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02 April 2018 Venue Roots Hall Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

Big Preview: Southend United vs Gillingham

1 April 2018

Southend United vs Gillingham

Blues welcome Gillingham to Roots Hall this afternoon with both teams looking to bounce back from defeats in the first of their two fixtures this Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Chris Powell’s side were soundly beaten 4-0 at Home Park by Plymouth Argyle on Good Friday while Gills suffered a 2-1 reversal at home to relegation-threatened MK Dons the night before.  

The extra day’s rest combined with the short amount of travelling may well prove an advantage for Gillingham who will be looking to leapfrog Southend in the table with a win.

The visitors will also take solace from the fact that they are unbeaten in the last nine meetings between them and Blues, with Southend’s last victory against Gillingham coming in 2012.

Southend United: LWDDDL

Gillingham: LLWLDD

29th August 2017: Gillingham (Parker, Ferdinand OG) 2 vs 1 (McLaughlin) Southend United

26th August 2017: Gillingham (Eaves 3) 3 vs 3 (Leonard, Kightly, Cox) Southend United

25th February 2017: Gillingham (Wright 2) 2 vs 1 (Ranger) Southend United

Blues came through the defeat at Plymouth without any fresh injury concerns although boss Chris Powell may look to shuffle his pack for the visit of Gillingham.

Michael Kightly and Theo Robinson both came off the bench and will be pressing for a start, as will former Gillingham captain Josh Wright who also made an appearance against Argyle.

Rob Kiernan and Ted Smith remain the only two absentees for Southend who otherwise have a number of options for Powell to choose from.

Gillingham boss Steve Lovell has been given a selection headache after Navid Nasseri scored on his full-debut on Thursday night.

The youngster will battle it out with Lee Martin – who missed the game through illness – for a place in the starting 11 while Callum Reilly, Osman Sow, Josh Tymon and Marcus Tavernier are all out. 

Chris Powell, Southend United Manager:

“We’ve got another game now, almost a local derby, and there’s a lot of links between the two clubs. We’ve just got to move on from it very quickly today.

“Whatever 11 goes out there, whatever 11 kicks off at 3 o’clock they’ve got to be right. We’ve got to bounce back and bounce back quickly, they always do that.

“We’ve only had one set back before that today and we had a positive result after it, we’ve got to do the same again come Monday.”

Steve Lovell, Gillingham Manager:

“It’s a local derby, it’s a tough game and it’ll be a good atmosphere.

“It’s disappointing to be going there on the back of two defeats but we’ve got to pick ourselves up and be positive for Monday.

“We’ve got to get back to that lovely feeling that you get when you win games.”

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Match Reports

Match Report: Southend 4-0 Gillingham

2 April 2018

Southend produced an incredible first-half display as they beat Gillingham 4-0 at Roots Hall.

Three goals in 11 minutes for Blues set Southend on course for their first win against Gillingham in 10 attempts as Michael Turner opened the scoring with a textbook header after just eight minutes.

Theo Robinson then marked his first league start since October with a close-range volley before Michael Kightly nodded in on the rebound after Stephen McLaughlin had rattled the crossbar.

Southend grabbed a fourth before the interval as McLaughlin headed in from a Kightly corner before Gills captain Lee Martin was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Robinson.

It was the first time Blues had scored four in the first-half of a game since 2011 against Macclesfield Town and it was more than enough to end their six-year wait for a win against their local rivals.

The victory maintained Southend’s place inside to top half of the League One table ahead of a trip to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday while Gillingham slipped to 15th.

It was such a contrast in emotions at Roots Hall compared to the disappointment felt after Blues lost by the same scoreline just four days previously against a rampant Plymouth Argyle side.

In fact, both sides came into today’s local derby off the back of defeats with Southend’s humbling at Plymouth on Good Friday following Gillingham’s 2-1 reversal at home to struggling MK Dons.

Off the back of that defeat to Argyle, Chris Powell made three changes to his Blues side with Michael Timlin, Michael Kightly and Theo Robinson coming in and within 18 minutes of the kick-off, two of those three were on the scoresheet in a lightning start for Blues.

