Adam Stansfield (81, for D Rodrigues) 10. Nick Crittenden (87, for Edwards) 19. Nathan Talbott 25. Simon Weatherstone (67, for Way) 32. Ryan Northmore

Southend United : (4-4-2)
30. Darryl Flahavan
2. Duncan Jupp 4. Leon Cort 3. Jamie Stuart 17. Nicky Nicolau
23. Lewis Hunt 26. Mark Bentley 8. Kevin Maher 11. Jim Corbett
27. Lawrie Dudfield 24. Leon Constantine

5. Mark Warren 14. Che Wilson 12. Steven Clark (61, for Hunt) 19. Neil Jenkins 9. Tesfaye Bramble (61, for Corbett)

Badger’s View Of The Game

Gary Johnson’s team selection was very much influenced by what was happening on the treatment table, with club captain Terry Skiverton and midfielder Paul Terry failing their late fitness tests. That meant places for Darren Way, himself returning from injury, and Hugo Rodrigues. Jake Edwards kept his place in the side, although the continued absence of Lee Matthews and an injury to Kirk Jackson probably made him fortunate to do so.

The Glovers started with great intent and Gavin Williams produced a superb 50 yard cross-field ball into the path of Kevin Gall, who hit a first time ball to Dani Rodrigues. The Portuguese striker’s header was turned around the post by home keeper Darryl Flahavan, but Southend knew already that they were in for a tough afternoon.

Yeovil were making most of the play and they took the lead midway through the first half with a well-worked goal. Adam Lockwood’s huge touchline throw forced Flahavan out of his goal to punch at his near post. Hugo Rodrigues headed the second ball back across the goal, and with Flahavan out of position, Dani RODRIGUES controlled the ball and lashed it into the far corner of the net from 12 yards out. 1-0 and pretty much what the opening 20 minutes had deserved.

Southend were getting their own possession but had little imagination or know-how to get the ball into the danger zone. Lawrie Dudfield, who had snubbed a chance to join Yeovil a few weeks ago broke down the left wing, but whether he meant to shoot or cross, his sliced attempt landed in the side netting. Southend’s only other successes were a large number of corners and free kicks, but none of these ever looked like being successful. The Yeovil back-line were in complete control and looked comfortable for the whole match.

It didn’t take much longer for the Glovers to double their lead and once again Dani RODRIGUES was the man in the right position. A strong run by Kevin Gall down the right wing ended with a short pass to Lee Johnson, whose low angled ball across the face of the area was diverted in by the outstretched boot of Rodrigues from close range. With both goals scored in front of a packed 1,000-plus strong away end (does anyone believe the official 704 count?) both team and supporters were on cloud nine.

That confidence showed in spades over the following 15 minutes. Jake Edwards provided two delightful flicks to get first Gall, then Rodrigues in behind the Southend back line and the Essex side were in bad need of the half time whistle.

Steve Collis made his one and only real save of the match and even that was only partially influenced by a Southend player. A shot by Kevin Maher took a thick deflection off an outstretched boot and Collis had to scramble to his left to tip the ball round his post for a corner. A weak header by Southend top scorer Leon Constantine was easily mopped up by Collis from the resultant corner kick.

Half-time: Southend United 0 – 2 Yeovil Town

The second half opened eventually after referee Mr Robinson had beg for the Roots Hall officials to find the ‘off switch’ on their bombastic PA system, boosted by the placement of concert hall standard speakers placed round the perimeter of the pitch. Yet another club with misguided ideas on how to boost the atmosphere at their ground; the home supporters probably spent the second period nursing their bleeding eardrums – thankfully such amplification was not placed at the away end of the ground.

Dani Rodrigues could have been going home with the match ball just 30 seconds into the second half. Southend’s defence still seemed to have their minds in the dressing room, when Rodrigues intercepted a sloppy pass, but his curled shot went just wide of the goal.

Very little else of note took place during the opening 20 minutes or so. The home side gained a touch more possession but seemed to have little idea of what to do with it. Southend manager Steve Tilson decided he’d had enough of this and made a double substitution on the hour mark with Tesfaye Bramble and Steven Clarke brought on to try and liven things up.

But the Glovers continued to look comfortable, and Darren Way came close to extending the lead after Dani Rodrigues and Jake Edwards combined well on the left flank, with the latter finding Way just inside the penalty box. Way forced a save out of Flahavan as the home side continued to look unlikely to find a route back into the game.

Again Southend forced the lions share of the corners during the second period, but Adam Lockwood and Hugo Rodrigues were putting on a defensive masterclass performance. Tes Bramble took a clear dive in the penalty box When Hugo Rodrigues challenged but referee Paul Robinson chose not to produce a card, even though he was clearly unimpressed with Bramble’s attempts.

Steve Collis had to punch one corner away from his goal but it was rare for him to be bothered. Every ball that dropped into the Glovers penalty box seemed to be cleared with calm efficiency, with the Glovers often able to pass their way out of danger rather than needing to go for the big hoof. Nicky Nicolau’s weaving run ended as he was continually thwarted by bodies in the penalty box, stopping him wherever he turned.

Five minutes from the end Southend finally got behind the Glovers defence for the first time in the whole game as Leon Constantine’s excellent ball through the centre put Tes Bramble clean through on goal. But Andy Lindegaard’s last-gaspe toe-poke on the ball was enough to put Bramble off his stride and he skied his shot over the target with Lindy’s team-mates mobbing him as if he’d netted himself.

That was as close as Southend got to breaking their duck, which says an awful lot about the Glovers defensive performance. Although Dani Rodrigues will rightfully take the headlines, the Yeovil back-four were in cracking form all game, against a Southend side that had only failed to score once since the end of January and whose last home defeat had been in the middle of that month. Yet the Yeovil back-line made it look all too easy, making the second half somewhat short of action, but a pleasure to watch for the travelling Glovers. Yeovil’s hopes of gaining a place in the playoffs are still very much alive and kicking, with just two games to go.

Full-time: Southend United 0 – 2 Yeovil Town