Southend United 0-3 Notts County (National League) 02.04.22
Three goals for the Magpies Porto-Belgo star Ruben Rodrigues and a penalty save by Liverpool loanee Vitezslav Jaros, helped lift Ian Burchnall’s men to victory on the Essex coast as Notts eventually won easily against mid-table Southend.
Notts took the lead on 19 after Arter’s free kick clipped into the area found Rodrigues at the back post who fired home a shot too hot for the Shrimpers keeper to handle.
A tense affair had minimal chances for long periods of the first half and although Jaros pushed over a header just two minutes into the second half, the Notts defence weren’t put under huge pressure as they themselves looked to add to their lead.
Vincent firing wide before Rodrigues sending in a teasing cross the best attempts from Notts to add to their tally before Rawlinson blocked from Atkinson at the other end as Southend attacked.
That block from a shot on target proving pivotal on the hour, as a minute later, Rodrigues made it two, Wootton supplying the Magpies playmaker who made play with his fourteenth league goal of the campaign driving hard and low past Arnold.
Notts had to overcome a penalty scare as Czech goalkeeper Jaros stood firm from Sam Dalby’s spot kick, before Rodrigues rounded things off after great play by Jayden Richardson, the star of the show forcing himself into a shooting opportunity before delicately dinking home with ten remaining ahead of coming off to raptures of applaus from the away support, Rodrigues replaced with five minutes to go with a huge smile on his face after a good afternoons work.
The win see’s Notts now sixth on 64 points from 36 games. In the playoff zone they are four points from third placed Wrexham who sit in one of two places where the playoffs get a bye to the semi-finals, surely now a target well with County’s reach.
Southend United: Arnold, Hobson, Dalby, Clifford, Gubbins, Atkinson (Bridge 62), Neal, Clark, Demetriou, Dennis (Powell 62), Husin.
Notts County: Jaros, Rawlinson, Wootton, Kelly-Evans, Vincent (O’Brien 63), Palmer, Rodrigues (Sam 85), Arter (Brunt 74), Chicksen, Lacey, Richardson.
Venue: Roots Hall (6,338)
*Main image @Official_NCFC Ruben Rodrigues is star of the show.