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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 May, 2005, 19:08 GMT 20:08 UK
Southend 1-0 N'hampton (agg 1-0)
Freddy Eastwood (right) celebrates his match-winning penalty
Eastwood (right) held his nerve to put Southend in their first-ever play-off final
Southend claimed a spot in the League Two play-off final after Freddy Eastwood's penalty gave them a 1-0 aggregate win over Northampton.

Eastwood rolled home the spot-kick on 49 minutes after the impressive Nicky Nicolau was brought down in the box.

The first half saw few clear chances, although Southend's Mark Bentley did force a smart save from Lee Harper.

In a frenetic ending, Darryl Flahavan produced a brilliant point-blank stop to deny Northampton's Scott McGleish.

  • Southend boss Steve Tilson on Flahavan's superb late save:

    "It was a great save at the death which kept us in the tie," said Tilson.

    "He's pulled off saves like that two or three times in the last couple of matches. He's a great shot-stopper.

    "To take Southend up would be my biggest achievement as a manager but it's going to be tougher next week."

  • Northampton boss Colin Calderwood on Southend's penalty:

    "It's a huge let down for everyone here - I saw the penalty incident in live action and questioned it but I'd have to have another look," said Calderwood.

    "We'll gnash our teeth and have a long summer to think about it but you have to be sure to give decisions like that.

    "We didn't do certain things well and that meant we were chasing the game."

    Southend: Flahavan, Jupp, Nicolau, Barrett, Maher, Bentley, Pettefer, Dudfield (Gray 72), Prior, Wilson, Eastwood (Guttridge 90).
    Subs Not Used: Griemink, Edwards, Gower.

    Booked: Barrett, Bentley.

    Goals: Eastwood 49 pen.

    Northampton: Harper, Chambers, Willmott, Murray (Hunt 64), Kirk, Low, McGleish, Rowson (Richards 79), Hearn, Smith (Sabin 56), Togwell.
    Subs Not Used: Bunn, Williamson.

    Booked: McGleish.

    Agg: (1-0)

    Att: 9,152

    Ref: B Knight (Kent).


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