Despite a game of little quality, Carlisle United took all three points away from Roots Hall against a seemingly doomed Southend United side. Two pieces of individual brilliance from Offrande Zanazla and Gime Toure in either half put the Cumbrians promotion push back on track.
Chris Beech named an unchanged team from Tuesday nights comfortable two-nil victory against Crawley Town at Brunton Park. Midweek man of the match Joe Riley looked to continue his excellent form, with Zanazala again leading the forward line.
Your team for today's game against @SUFCRootsHall 👇
— Carlisle United FC (@officialcufc) April 3, 2021
Shrimpers manager Mark Mosely made two changes from his sides one-nil victory over Harrogate Town last Saturday. Reeco Hackett-Fairchild and Tyler Cordner replaced James Olayinka and John White.
🚨 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 🚨
— Southend United (@SUFCRootsHall) April 3, 2021
Carlisle started the brighter of the two sides, and the hosts had an early scare in the 6th minute. George Tanner arrowed cross was accidentally flicked on by Cordner, and the on-loan Bournemouth man was lucky to see his misjudged header go wide.
The Cumbrians full-backs were getting joy down the Shrimpers wings, and this time it was Jack Armer who looked threatening. His initial cross was cleared back to him, but his second attempt from the left found Zanzala, who headed softly at the Mark Oxley.
Carlisle’s Congolese striker Zanzala has found the ability to bully defenders in recent matches, and today’s fixture was no different. This time Riley poked it through to Zanzala, who looked to have slipped as he shot towards goal, and it flew wide.
The Cumbrians took the lead in the 17th minute, with Zanzala getting on the scoresheet. Aaron Hayden’s defensive header forward found Zanzala, who took the ball beautifully on his chest and drove in on goal.
Southend’s defence were backtracking, allowing Zanzala to fire a shot confidently past Mark Oxyely in the Shrimpers goal.
Southend were awakened by Carlisle’s early opener and gained a stronghold on the game. They handed a fantastic opportunity to level the game on the 36th minute, as Callum Guy was adjudged to have tripped Simeon Akinola in the box by Alan Young.
After looking back at the replay of the incident, the penalty decision was certainly contentious, as Akinola seemed to go down without contact from Guy.
However, Akinola’s penalty attempt was woeful, as he took a series of short steps before rolling the ball to Paul Farman’s right, which the United stopper took great delight in saving.
Farman’s penalty save was the last meaningful action of the half, with the visitors taking a slender one-nil lead into the break.
Half Time: Southend United Nil-One Carlisle United
The beginning of the second half continued in a similar vein to the first, with a lack of calmness from either side.
In the 53rd minute, Zanzala won a flick on, which fell to Jon Mellish. Mellish powered through two tackles and hit a venomous volley, which was saved by Oxley.
Southend looked at their best during set-pieces, and in the 60th minute, they had the ball in Farman’s net. A delicious cross in by Clifford found Akinola, but it wasn’t the former Barnet mans day, as he saw the linesman’s flag go up after he tapped in the cross.
Admirable work ethic from Joe Riley saw him win the ball back in Southend’s half and put Mellish down the left-wing. However, his cross was deflected, but only to Gime Toure, who could only direct a timid flicked header at Oxley.
The Cumbrians finished off the Shrimpers in the 80th minute, with a sublime finish from Toure. Lewis Alessandra worked the ball into Toure, who curled it into the bottom corner with finesse and precision.
Toure had threatened to do something similar for the whole of the season, but only until today’s match had been able to do so.
Southend tried to respond positively, but Clifford’s deep cross was headed over the bar by Brandon Goodship.
Full Time: Southend United Nil-Two Carlisle United
See reaction from both sets of fans here:
A performance and team that unfortunately is going to go down as the worst Southend United in our history.
Into the abyss without any real fight and not scoring at home in 6 games in totally embarrassing to say the least.
Next time I will be able to watch we will be in the NL.
— Steve Jones (@SteveJo72166279) April 3, 2021
Disgraceful yet again.
Luckily for them the stands are empty!
— Luke Mayes Ⓥ (@lukemayes8) April 3, 2021
Not pretty today but could be a very important 3 point 🔵✊ #cufc
— Tom Walton (@Tomw0892) April 3, 2021
Class again from Zanzala today but my MOTM has to go to Riley. The lad didn't stop for 90 minutes. Some player.
— Ryan (@Ry_CUFC) April 3, 2021