Date: 24th May 2015 at 9:17am
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Southend came back from the death, quite literally at the death to take the play off final to a penalty shoot out with League 1 promotion secured after a seven six shoot out win over Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley on Saturday to end our five year stay in League 2.

This was a shoot out that some might’ve missed as they left early!

At the end of 90 minutes the score was level at nil nil so extra time was required but moving into the dying embers of this we looked like we’d be the ones suffering Wembley heartbreak until Joe Pigott scored with almost the last kick of the game to force the penalty shoot out with Daniel Bentley the hero.

There wasn’t anything in the first half with neither side wanting to give anything away but both of us did have the ball in the back of the net. Barry Corr’s header was disallowed as Cian Bolger had committed a foul with Paul Hayes offside when he got in to see an effort loop over Bentley. We should’ve had a penalty though but with a foul not too dissimilar to the foul Bolger had committed not given.

Moving into the second half the control that we had started to gain with Corr and Adam Barrett, who thumped home arguably the best penalty in the shoot out, having chances with Aaron Holloway kept out by a Bentley save with extra time secured by a brilliant Bentley save as he tipped over Aaron Pierre’s late header.

It was Wycombe that broke the deadlock early in the first half of extra when Michael Timlin’s foul on Holloway led to a freekick that Joe Jacobson, who was lucky not to have conceded that first half penalty, took. This hit the bar but ended up in the back of the net via the back of Bentley and off the bar again.

The moment that turned the game in our favour came late in extra time when Wycombe broke away as we pushed on for an equaliser, which was also going to leave us short at the back. Holloway should’ve scored but Ben Coker’s saving challenge also deserved credit as it kept us in the game and allowed Myles Weston the chance to run at the defence in the last minute of extra time to put a dangerous cross into the box that Pigott picked up a knockdown to beat Alex Lynch to force the shoot out.

Lynch saved our second penalty from Coker with his legs and then the next four were successfully converted before Bentley saved Matt Bloomfield’s penalty, he had come on after Sam Saunders was injured in the opening 20 seconds of the final. The next seven were also successful and after Bolger also scored it was left to Bentley again as he saved Sam Wood’s penalty to earn our spot in League 1.

There wasn’t any on pitch Phil Brown singing this time though, something he says he still regrets doing when he kept Hull City in the Premier League.
Penalty shoot out
1-0 Southend, Pigott scored. 1-1 Murphy scored.
1-1 Coker saved. 1-2 Wycombe, Mawson scored.
2-2 Leonard scored. 2-3 Wycombe, Hayes scored.
3-3 Payne scored. 3-3 Bloomfield saved.
4-3 Southend, Timlin scored. 4-4 Bean scored.
5-4 Southend, Barrett scored. 5-5 Jacobson scored.
6-5 Southend, Weston scored. 6-6 Holloway scored.
7-6 Southend, Bolger scored. 7-6 Wood saved, Southend win!

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