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Nationwide Division 3, 26/3/99, from Roots Hall, Southend

Southend United 0

Hull City 1

Southend United plunged themselves deep into the relegation mire on Friday night as they allowed Hull City to take all three points at Roots Hall.

The depressing defeat means Southend have failed to win in three games and are now just six points from demotion. Manager Alvin Martin resigned after this latest setback, leaving Southend managerless and in deep trouble.

Southend did not even have a shot on target during the 90 minutes and the Tigers fully deserved their victory. The game was mostly a midfield battle, but a good chance fell to Hull after 34 minutes. Leo Roget was booked for a late challenge on a City player, and the resulting free kick was lifted marginally over the bar, with many Hull fans believing that they had scored. For Southend, Barry Conlon fired a good opportunity wide from 10 yards.Little else was created in the first half, but the game opened up a little in the second.

On loan striker Duane Darby was denied by a superb sliding challenge by Leo Roget at the start of the half, and Mal Capleton had to get down quickly to deny the striker again later as he was through on goal. At the other end, Barry Conlon drilled a shot high and wide of the goal, and Lee Hodges hit a shot well past the upright.

The turning point came in the 75th minute. Colin Alcide was advancing towards the Southend goal with a clear opportunity, when Leo Roget launched himself at the Hull forward. While not making contact with the ball, it didn't look like he made too much contact with Alcide either, however the Tigers man did a passable impersonation of loght aircraft as he took to the air. Roget was shown a second yellow card and was sent off for the first time in his career.

It took just six minutes for Hull to capitalise. A right wing corner was not cleared, and Justin Whittle fed David D'Auria, who slammed the ball home off Newman from close range.

The Shrimpers never looked like penetrating a resolute Hull reaguard, and went home pointless and managerless, and with little hope for the remainder of the season. We must get on track with a victory at Rochdale, which, given our appalling away record, is not likely.