Football - Sturrock toasts in-form Tomlin

Southend boss Paul Sturrock lauded Gavin Tomlin as he continued his stunning scoring form to fire Southend to a 3-0 win over Chesterfield at Roots Hall.

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League Two - Port Vale land Robertson and Tomlin
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Gavin Tomlin - left (PA)

Ryan Cresswell got the ball rolling for the Shrimpers before Tomlin made it 11 goals in 10 games with a brace of second-half headers. And Sturrock, whose side are now unbeaten in their last 13 games in all competitions, was quick to praise his in-form forward.

"Gav is just absolutely on fire for us at the moment," said Sturrock. "He probably hasn't scored many headers in his career before but everything he touches at the moment goes in and it's great to see.

"I actually had a word with him and Britt Assombalonga at half-time because I didn't think they were working as a pair. But the second half was much better and it was a very pleasing night.

"Some of the football we played was impressive and I'm pleased to make it 13 matches unbeaten. This is a very important time of the season and I'm pleased to have started it off so well."

The first half was reasonably uneventful at Roots Hall but the Shrimpers, who moved up to fourth in the npower League Two table following the victory, went in front in the 51st minute.

Cresswell, who has scored more goals than any other defender in the country this term, bagged his eighth goal of the season when he sent a deflected 12-yard volley in to the roof of the net.

Southend doubled that lead 10 minutes later when Tomlin swapped passes with Kevan Hurst before charging in to the box and heading home a fantastic cross from the winger. Tomlin was at it again in the 69th minute with a goal of real quality as he headed a chipped left-wing cross from Chris Barker in to the bottom left-hand corner of the net following a string of successive passes.

Chesterfield boss Paul Cook had no complaints about the result, saying: "We got beaten by a lot better team. They were a lot more powerful and hungry, they had strength all over the pitch and you could see they wanted to win. We seemed to lack a bit of physical presence in the team.

"We started okay in the second half but, after Southend got the two quick goals, the game was already over for us. We were looking for leaders on the pitch to stand up and fight but we didn't have any. We will go forward and carry on trying to get promotion - we need to make sure we collect points over the Christmas period if we want to be up there."

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