Southend United 1-3 Blackpool: Nathan Delfouneso at the double as Seasiders make it two wins from two

Delfouneso was Blackpool's star man with two goals
Delfouneso was Blackpool's star man with two goals
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Blackpool continued their perfect start to the new season with a convincing away win at Southend.

READ MORE: Southend United v Blackpool as it happened

Blackpool continued their perfect start to the new season with a convincing away win at Southend.

A whirlwind first-half display in the blustery conditions saw the Seasiders simply blow away their under-par opponents.

It took Pool just nine minutes to record their first, although it did come in unorthodox fashion as Harry Lennon inadvertently deflected in an own goal.

Nathan Delfouneso stretched their lead with a brace, the first coming via an impressive finish while his second followed a messy goalmouth scramble.

The Seasiders didn’t have it all their own way though, as they had to play the final half an hour with 10 men after James Husband was shown a straight red card.

While Southend did pull one back, through Simon Cox, it proved to be little more than a consolation as Simon Grayson’s men held on for the three points to make it two wins from two.

Simon Grayson opted to keep faith with the same team that beat Bristol Rovers last season, the bench remaining the same as well.

Matty Virtue and Mark Howard remain the only absentees, while summer signings Ben Tollitt, Jamie Devitt and Adi Yussuf were left out of the squad for the second week running.

With Simon Sadler watching on from, the Seasiders were on the front foot from the off, forcing a corner inside the opening 60 seconds.

But Sullay Kaikai’s delivery was poor, allowing the home side to clear their lines with relative ease.

But the Shrimpers weren’t able to clear their lines from Jordan Thompson’s inswinging cross on nine minutes, in fact they made a complete hash of it.

It resulted in the Seasiders taking the lead in bizarre fashion, Southend keeper Mark Oxley fumbling the ball into the back of his own player Harry Lennon, which resulted in the ball trickling over the line and into the bottom corner of the net.

Just three minutes later, it got even better for Pool who made it two - but this time there was no fortune or luck involved.

Nathan Delfouneso was slipped in behind Southend’s backline by a sumptuous Kaikai pass, and the forward finished it off in convincing fashion, passing it beyond the onrushing keeper.

Pool continued to cause problems on the break, Kaikai beating his man on the byline and almost picking out Delfouneso at the near post.

Grayson’s men came so close to making it three on the half-hour mark, but Oxley produced a superb reaction save to deny Armand Gnanduillet’s first-time effort.

Kaikai and Delfouneso continued to cause all sorts of havoc in Southend’s final third, with the home side struggling to come to grips with Pool’s dynamic duo.

A sign of just how bad Southend were in the first half came five minutes before the break, when two defenders went for the same ball, resulting in an embarrassing collision which saw the ball fly out for a Blackpool corner.

And lo and behold, things got even better for the Seasiders from Thompson’s delivery, when Delfouneso made it three with his second of the game.

Southend once again made a complete hash of their attempt to clear their lines, Delfouneso scrambling home after Curtis Tilt’s close-range effort had been blocked on the line.

Despite having the brisk wind behind them in the second half, Southend’s backline remained so nervy on the ball whenever Pool’s front three came anywhere near them.

The men in tangerine came inches away from adding a fourth five minutes into the second period, Oxley producing a magnificent stop to tip Kaikai’s deflected curling effort onto the post.

While Pool continued to impress in attack, their desire to win the ball back as soon as they lost possession also caught the eye.

Gnanduillet wasted a good chance to add his name to the scoresheet, stretching desperately - but in vain - to get on the end of Liam Feeney’s delicious cross.

Just when everything appeared to be going Pool’s way, they were reduced to 10 men when left wing-back James Husband was shown a straight red card.

The full back gave the referee no choice, flying into a challenge on Elvis Bwomono in front of the Pool fans, leaving the full back in a heap on the ground.

Michael Nottingham was instantly brought on, replacing two-goal forward Delfouneso as Grayson reshuffled the pack.

The one-man advantage saw gaps open up for the home side, who produced their first genuine attempt on goal in the 68th minute when Isaac Hutchinson curled over the bar.

Southend eventually pulled one back 15 minutes from time, experienced striker Simon Cox nodding home unopposed from a corner.

Rather than sit back and defend, Pool went on the attack - bringing on Joe Nuttall to put two forwards on the pitch.

And the change almost paid off, the Seasiders almost making it 4-1 when Nottingham’s ball across the face of goal was sliced agonisingly wide by Shaughnessy.

But Pool did come under pressure in the final 10 minutes, Alnwick forced to make an impressive save to tip Mark Milligan’s long-range piledriver over the crossbar.

Ollie Turton headed off the line to deny a header at the back post after Alnwick had, for the first time in the match, failed to catch a cross into his box.

But that proved to be Southend’s last real chance of the game, as Grayson’s men rode out the five minutes of added time to record a second straight win.

TEAMS

Blackpool: Alnwick, Turton, Edwards, Tilt, Feeney (Nuttall), Husband, Spearing, Thompson, Delfouneso (Nottingham), Kaikai, Gnanduillet (Nuttall)

Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Shaw, Pritchard, Hardie



Southend: Oxley, Bwomono, Ridgewell (Ndukwu), Shaughnessy, Ralph, Lennon, Milligan, Mantom (Kelman), Hutchinson, Humprhys (Robinson), Cox

Subs not used: Bishop, Hyam, Blackman, White



Referee: Kevin Johnson

Attendance: 6,823 (480 Blackpool)