Southend placed their cards on the table right from the start as they hassled Gareth Stewart, making his first start of the season, in the first few minutes. Their persistence almost saw Stewart caught in possession. Thankfully a hurried was possible and a throw in the result.
Things didn't get much better for Stewart. A perfectly weighed through ball saw Stewart come rushing out of his goal and then clash with the on running Rawle on 19 minutes. Unfortunately Stewart come off worse and had to be stretchered off the pitch for attention. On came Chris Tardif - suddenly thoughts of the Brentford match in the Worthington Cup sprung to mind and whether Marcus Browning had practised saving penalties!!
Having weathered a period of sustained Southend pressure, which didn't amount to much, Bournemouth then broke the deadlock. From a corner, a decent cross resulted, instead of the short corner routine, which never works, which allowed Steve Fletcher to head home from close range on 39 minutes. But this spurred Southend to greater things as they equalised and took the lead in the few minutes before the break. The first came when poor defending allowed Titus Bramble to level, and Rawle netted following a superb save from Tardif.
The second period started with Bournemouth like a team possessed!!! It must have been one hell of a Peter Grant roasting!! We simply went on the rampage and bombarded the Southend penalty area. Unfortunately the pressure didn't yield a equaliser. As the half wore on Sean decided to throw caution to the wind, and bring on Derek Holmes and Warren Feeney to basically give us a forward line of 4!! Southend simply didn't know what to do!! The pressure was made to count when the influential Marcus Browning slipped the ball through the Southend defence for Deadly Derek Holmes to slide the ball under the advancing keeper to level, and then with seconds remaining on the clock, another decent corner was met by Browning himself to net the winner on 89 minutes.
This didn't stop the ref adding some 7 minutes of injury time (adding to the nerves).
All in all, this was pulsating FA Cup replay in which the team showed real fighting spirit and character to come from behind to secure a place in the Third Round against Crewe Alexandra.
The only disappointment was the ref himself. Mr Bates was okay in the first game 10 days ago, but this evening, he booked Purches for obstructing one of their guys, but when Young was obstructed in the same way - NOTHING!! This was not an isolated incident I am sorry to say as there were a number of inconsistent decisions throughout.
AFCB: Stewart, Young, C Fletcher, Broadhurst, Purches, Elliott, Browning, O'Connor, Thomas, S Fletcher, Hayter
Subs: Tardif (for Stewart, 19 mins), Narada, Tindall, Feeney (for O'Connor, 66 mins), Holmes (Young, 77 mins)
Andy Burton, Portsmouth