SOUTHEND United jumped above Rotherham United in League Two this afternoon, beating Millers 4-0 at Don Valley.
Three goals in 17 minutes in the second half won the match for the Shrimpers after they had taken an early lead in the first 10 minutes of the game.
An impressive brace from Michael Timlin, which saw him score the best goal of the game with a powerful 18-yard half volley, and goals from Peter Gilbert and Neil Harris secured the win.
Rotherham never looked like scoring during the match where they showed very little creativity and made very few chances, looking distinctly average in all positions across the pitch.
The home team were booed off at the final whistle as their fans showed their disappointment in the performance. The defeat means that Rotherham have now failed to win any of their last three matches, losing one and drawing two.
The match was the 13th meeting between the two teams. In previous encounters Rotherham had come out on top in five of the matches with Southend winning three.
They last met in January this year where Southend came out 2-1 winners at Roots Hall.
The visitors started the game the stronger despite missing the midfield pairing of Ryan Hall and Antony Grant after they both picked up their fifth yellow cards of the season, leaving them suspended for the match.
The Shrimpers were half a yard faster than Andy Scott’s Rotherham, collecting all the rebounds and chasing down any loose balls, forcing several early corners.
Their early dominance paid off after 10 minutes when Peter Gilbert followed up his own corner after Rotherham failed to clear their lines.
The Millers’ defence were caught napping when Gilbert took a short corner to Michael Timlin, who found enough space in the penalty area to flat a ball to the back post, which was headed back to the edge of the penalty area.
Gilbert picked up the ball 18 yards out and hit the ball along the floor through a crowded penalty and found the back of the net to the left of an unsighted Logan in goal.
Timlin should have doubled the lead for the Shrimpers a few minutes later when some neat passing play left him in space in the Millers’ penalty area. However he couldn’t beat Logan who saved low to his left putting the ball out for a throw in.
Rotherham captain Alex Revell had the home side’s best chance of the first 45 minutes when his curling right-footed shot just went wide of Glenn Morris’ left hand post.
Southend did double their lead two minutes into the second half after a long throw in went across the Rotherham penalty area and was volleyed home from eight yards out by Timlin.
He ran onto the headed on ball from the throw in and unleashed an unstoppable volley back across the goal and in the side of the goal past Logan.
The game win was well and truly sealed when Timlin got his second of the game less than 10 minutes later, scoring the best goal of the game, firing a ferocious half volley into the top right hand corner of the net.
He pounced on a bouncing ball that wasn’t cleared from a Southend throw outside the Rotherham penalty area. Scoring the best goal of the game with a shot Logan had no chance of saving.
Harris made it 4-0 when he slotted home an easy finish form inside the six yard area after being fed the ball from the right hand side, easily beating Logan in the Rotherham goal.
One positive Andy Scott will be able to take from the game was the appearance of Johnny Mullins from the bench. He replaced Troy Brown in defence after being out injured for six months. He played 70 minutes for the reserves during the week and will undoubtedly be in contention for a starting place in coming weeks if the Millers’ defensive woes continue.
Rotherham United: C. Logan, D. Tonge, M. Raynes, T. Brown (J. Mullins 65), T. Newey, G. Evans, D. Harrisson, D. Schofield (M. Bradley 65), M. Marshall (C. Holroyd 45), A. Revell (C), L. Grabban.
Unused: A. Warrington, B. Pringle.
Southend United: G. Morris, S. Clohessy, P. Gilbert, M. Timlin, N. Harris, K. Ferdinand, M. Phillips, R. Leonard (M. James-Lewis 74), J. Kalala, L. Dickinson, C. Barker (C).
Unused: D. Bentley, B. Mohsni, B. Sturrock, L. Prosser.
Referee: G. Salisbury
Assistants: A. Holmes, B. Khatib, P. Davidson (4th official)
Southend: P. Gilbert (10) M. Timlin (47 + 60) N. Harris (64)
Attendance: 3433 (234 Southend)