REPORT | Southend United 3 Charlton 1

Charlton suffered a disappointing Boxing Day at the hands of Southend United, coming away from Roots Hall on the wrong end of a 3-1 defeat. 

Two early goals from Simon Cox and Michael Turner did much of the damage in Essex with the Shrimpers two goals up with just 11 minutes played of a difficult first half for the visitors. 

And despite Ben Reeves pulling a goal back midway through a much better second period for the Addicks, the home side wrapped the points up courtesy of Cox’s second 11 minutes from time. 

Karl Robinson made three changes to his side with Ricky Holmes and Ahmed Kashi making a welcome return to the starting lineup, while Karlan Ahearne-Grant made a well-earned start following the youngster’s recent good form. 

Making way where the injured Leon Best, who sat out with a calf complaint, Mark Marshall, who also received a rest after picking up a knock against Blackpool at the weekend, and Johnnie Jackson, who took his place amongst the subs. 

The Addicks got off to the worst possible start, finding themselves behind with less than two minutes on the clock. 

A heavily deflected shot looped into the danger area for Nile Ranger to head down and, with the visitors failing to get the ball clear, Cox was on hand to bundle home the opener. 

It was to only get worse. On 11 minutes, the Shrimpers doubled their lead from a set piece and it was all too easy for the home side. 

Anthony Wordsworth delivered a free-kick from the right and former Addick Turner was on hand to send a glancing header into the back of the net to pile the early misery for the Londoners. 

Charlton didn’t see their first shot at goal until the 17th minute when Holmes sent a powerful drive towards goal which was batted away by Mark Oxley in the Southend goal, while Josh Magennis could not capitalise from the rebound. 

On the half-hour mark, Ahearne-Grant had a better opportunity to cut the deficit when he was slipped into the box by Ben Reeves, but the striker could only hit the side-netting from a reasonably tight angle. 

Robinson shuffled his back at the break, withdrawing Kashi for Harry Lennon who took up his position at the centre of defence, while Ezri Konsa stepped into the role of defensive midfield. 

The Addicks started the second period in much brighter fashion than they did the first. Ahearne-Grant shifted well on the edge of the box before forcing Oxley into a save with a low drive, while Aribo dragged an effort into the side netting from a corner shortly after. 

And in the 66th minute, Robinson’s men gave themselves a lifeline, pulling the score back to 2-1 thanks to Reeves’ first league goal for the club. 

Holmes made a gut-busting run down the left, getting himself into a position to cut back to Magennis on the edge of the six-yard box. The Northern Ireland international spotted Reeves unmarked behind him and sensibly teed him up, leaving him to fire a crisp finish into the bottom left-hand corner. 

Any hopes they would have of salvaging anything, however, disappeared in the 79th minute with Cox’s second of the afternoon for Southend. 

The Addicks failed to deal with another troublesome ball into the box and were punished again, with the ball falling to the feet of the striker 10 yards out as he prodded in for his brace, compounding an unhappy Christmas for the travelling Valley faithful. 

Charlton: Amos, Dijksteel, Konsa, Sarr, Dasilva, Kashi (Lennon 46), Aribo, Reeves, Ahearne-Grant (Hackett-Fairchild 87), Holmes, Magennis.

Subs (not used): Phillips, Jackson, Lapslie, Dodoo.

Booked: Lennon 81 (foul on Cox), Konsa 90+2 (foul on Leonard)

Goal: Reeves 66

Southend: Oxley, Demetriou, Turner, Ferdinand, Coker, Wright (White 80), Leonard, Wordsworth, McLaughlin (McGlashan 74), Cox, Ranger (Fortune 85).

Subs (not used): Bishop, Hendrie, Kyprianou, Robinson.

Booked: Leonard 38 (foul on Ahearne-Grant), Coker 63 (deliberate handball), Ranger 77 (foul on Konsa), Oxley 86 (timewasting)

Goals: Cox 2, Turner 11, Cox 79

Referee: D Drysdale

Att: 9,588 (1,384 from Charlton)

Read Time: 4 mins