Mar 24, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at ​Roots Hall
SouthendSouthend United
Oxford UtdOxford United
Atkinson (9'), Barnard (17' pen.), Loza (86')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Half-Time Report: Southend United in control over Oxford United

Southend United manager Phil Brown looks on as the players warm up prior to the Sky Bet League Two match between Southend United and Northampton Town at Roots Hall on August 17, 2013
© Getty Images
Southend take a comfortable 2-0 lead into the halfway stage of their League Two encounter with Oxford this evening.

Southend United have taken a commanding 2-0 lead into the halfway stage of their League Two clash with fellow playoff hopefuls Oxford United this evening.

The hosts took the lead after just nine minutes when Jamar Loza and Michael Timlin combined to eventually set up Will Atkinson, who made no mistake with his finish.

Loza was involved again for the second goal as he was brought down inside the area by Ryan Clarke. Lee Barnard stepped up to take the resulting spot kick and sent Clarke the wrong way to double his side's lead.

Oxford almost found a response midway through the half as Alfie Potter and James Constable both had chances to shoot before Sean Rigg drew a save from Daniel Bentley.

Clarke was then called into action twice in quick succession at the other end of the field, first denying Timlin's half-volley before tipping the resulting corner over the bar as Kevan Hurst's set piece threatened to go straight in.

A David Hunt corner at the other end caused problems shortly before the half-hour mark as Constable lost his marker and met the cross at the back post, but he volleyed an effort over the bar.

The hosts had another chance to make it 3-0 in the 33rd minute when Loza turned well inside the area, only for Clarke to get down well to make the save.

Oxford were inches away from pulling a goal back right on the stroke of half time as Rigg rose highest in the area to nod an effort goalwards, but Hurst was on hand to clear the danger off the line.

Bristol Rovers manager John Ward looks on prior to the Capital One Cup first round match between Bristol Rovers and Watford at the Memorial Stadium on August 6, 2013
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