Long strike gives Fleetwood half-time lead

Scorer Chris Long

Scorer Chris Long

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Chris Long’s first goal for Fleetwood Town gave them a half-time lead at Southend.

Chris Long’s first goal for Fleetwood Town gave them a half-time lead at Southend.

The loan striker from Burnley took Amari’i Bell’s pass to fire home from outside the area on 18 minutes.

Town boss Uwe Rosler recalled Bobby Grant and Devante Cole in an attacking line-up and it was Grant who had their first opportunity after five minutes, firing over from Nathan Pond’s pass.

All the chances of note were falling fleetwood’s way as an Eggert Jonsson header was cleared off the line by Jason Demetriou.

Cole had a shot blocked and Pond headed just wide from a corner as a Fleetwood second goal looked far more likely than an equaliser for the hosts.

Indeed, Ryan Leonard’s drive over the bar two minutes before the break was Southend’s first opening of note.

They ended the half strongly, however, as Luke O’Neill’s effort forced Chris Neal into his first save of the afternoon.