The opening goal came after a poor defensive clearance from goalkeeper Tomas Holy gifted Blues a corner-kick. Stephen McLaughlin swung the ball into the box, finding Michael Turner who'd got up highest to expertly head the ball in after only eight minutes.

Three minutes later and Robinson – who was making his first league start since October 14th – volleyed the ball in from close range after Ben Coker was originally denied by a reaction save from Holy.

And Southend made it three goals in 11 minutes when McLaughlin cut in from the right to rattle the crossbar with Kightly following up to nod the ball into an empty net to put Blues in dreamland.  

Southend had only scored three goals in the whole of March, but they had already matched that tally inside the opening 18 minutes against their local rivals and it could have been four had Holy not managed to tip over Max Ehmer’s wayward header.

Blues though would grab a remarkable fourth goal before the half-time interval as McLaughlin grabbed his obligatory goal against Gillingham, glancing his header into the bottom corner from Kightly’s corner sparking some Gills fans to head for the exits.

A catastrophic first-half for the visitors was then rounded off with Lee Martin being given his marching orders for a late tackle on Robinson which resulted in referee Graham Salisbury brandishing the Gills captain with a straight red card.

With the man advantage, Southend continued their dominance in the second half and Holy needed to be on hand to save from McLaughlin and Cox before a parrying a thunderous strike from Dru Yearwood who was looking for his first senior goal.

Tom Eaves – who scored a hat-trick in the reverse fixture between the two – had already had one goal disallowed in the first-half for offside and repeated the trick midway through the second-half to add to Gillingham’s frustrations.

Blues went close to to rounding off their biggest win of the season with a fifth when Kightly’s corner-kick found its way to Turner at the far post but the defender wasn’t able to divert the ball on target for his second of the game.

Josh Wright came on with eight minutes remaining to face his former side for the first time since leaving the club in September but he wasn’t able to grab a fairytale goal against his former employers.

Powell’s side would comfortably see out the remainder of the match against the 10-men and went close again to a fifth late on when Cox dragged his shot across the face of goal and just wide of Holy’s right-hand post.

Blues XI: Oxley, Coker (C), Turner, Kightly, Timlin, Cox, McLaughlin (Harrison 69’), Yearwood (Wright 82’), Demetriou, Robinson (Ladapo 77’), White. Subs Not Used: Bishop, Wordsworth, Ferdinand, Mantom

Gillingham XI: Holy, O’Neill (Nugent 50’), Garmston, Ehmer, Zakuani, Wagstaff, Hessenthaler (Nasseri 46’), Eaves, Martin (C), Ogilvie (Wilkinson 25’), Byrne. Sub Not Used: Hadler, List, Murphy, Moussa

Referee: Graham Salisbury

Assistants: Graham Kane & Louis Marks

Fourth Official: Paul Yates

Scorers:

Southend United: Michael Turner 8’, Theo Robinson 11’, Michael Kightly 18’, Stephen McLaughlin 40’

Gillingham: None

Yellow Cards:

Southend United: None

Gillingham: Jake Hessenthaler 15’, Ben Nugent 57’, Scott Wagstaff 62’, Mark Byrne 65’

Red Cards:

Southend United: None

Gillingham: Lee Martin 45+3’

Attendance: 8,466

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Ticket News

Back Blues Against Gillingham

28 March 2018

Southend United face 13th placed Gillingham on Easter Monday (2nd April 2018) at Roots Hall...

Chris Powell's side take on Steve Lovell's Gills as both sides battle for points as they slowly climb the table.

Blues are currently 12th in the table, one point and one place ahead of their opposition.

Gillingham will be heading to Roots Hall with just one win out of their last five games, making their game against Blues a huge one for points as the season will soon be coming to a close.

Southend will be looking to push on from their 2-0 victory over Rotherham last weekend and your support is needed to help them along the way!

Make sure you don't miss out and purchase your tickets in advance!

Visiting Roots Hall for the first time? Here's a handy guide that you may find useful.

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