Southend United 2, Huddersfield Town 2

http://www.skysports.com/fanzone/blogs/story/0,24015,16667_5487001,00.html

The 2-2 draw was satisfactory, but the same could not be said of Alan McCormack’s display according toFanzone correspondent Martin Hines…

A pulsating first game of the season clash with moneybags Huddersfield ended in a 2-2 draw in front of 8,000 feverish football supporters at Roots Hall.

Huddersfield, captained by ex-Southend stalwart Peter Clarke started the match brightly in front of an impressive travelling army of fans, before a Lee Barnard penalty in the 14th minute eased the nerves of the Shrimper faithful. Further chances fell for both teams as the first half progressed, but no further dent in the scoreline was made until the second half.

Dirty tactics

Franck Moussa heralded in the ‘year of the Mousse’ by coolly slotting home a placed shot on 56 minutes which led to the stadium erupting akin to Mount Vesuvius’ mightily cascading. Still though, Huddersfield’s dirty tactics were affecting the Blues, who had already seen exciting striker Francis Laurent stretchered off early in the first half from a horror tackle.

The fear hit the defence, as Anthony Pilkinton rifled home on 71 minutes, and an equaliser was obtained via substitute Jordan Rhodes on 79 minutes. Huddersfield’s strong challenges and general bad sportsmanship eventually resulted in a red card for Michael Collins on 82 minutes, but it sadly wasn’t enough to result in a Shrimper fightback.

Still though, plenty of positives to take from the game. John White, a beanpole left back borrowed from rivals Colchester United ran the show from the left side of defence, linking well with the official man of the match Franck Moussa. Matt Heath, another loanee from Colchester, also showed plenty of fight and grit at the back.

Headless chicken

One minor gripe – and I do hate to moan, but Alan McCormack has to be one of the worst players I’ve ever seen in a Southend shirt for quite some time. Ludicrously overrated by certain parts of our support, he can’t pass five yards, let alone the Hollywood balls he frequently fires out of play in an attempt to look cultured. If I wanted someone to run around like a headless chicken, I’d get Dwain Chambers in, or maybe an actual headless chicken – he’d probably be able to nod in the headed effort that ‘Macca’ hit the bar with at 2-1 up.

Even so, 2-2 with Huddersfield isn’t the end of the world – it’s not quite the tonking Norwich or Swindon received, but it’s proof we can mix it with the big boys in a league full of giants.

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