A second half strike from Colby Bishop secured a 1-0 win for Accrington Stanley away at Southend United which was the club’s second league win of the season and the first clean sheet since January, with Nathan Ralph also receiving a red card for the hosts for two bookings.
This afternoon’s game started slowly and the first half consisted of limited chances, with Ralph’s first yellow card coming on 22 minutes for a late challenge on Jordan Clark.
Stanley’s best effort of the half came moments later from Sam Finley, as the midfielder’s shot took a deflection and forced a superb save from Southend goalkeeper Mark Oxley.
After the break, John Coleman’s side came out the much better team and they got their reward seven minutes into the second half, as Jerome Opoku did well inside the box before squaring the ball to Bishop, who tapped the ball into the net to grab his fifth goal for the club.
Bishop was then replaced by Offrande Zanzala, and the latter should have grabbed a goal on 63 minutes but he couldn’t direct his header on target, despite being unmarked in the box.
Finley again troubled Oxley with an effort from range on 71 minutes, with the midfielder then being fouled strongly two minutes later by Ralph, which left the referee with no choice but to show the defender a red card.
Midfielder Sean McConville must have thought he had doubled his side’s lead with 15 minutes left to play, but somehow his header from inside the box failed to cross the line.
Substitute Joe Pritchard fired a shot just wide of the target during added time, with the Stanley defence then remaining strong to clinch the win and the club’s first clean sheet since January.
Stanley’s next outing is a home game with Oxford United on Saturday 5th October, 3pm kick-off.