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03 March 2018 Venue Roots Hall Attendance

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Big Preview: Southend United vs Walsall

2 March 2018

Southend United vs Walsall

Southend welcome Walsall to Roots Hall on Saturday afternoon as Blues look to continue their recent resurgence under new boss Chris Powell.

Following last weekend’s postponement at Oldham, the Club have been doing everything possible to stave off the combination of Storm Emma and the “Beast from the East” to get tomorrow’s game on.  

Should they do so, they’ll be welcoming a Saddlers side who’ll be used to the abysmally cold conditions having battled through a snowstorm at Peterborough in midweek.

And with a number of games already postponed due to the adverse weather, tomorrow would be a good opportunity for both sides to climb up the league table. 

Southend United: WDWWWL

Walsall: LLDWDW

28th October 2017: Walsall 0 vs 1 (Cox) Southend United

18th March 2017: Southend United (Ranger, Ferdinand, Cox) 3 vs 2 (Moussa 2) Walsall

26th November 2016: Walsall 0 vs 0 Southend United

Blues will boast a near fully fit squad against Walsall.

Michael Kightly is back in contention after he returned to full training earlier this week following a hamstring strain picked up against Bury.

Kightly is joined by fellow midfielder Anthony Wordsworth in returning to fitness after he played an hour of the U23s game against Millwall in midweek, having shaken off a calf injury.

Defender John White continues his recovery from an ankle injury picked up last month against Peterborough, with fellow long-term absentees Rob Kiernan and Ted Smith still sidelined. 

Walsall’s squad appeared to have come through their midweek trip to Peterborough unscathed, but they’ll certainly be without vice-captain Joe Edwards.

The midfielder missed the trip to the ABAX Stadium and had now been ruled out for the rest of the season after finding he’d injured his anterior cruciate ligament against Blackburn Rovers.   

Chris Powell, Southend United Manager:

“We had them watched on Tuesday; Kevin Keen and Roger Cross watched went to their game at Peterborough so we’re doing all the right things and we’ve got to make sure we nullify anything that we’ve seen that is a strength of theirs.

“But more importantly we’ve got to carry on in the same vain and manner that we have.

“We’ve been very aggressive with and without the ball, we’ve been high energy and teams haven’t handled that.

“We’ve got to keep that going and ask questions of Walsall. We’re a good side when we do that as we’ve shown recently in the games at home and away.”

Jon Whitney, Walsall Manager:
 
“We’ve got 12 games left to make a statement, starting on Saturday at Southend.
 
“We have an opportunity now. We’ve got a mini season of 12 games and we are going to try to win every game.
 
“I understand that’s unlikely to happen, but we will head into every game believing we’ve got a chance of winning.”

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Match Reports

Match Report: Southend 0-3 Walsall

3 March 2018

Southend’s unbeaten start under Chris Powell is over after a hat-trick from Erhun Oztumer saw Blues lose 3-0 to Walsall at Roots Hall.

Having gone to so much effort to get the game on in the first place, following the awful weather that has caused chaos across the country, Blues were undone by the Saddlers top-scorer.

His first effort came with a stroke of luck after his left-football strike from outside the area skipped up off the Roots Hall turf to deceive the dive of Mark Oxley.

There was no luck about his second though with his free-kick from a similar distance to his first goal going up and over the wall before hitting the back of the net.

The diminutive midfielder would then wrap up his hat-trick with five minutes remaining, stabbing in a low cross from Luke Leahy to take home the match ball.

Defeat brought to an end a run of five games unbeaten under Powell sine taking the hot-seat at Roots Hall, allowing Walsall to leapfrog Powell’s side into 13th in the League One table.

With the club in a good run of form and having not had a game for two weeks after their match with Oldham was called off, Southend were desperate for today’s game to go ahead.

Earlier in the week, the club appealed to fans to come down to Roots Hall and help clear the pitch, with almost 200 Blues fans arriving at 8am in an attempt to get the game on.

Their efforts were awarded as the game against the Saddlers was one of only three games on Saturday to survive the “Beast from the East” along with MK Dons and Scunthorpe.

Chris Powell chose to field an unchanged side to the one that defeated Portsmouth in Blues’ last game a fortnight ago, with Michael Kightly and Anthony Wordsworth returning to the bench.

