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05 August 2017 Venue Roots Hall Attendance

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Big Preview: Southend vs Blackburn Rovers

4 August 2017

Big Match Preview: Blues v Blackburn

Overview

Southend United begin the new EFL season with a mouth-watering tie at Roots Hall against former Premier League champions Blackburn Rovers.

And Blues know they face a tough task against Tony Mowbray’s side, with Rovers starting out the season as bookies-favourites for the title and an immediate return to the Championship.

It’ll be the first time in over 25-years since the two sides last met in a competitive game and there’ll be a whole host of new players on show for both sides come 3pm on Saturday.

Having missed out on the play-offs by one-point last season, Phil Brown will want to see his Blues side make a fast start to this campaign as they look to go a step closer this season.

Pre-Season Form

Southend United:            WLDWW

Blackburn Rovers:            LWWWLW

One To Watch

Tony Mowbray boasts an impressive squad of players to choose from, but our one to look out for on the opening day is former Premier League striker Danny Graham.

Despite a dismal season for Rovers overall, Graham still managed to notch 13-goals last season to be Blackburn’s top goal scorer last campaign.

One of those goals gave Blackburn the lead in their Emirates F.A. Cup tie against Manchester United, and Graham has scored goals almost everywhere he’s been.

The 31-year old came to prominence during his time at Carlisle where his scoring exploits saw him move to Watford where he was their top scorer two seasons running before a switch to Premier League Swansea City.

Graham’s goal scoring prowess stalled somewhat during his time at Sunderland, but after a successful loan spell with Rovers, the 6ft1 striker made his move to Ewood Park permanent last year.

Last Three Encounters

10th March 1992: Blackburn Rovers (Price, Speedie) 2 vs 2 (Ansah, Angell) Southend United

5th November 1991: Southend United (Angell 2, Benjamin) 3 vs 0 Blackburn Rovers

2nd February 1980: Southend United 0 vs 1 Blackburn Rovers

Team News

New signings Michael Kightly, Stephen Hendrie, Amadou Ba and Rob Kiernan are all in line to make their Blues debuts on Saturday having signed for the club during the summer.

One new signing who will miss out though will be Michael Turner as the defender was ruled out for at least a month with a hamstring problem picked up in pre-season.

Defender Ben Coker will also miss out after suffering a leg fracture that is expected to keep him out for up to six months.

Rovers will be sweating on the fitness of defensive pair Darragh Lenihan and Charlie Mulgrew as both were left out of Rovers’ friendly defeat to Carlisle United last Friday.

Experienced midfielder Peter Whittingham looks set to make his Rovers debut after joining from Cardiff in the summer, whilst Jayson Leutwiler will be challenging for David Raya’s spot in goal.

They Say

Simon Cox, Southend United Striker;

“I’m just looking forward to putting all the hard work into practice now. Our start isn’t the easiest.

“We have two clubs who have been relegated and one who has been promoted in the first three league games, but it’s a good test for us and we want to see where we are as a group.

“If we get a good number of points from those matches then it will stand us in good stead.”

David Raya, Blackburn Rovers Goalkeeper;

"Obviously we can't wait to start the season. We need to start with the right mentality and hopefully start with a win.

"You have to work week to week, but you have to have your goals during the season. So, for us coming down from the Championship to League One we have to get back there straight away.

"There'll be pressure from outside and from the fans because they'll want us to get back to the Championship straight away, but we cannot feel that. We just have to do the right things and if we do our jobs then we'll do alright."

 

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Match Reports

Match Report: Southend 2-1 Blackburn

5 August 2017

Blues pulled off a shock result on the opening day of the League One season as goals from Ryan Leonard and Michael Kightly saw them beat title favourites Blackburn Rovers 2-1 at Roots Hall.

Having come down from the Championship the season before, Rovers were the bookie's favourites for an immediate return to the second tier but they fell behind midway through the first half.

And it was a deserved lead for the Blues who went in front after Ryan Leonard was found unmarked at the far post, volleying into the bottom corner to give Southend the lead.

Southend doubled their advantage before the break when former Burnley-man Michael Kightly latched onto a loose ball after David Raya had saved from Marc-Antoine Fortune.

Tony Mowbray’s side immediately put the pressure on in the second half and grabbed a goal back early on when Charlie Mulgrew’s free-kick went in off the left-hand post.

Despite Blackburn having the bit between their teeth, Southend weathered the storm and could have wrapped up the game with Michael Timlin, Fortune and Theo Robinson missing golden chances.

