The Sky Blues made it ten unbeaten in Sky Bet League One on Saturday with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Sol Campbell’s Southend United.
Goals from second half substitutes Callum O’Hare and Max Biamou were enough to secure all three points for City, moving them into the automatic promotion places.
In the opening exchanges both sides had spells with the ball as they accustomed themselves to the wet and windy conditions at Roots Hall.
The first opportunity fell to the home side as Brandon Goodship was played through on goal, however a superb last-ditch tackle from Dom Hyam denied the front man a clean strike of the ball.
Southend stopper Mark Oxley was called into action for the first time 14 minutes in as a City corner was headed clear to the edge of the box where Jordan Shipley was waiting to let fly with his left foot but Oxley was equal to it and palmed the ball away from danger.
It was Kyle McFadzean’s turn to make a vital challenge 20 minutes in as Sam McCallum’s slip allowed Terrell Egbri to dribble into the box and take aim however McFadzean was alive to the danger and blocked the effort with a sliding challenge.
Five minutes later Southend went close again as a loose pass from Liam Walsh was picked up by Sam Barratt on the edge of the box and the midfielder whipped a shot at goal however, his effort flew past Marko Marosi’s post
With nearly half an hour on the clock Shipley went even closer as McCallum cut the ball back to the edge of the box for Shipley who whipped the ball across goal only to be denied by the post.
Walsh was next to try his luck from range but his effort from 30 yards flew well wide of Oxley’s post.
Seven minutes from half time the Sky Blues rattled the woodwork for a second time as Liam Walsh curled a free kick over the wall, only too see his effort cannon back off the cross bar into the path of Zain Westbrooke whose effort sailed high above the goal.
Michael Rose was next to test Oxley, as Westbrooke’s floated corner was met by the defender but the ‘keeper got down smartly to stop the ball low to his right to keep the game level going into half time.
Half time: Southend 0-0 Sky Blues
After a quiet opening ten minutes Mark Robins turned to his bench as Max Biamou and Callum O’Hare replaced Jordan Shipley and Zain Westbrooke meaning a slight change of formation for the Sky Blues.
Just five minutes after coming on, O’Hare made the difference as the midfielder picked the ball up on the half way lane and dribbled unchallenged, all the way into the Southend penalty area before slotting the ball home and wheeling away to celebrate in front of the travelling Sky Blue army.
Just minutes later it was nearly two as City hit the woodwork for the third time of the afternoon.
McCallum’s free kick was whipped in from out wide and eluded everyone before rattling the crossbar and bouncing clear.
Fellow substitute Max Biamou doubled City’s lead ten minutes from the end as Southend failed to defend a long ball over the top and Biamou out muscled his man and calmly slotted the ball past Oxley to give the Sky Blues a two-goal cushion.
Matty Godden nearly made it three at the death as he stung the palms of substitute goalkeeper Callum Taylor with a low shot across the box.
Full time: Southend 0-2 Sky Blues
Goals: Callum O’Hare 60’, Max Biamou 79'.
Yellows: Fankaty Dabo 31’
Attendance: 7,278 (1,588 Sky Blues)
Sky Blues XI: Marko Marosi (GK), Fankaty Dabo (Josh Pask 69’), Dom Hyam, Kyle McFadzean, Michael Rose, Sam McCallum, Liam Kelly (C), Zain Westbrooke (Callum O’Hare 55’), Jordan Shipley (Max Biamou 55’), Liam Walsh, Matty Godden.
Unused subs: Ben Wilson, Ryan Giles, Jamie Allen, Amadou Bakayoko.
Southend XI: Mark Oxley (GK) (Callum Taylor GK 86’), Elvis Bwomono, Mark Milligan, Timothee Dieng (C), Brandon Goodship (Kenny Coker 68’), Sam Mantom, Charlie Kelman, Sam Barratt (Isaac Hutchison 79’), Tom Clifford, Terrell Egbri, Miles Mitchell-Nelson.
Unused subs: Harry Kyprianou, Emile Acquah, Matt Rush, Eren Kinali.