Midfield duo put Southend to the sword
Boro (Joel Byrom 12, Darren Murphy 17) Southend United (Frank Moussa 68) FIRST half goals from midfielders Joel Byrom and Darren Murphy were enough to give Boro the win against League One side Southend United. Boro, who took to the field in their new ki
Boro (Joel Byrom 12, Darren Murphy 17)
Southend United (Frank Moussa 68)
FIRST half goals from midfielders Joel Byrom and Darren Murphy were enough to give Boro the win against League One side Southend United.
Boro, who took to the field in their new kit for the first time, welcomed back Andy Drury from injury and the influential midfielder showed no signs of rustiness as he turned in another eye-catching performance from Boro's right hand side.
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The game was slow to start with but suddenly burst in to life 10 minutes in.
Drury did well to ride a challenge before finding Stacy Long in space on the left of the Southend box. Long ghosted past a defender but Mildenhall produced a good save to deny the former Ebbsfleet man.
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However, Boro didn't have to wait long to break the deadlock. A good advantage by the referee allowed Lee Boylan to advance and, although his effort was saved by Mildenhall, Byrom was on hand to fire the ball home off the underside of the bar.
Boro doubled their lead five minutes later with a goal Mildenhall will be keen to forget. Long did well to resist the challenge of a Southend midfielder to tee up Murphy 25 yards out.
The Irishman struck the ball first time and, although Mildenhall got two hands to the ball, it squirmed through and into the back of the net.
Southend were restricted to long range efforts and even then they failed to cause Chris Day any concern with Alex Revell's skewed shot going high and wide.
A slip by Mark Roberts nearly presented Southend with an opportunity but the Boro skipper did well to recover and block the shot.
A Scott Laird thunderbolt from 35 yards sparked the crowd into life with the fullback's effort crashing off the bar and Boylan's follow-up going narrowly wide.
Southend started the second half brighter and could have reduced the deficit when Francis Laurent found Revell at the near post but the striker could only head over.
Boro introduced David Bridges and he almost had an instant impact combining with Laird to play Boylan in but the Boro striker was beaten to the ball by Mildenhall.
Boro had a scare just before the hour mark when Frank Moussa crashed a shot off the outside of Day's post.
Boro lacked the same intensity in the second half as Southend enjoyed more and more of the possession. Shrimpers fullback Simon Francis drilled a shot wide of Day's post before Moussa eventually pulled one back with a shot across Day into the bottom corner of the net.
Southend pushed for an equaliser and when Laurent wriggled free from Laird and laid the ball off to Revell they should have had it but the striker blazed the ball wastefully over the bar.
The final chance of the game fell to the visitors but James Walker's effort from distance was easily held by Day.
Boro saw out the remainder of the game to get back to winning ways just at the right time with the new Blue Square Premier season looming.
Boro (4-4-2): Day 6; Wilson 7, Roberts 7, Bostwick 7, Laird 7 (Beardsley 84); Drury 7 (Ashton 57), Byrom 7, Murphy 6, Long 7 (Bridges 57); Griffin 6 (Odubade 79), Boylan 6. Subs: Bayes, Odhiambo, Anderson, Henry, Beardsley, Doyle, Vincenti, Albrighton.
Southend United (4-4-2): Mildenhall; Francis, Heath, White, Gilbert; Moussa, Grant, McCormack , Laurent; Revell, Walker. Subs: Calver, Betsy, Freedman, Christophe, Herd, Barnard.
Referee: Grant Hegley