The form guide was turned on its head at Roots Hall when lowly Accrington Stanley upset the odds with a resolute and deserved win over promotion chasing Southend.
Having not conceded a league goal at home since October, Southend fans were in a confident mood ahead of the game but Stanley comfortably dealt with Blues diamond formation as they sat deep and proved hard to break down. The home side rarely threatened until Accrington defender Rob Atkinson let a routine ball drop over his head which striker Joe Piggott ran onto. Unfortunately the striker rushed his finish and was unable to keep his effort the right side of the bar.
Stanley came close to scoring themselves when a Josh Windass corner kick was well met by Luke Joyce, only for Ryan Leonard to brilliantly clear the ball off the line, making the scoreline 0-0 at the break.
In the second half, it was the visitors who got their noses in front when a routine long throw wasn’t dealt with by Adam Thompson and Piero Mingola was quickest to react, driving his volley beyond débutante Teddy Smith in goal.
The Shrimpers then tried to get a foothold in a game that was fast going away from them, but on 70 minutes Terry Gornell was gifted a one on one with Smith following the young keepers poor goal kick and the striker calmly placed his chipped finish over the keeper and put his side 2-0 ahead.
A double home substitution was made and one of those subs made an instant impact when Barry Corr clawed a goal back after some good work from Jack Payne. Accrington, though, weathered the storm and held on for a deserved three points in their fight for survival. As for Southend, its a game they will want to forgot and they will have to quickly with a tough trip to Stevenage next up for them.
Man of the Match – Josh Windass
The Stanley forward made the most of the space awarded him with some fine link up play. Was a thorn in Southend’s side throughout the afternoon.