Shrewsbury 0 Southend 1

Last updated : 14 January 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Following their FA Cup heroics against Premiership high-flyers Everton 10 days ago it was a case of after the Lord Mayors show for Shrewsbury Town - as they crashed to a 1-0 home defeat against visiting Southend United.

Shrewsbury looked a pale shadow of the team who humbled Everton and this hugely disappointing game was ultimately settled by a 20th minute close-range effort from Jay Smith, which proved sufficient to give the Roots Hall men all three points.

Indeed, had it not been for the heroics of Shrewsbury keeper Ian Dunbavin, the Shrimpers would have returned home with a far more convincing victory to their credit.

Unchanged form the side that memorably disposed of Everton, Shrewsbury surprisingly found it hard to settle on a difficult playing surface that three days ago was completely frozen, causing the postponement of this fixture last Saturday.

After a largely uneventful opening to the match, Smith struck from six yards after hesitancy in the Shrewsbury defence allowed Tes Bramble to pull the ball back from a narrow angle.

Before the break, all Shrewbsury could offer by way of response was an Ian Woan free-kick that dipped narrowly over - but after the break top scorer Luke Rodgers twice went close as the Gay Meadow side sought to restore level terms.

But in trying to salvage a point, Kevin Ratcliffe's men left gaps at the back and with 15 minutes remaining it needed a finger tip save from Dunbavin to deny Smith a second and from the resulting corner full-back Darren Moss cleared a looping Leon Cort header off the line.

In the end Southend were good value for their victory, and the watching Chelsea scouts will have seen little on this evidence to worry them ahead of their fourth round FA Cup clash with Shrewsbury in 11 days time.