It’s a sweet Rovers Return for Mooney as Southend thrash Bristol 5-0
Southend United Reserves 5-0 Bristol Rovers Reserves
Mooney 43’ 58’
Southend: Nathan Bishop, Elvis Bwomono, Abdul Salami, Dan Matsuzaka (Tom Clifford 46), Sonny Coutts (Joe Mackenzie 83), Joe Bedford, Jack Bridge (Lewis Gard 78), Norman Wabo, Harry Phillips, Jason Williams Nico Cotton 71), David Mooney (Dan Walker 60)
Unused Subs: None
Bristol Rovers: Kieran Hodges, Matt Swan, Amarni Bonsu, Keanu Robinson, Daryl Bryan-Samuels, Ryan Broom, Frank Vincent, Luke Russe, Jerome Slew, Callum Bunting, Jamie Lucas
Subs: Tyrone Tucker-Dixon, Lewis Ellington, James Spruce, Liam Armstrong, Ronald Sobwaile, Luqman Kassim
David Mooney will no doubt have Phil Brown turning his head at yet more attacking options as he continued his recovery with a brace against a youthful Rovers side.
After a fairly even opening 10 mins a bright spell from Southend set the tone for the afternoon at the Boots and Laces complex, Southend’s training ground.
It was the Irishman Mooney, recovering from an injury that hasn’t seen him feature in the first team since October, who spearheaded the Southend threat. He drew a good close range save from Hodges and struck the crossbar before breaking the deadlock on 43mins. Nice work down the right from Wabo allowed Mooney to slot home from close range. 1-0 Southend.
Soon after it was 2-0. Impressive work from the slightly more experienced centre midfielder Jack Bridge, who recently returned from a loan spell with Bournemouth u23s, placed a perfectly timed pass into Jason Williams path. The pacey 21 year old’s finish put Southend 2-0 up at HT.
HT: Southend 2-0 Bristol Rovers
The Seasiders second string continued to dominate in the 2nd half and made it 3-0 on 56 minutes from a corner. Centre back Abdul Salami rose highest to nod in, but the youngsters didn’t take their foot off the pedal there.
Mooney managed to make it 4-0, his second for the afternoon, on 58 mins before he was replaced by the Walker on the hour mark. Mooney’s quality continued to show until his exit. Rolled in by Bridge, Mooney cooly slotted home under the on rushing Hodges, before being subbed.
It was Mooney young replacement and one of the youngest in the squad, Dan Walker, who wrapped up the scoring for Southend on 70 minutes. 5-0. The energetic Harry Phillips also found time to get in on the action, only for his effort to be ruled out by the linesman.
Bridge impressed throughout the afternoon and ran the show in midfield. You’d expect him to be knocking on the managers door before too long, but I’m sure Ex-Southend legend and current u21s boss Kevin Maher will be pleased with with the youngster’s development, as well as Williams and Wabo… who also both stood out.
Brown, and assistant Graham Coughlan who witnessed the opening 70mins, will not only be chuffed with Mooney’s solid recovery, but they’ll also be keeping one eye on the likes of Jack Bridge as potential midfield back up as the finishing straight of the season approaches.
Meanwhile, for Rovers, this was a hefty smudge on what has otherwise been an impressive campaign for the reserve side, especially at home. They’ll look to bounce back at home to Cheltenham next Tuesday.
This was a dominant display from a Southend side that just had too much for a Rovers eleven that contained a handful of trialists and u18s. That win leaves the Shrimpers 2nd in their Central League group, 3 points behind Wimbledon with a game in hand.
FT: Southend 5-0 Bristol Rovers
With love from the Essex Riviera,