Five minutes of added time were shown to the bemusement of the Southend fans at Roots Hall, with Phil Brown’s side holding out for a brilliant opening day win.

Brown bemoaned his side’s start to last season so wanted a positive start to this campaign, with the Blues gaffer giving Stephen Hendrie and Michael Kightly their second debuts for the club.

Blackburn gave debuts to Richie Smallwood, Dominic Samuel, Peter Whittingham and Bradley Dack and they were almost gifted a goal early on by the Blues.

Stephen Hendrie’s miscued header back to Mark Oxley beat the Blues ‘keeper forcing Hendrie to chase his own header down to clear it away from danger.

Up the other end of the pitch, last season’s top scorer Simon Cox had a great chance to open his account for the season when he was found unmarked in the six-yard box but could only head wide.

Oxley was then called upon when some poor defending from Southend allowed Elliott Bennett acres of room outside the area, with his half-volley having to be parried away by the Blues number one.

Southend had a superb chance to open the scoring midway through the half when Jermaine McGlashan was picked out at the far post only for his half-volley to be tipped over by David Raya.

It was a glorious chance for the winger who will feel he should have gotten a better connection on the strike, but it mattered little as from the resulting corner Southend took the lead.

Michael Timlin’s left-footed corner towards the far-post found the run of Ryan Leonard who had been left completely alone, volleying the ball into the bottom corner to break the deadlock.

The lead was a deserved one for Phil Brown’s side and Rovers immediately went in search of an equaliser and came close when Dominic Samuel scuffed wide from close range.

From the resulting corner, Tony Mowbray’s side had an even better chance when Oxley failed to claim a cross, leaving Charlie Mulgrew to pick out Bradley Dack who somehow headed over.

Rovers were to rue those missed opportunities as Southend shocked the early season favourites by doubling their lead before the interval through former Burnley man Michael Kightly.

Having been booed by Rovers fans with every touch due to his Burnley association, Kightly latched onto the loose ball after Raya had saved from Marc-Antoine Fortune to put Blues 2-0 up.

After a dismal first half from the visitors, Blackburn immediately applied the pressure on Southend after the break and within 10-minutes had a goal back through Charlie Mulgrew.

Timlin scythed down Richie Smallwood about 25-yards from goal, allowing the Mulgrew to curl his free-kick beyond the despairing dive of Oxley and in off the left-hand post.

The goal had sparked the Blackburn players and their fans into life as they went in search of an equaliser with Southend being forced to weather the storm. 

Southend knew they would have to take their own chances when they presented them to stem the Rovers tide and Timlin had a great chance to restore Blues’ two-goal lead but scooped his shot over.

Blues had an even better chance minutes later when Cox’s cross was headed back across goal by McGlashan, finding Fortune whose header was clawed away by Raya from close range.

With time running out and with Rovers having used all of their substitutions, Darragh Lenihan was forced to go up front for Blackburn as he struggled on with an injury.

In the final few moments of five minutes added on Southend had a glorious chance to wrap the game up when sub Theo Robinson was found in the area but he couldn’t score Southend’s third.

It wasn’t to matter in the end as the final whistle blew to rapturous cheers from the home crowd as Southend opened their League One campaign with an impressive win. 

Blues XI: Oxley, Hendrie, Ferdinand (C), Kightly, Timlin, Fortune, Cox (Robinson 76’), McGlashan (McLaughlin 89’), Leonard, Demetriou, White. Subs Not Used: Smith, Kiernan, Yearwood, Bridge, Kyprianou

 

Blackburn XI: Raya, Nyambe, Williams, Smallwood (Evans 69’), Samuel, Graham, Whittingham, Mulgrew (C), Dack (Feeney 60’), Lenihan, Bennett (Clapham 74’). Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Ward, Caddis, Tomlinson

 

Referee: Lee Swabey

Assistants: Lee Venamore & Michael George

Fourth Official: Alan Young

 

Scorers:

Southend United: Ryan Leonard 27’, Michael Kightly 38’

Blackburn Rovers: Charlie Mulgrew 53’

 

Yellow Cards:

Southend United:

Blackburn Rovers: Darragh Lenihan 55’, Ryan Nyambe 70’, Ryan Williams 72’

 

Attendance: 9,257

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Ticket News

Half of X block now on sale!

4 August 2017

More seats available due to high demand...

Due to high demand, half of X block in the Paul Robinson West Stand has now become available to purchase.

Please note that you will not be able to move any original tickets into X block and it will be adults only.

 

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