Centre back Ben Lewis enjoyed a debut to remember for Southend United – scoring the winner goal in a narrow victory over Fulham at Roots Hall this afternoon.

The former Colchester United defender signed for Southend on a three-month contract after leaving the Layer Road club at the end of last season and has already done enough to impress manager Alvin Martin. He was part of a resolute defensive display that restricted Fulham to long-range shots and popped up with the only goal of the game after a quarter of an hour for good measure.

The 20 year-old lashed a low shot past Andre Arendse’s despairing drive after Jerome Boere had nodded down a left-wing free-kick from former Fulham man Julian Hails. Martin told his post-match press conference that he was ready to snap up the new Southend hero:

“I’ve seen something in the lad which I feel we can develop and he has a future here for sure. I’ll be offering him a long-term contract next week.”

SOUTHEND UNITED: Royce; Gridelet, Lewis, Jones; Byrne (Rammell 59), Clarke, Marsh, Hails, Harris; Williams (Nzamba 40; Beeston 65), Boere.

BOOKED: Jones, Rammell.

GOAL: Lewis (17).

FULHAM: Arendse; Morgan, Cullip, Lawrence; Smith, Herrera (Thomas 35), Cusack, Carpenter (Conroy 35), Hayward; Moody (Newhouse 83), Scott.

BOOKED: Scott, Smith, Thomas, Morgan.

REFEREE: Paul Taylor (Hertfordshire).