Date:Saturday April 29 2006
This season will go down to the last game yet again as the battle continues for a play-off spot.
We failed to relieve some of the pressure today by only managing to get a point against the Shrimpers.
We threw away a lead twice because of more defensive errors. Eastwood cancelled out Fallon's goals and it was the visitors who celebrated at the end as they've won promotion to the Championship.
Kenny Jackett recalled Lee Trundle back to the starting line-up to paly alongside Rory Fallon.
There was also a surprise start for 17 year-old Shaun MacDonald who replaced Britton on the right wing.
The youngster was impressive and definately warranted his place in the side today.
McLeod kept his place on the opposite flank as O'Leary joined Robinson in the centre.
The defence had their work cut out with Eastwood and Goater up front and Eastwood especially was creating problems for Monk and Austin throughout the 90 minutes.
They shared the guilt as they each made errors to invite Southend back into the game.
The match got off to a good start as Swansea kicked off towards the home fans in the South Stand.
Rory Fallon opened the scoring after 20 minutes with his first goal at the Liberty Stadium.
On his weaker right foot, he received the ball after their defence failed to clear properly and from just inside the area, he unleased a superb shot into the far corner.
The New Zealander was ecstatic as he raced over to the West Stand crowd but he was then booked for taking off his shirt.
Andy Robinson also went close with a long range effort that the keeper tipped over the bar. Lee Trundle also looked sharper early on but he got less involved as the game went on.
He had opportunities to score in decent goal scoring positions but his attempts didn't force a save from their keeper.
Our lead lasted no more than 10 minutes as Freddy Eastwood's excellent solo effort put the sides level.
Monk's poor header fell to Eastwood, and with excellent skill he avoid challenges before finishing with a low strike into the bottom right corner.
It was turning into an excellent competitive game as we were showing a huge improvemen from the pathetic showing against Rotherham 2 weeks ago.
More performances like this this year and we would have been battling for an automatic promotion place, but that's a different story.
6 minutes after their equaliser, we were back in front and it was Fallon again who was on the scoresheet. The ball was played out wide by Robinson to Tate, his cross was met by Fallon who headered the ball diagonally into the top corner.
The Shrimpers nearly replied quickly again with an equaliser. Gueret was struggling holding onto low bouncing shots and he was lucky to get away with one as the rebound and struck high and wide of the near post.
Trundle went close again when we took a quick free quick but Flahavan got down well to hold on to the low shot. He also looked like scoring to extend our lead but with just the keeper to beat, he screwed his low shot wide of the far post.
Southend showed why they were top of the League with their simple passing game that we always seem to struggle with.
In the second half, we resorted to long hopeful balls towards Fallon as were rarely noticing the space our wingers were creating out wide.
Eastwood got his second goal on 63 minutes, this time it was Austin to blame as he didn't commit himself to the challenge as the striker beat 2 defenders before sending his shot past Gueret and into the net.
Jackett made his first change 9 minutes later as Trundle was replaced by Knight. He was becoming inactive during the 2nd half after doing well in the first.
Knight was worse when he came as he contributed nothing in the final 20 minutes.
There was bad news for Kevin McLeod near the end as he had to be stretchered off. The left winger played well and showed the determination that he wants to stay at the club.
Taking the lead for the 3rd time during the game was now looking unlikely and the 1,900 Southend fans started celebrating as they game drew to a close as they realised the draw was enough to win them promotion to the Championship.
Lets hope our season at the Liberty Stadium isn't quite over yet as we travel to Chesterfield next weekend as we battle for a play-off spot.
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Date:Saturday April 29 2006
|11. Aston Villa||28||8||7||13||-7||31|
|13. Hull City||28||8||6||14||-5||30|
|16. Crystal Palace||28||8||3||17||-19||27|
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