Southend Utd 2 Southampton 1: Eastwood inspires Shrimpers

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Southend turned the form book on its head as goals by Freddy Eastwood and Alan McCorm-ack earned them a first win in 18 League matches and blunted the Saints' steady progress towards the automatic promotion places.

One player whose confidence has not been affected by the Shrimpers run of League matches without a win is leading scorer Eastwood and, having tested Kelvin Davis in the Southampton goal with a couple of efforts from 20 yards, he claimed his 11th goal of the season with a strike that exemplified why so many Premiership clubs are tracking his progress. Bursting past two players, the young striker fired in from 25 yards.

After the break the visitors' manager, George Burley, introduced substitutes Kenwyne Jones and Inigo Idiakez to inspire his sluggish side, but Southend doubled their lead when McCormack curled a 25-yard shot into the bottom corner of Davis's goal.

With three minutes remaining, Grzegorz Rasiak pulled a goal back for the Saints but Southend held on for three precious points in their best performance since the Carling Cup defeat of Manchester United. Spurs are next in that Cup.

"We have kept our belief in the players and the way that we play the game," Shrimpers assistant manager Paul Brush said. "We made some great blocks and had some fortune, but we had two great strikes and saw some of our simpler chances saved or missed."

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