Shayon Harrison and Freddie Ladapo retained their places and the two combined early on for Southend’s opening chance when a Harrison cross found Ladapo six yards out, but he headed over.

Simon Cox had a headed chance of his own moments later when he guided a Stephen McLaughlin cross on target only to see goalkeeper Liam Roberts get across well to make the save.

Blues were making life difficult for Walsall as they controlled most of the first half, but the visitors ended the first 45 strongly with chances for Julien Ngoy and Kieron Morris.

Ngoy was picked out by a superb long ball by Luke Leahy, with the striker controlling the ball well before seeing his strike well blocked by a last-ditch tackle by Michael Turner.

Minutes later and Morris picked up the ball on the right, cutting onto his left foot before sending a strike from distance that had Mark Oxley beaten, but failed to find the target.  

Having ended the half brightly, Walsall got off to a good start in the second-half also and only an outstretched boot from Oxley prevented Ngoy from opening the scoring after the restart.

Blues survived a goalmouth scramble from the resulting corner and they should have taken the lead themselves when Harrison was picked out at the far post only to blaze over from four yards out.

It was a great chance for the Spurs-loanee striker and it was a miss that Blues were rue as the Saddlers broke the deadlock just before the hour mark through Erhun Oztumer.

The Saddlers’ top-scorer tried his luck from 25-yards after cutting onto his left-foot, seeing his strike take a nasty skip off the turf to deceive the dive of Oxley and hit the back of the net.

It was a horrible goal to concede for Oxley who’d been superb this season for Blues, but there was little he could do about Oztumer grabbing his and Walsall’s second eight minutes later.

The diminutive midfielder curled a delightful free-kick up and over the Southend wall, seeing his strike nestle in the net again to put the away side in firm control.

In last season’s corresponding fixture, Southend came from 2-0 down to secure a brilliant 3-2 win and Powell instantly made two changes in the hope of repeating that feat.

But the changes had little effect and Oztumer came close to completing his hat-trick in style with another free-kick which was this time saved by Oxley.

Oztumer though wasn’t to be denied the match-ball as he got on the end of a low cross from Leahy to stab home his and Walsall’s third with five minutes remaining.  

Blues XI: Oxley, Coker (C), Ferdinand, Turner, Timlin (Wordsworth 75’), Cox, McLaughlin, Yearwood, Ladapo (Fortune 66’), Harrison (Kightly 66’), Demetriou. Subs Not Used: Bishop, Kyprianou, Bwomono, Wright

Walsall XI: L Roberts, Leahy, Dobson, Guthrie, Devlin, Chambers (C), Oztumer (Cuvelier 87’), Morris, Ngoy (Bakayoko 70’), K Roberts, Kouhyar (Kinsella 79’). Subs Not Used: Gillespie, Shaibu, Flanagan

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Assistants: Marc Wilson & Leigh Crowhurst

Fourth Official: Alan Dale

Scorers:

Southend United: None

Walsall: Erhun Oztumer 57’, 65’, 85’

Yellow Cards:

Southend United: Dru Yearwood 71’

Walsall: Adam Chambers 60’

Attendance: 6,413

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Ticket News

Back Blues Against Walsall

28 February 2018

Southend United face Walsall at Roots Hall this weekend…

Blues face Jon Whitney’s side on Saturday 3rd March looking to extend their winning streak at Roots Hall.

Southend are currently on a five-match unbeaten run in League One, as well as scoring three goals in their last three home games, can Blues make it four home wins under Chris Powell?

Walsall make the journey to Roots Hall in 17th place after winning 10, drawing 11 and losing 12 games this season..

In the reverse fixture Blues were victorious thanks to Simon Cox’s goal which gave Southend their first win at the Banks's Stadium since the 2007/08 season, which also happens to be the last time Blues did the double over the Saddlers.


Last year’s game was a classic as a second half comeback saw Blues overturn a two-goal deficit in the final 30 minutes in dramatic style to win 3-2.

Purchase your tickets now to avoid disappointment!

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

Want to watch the Walsall game in style?

We have hospitality spaces available in the Blues Legends Lounge & Centre Circle Lounge for next weekend’s game.

Want to lead your team out against Walsall?

We have mascot packages available for the game.

To book or enquire about hospitality and mascot packages call 01702 304147 | commercial@southend-united.co.uk

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