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Kick off 17:30 (UK)

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05 May 2018 Venue Roots Hall Attendance

Kick off 17:30 (UK)

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Powell on final game, Bristol Rovers and pre-season plans

4 May 2018

Southend United face Bristol Rovers in their final game of the 2017/18 season on Saturday at the slightly later time of 5.30pm.

Blues are unbeaten in their last three games, scoring nine and conceding none.

And boss Chris Powell says the season ending comes with a tinge of what could have been such, is the form of his side.

“I kind of wish we had a few more games to be honest,” he said.

“I’ve really enjoyed it, I’ve enjoyed working with the group, they’ve really pushed themselves, I think they’ve shown a lot of the time how good they can be. Of course we’ve had setbacks like any other team, but we’ve got over them.

“It’s been a getting to know you process as well; for the players, me and the staff and the other way round as well.

“It’s been entertaining at times, it’s been enlightening, at times we’ve been a bit upset and angry, but not often, and the fans have been fantastic from day one. 

“Scunthorpe was really important looking back at it now because we set our own standard. You’ve got to remember before that game we had lost eight in nine.

“Credit should go to the players who have to go out there and play under pressure, with the pressure and deal with it, and they’ve done that.

“For me to be sitting here now with 31 points from 17 and doubling what we had, I’m really pleased. Hopefully we can have 34 by Saturday night.” 

Rovers, like Blues, don’t have much to play for in terms of promotion or relegation, but Powell expects a tough game despite Darrell Clarke’s side not winning in their last six.

“Their progression over the last few years has been very underrated for me,” Powell added.

“They survived last year in League One, have survived again so the stability is good.

“They’re always well-supported and I’m sure there will be plenty of Gasheads in fancy dress.

“They’ve had a number of draws recently and in some ways, it’s job done, they haven’t got involved in anything above them but definitely not down below. 

“A bit similar to us in many respects, but we want to end the season on a positive note. I think that will be good for us momentum-wise and we’ve been good at home.

“We’ve started well at home and it’s up to us to perform.”

And after the full-time whistle on Saturday, attention turns to preparing for next season, and getting pre-season plans set in stone.

“It would be wrong if I confirmed games, but we’ve earmarked teams,” Powell said when asked about friendlies.

“We’ve got a local game first one, that’s just got to be confirmed, but it’s not too far from here, then hopefully we will get away for a week, again yet to be confirmed, because I know a few of our fans will want to go, which will be great.

“I like to have one game when we’re away, whether that’s against another English or Scottish side or a local team, whatever country we’re in.

“And then we’ll have a few games at home, definitely one, if not two. I’m trying to get a game against higher opposition, whether that’s Premier League or Championship, a week before the season starts.”

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Match Reports

Match Report: Southend 0-0 Bristol Rovers

5 May 2018

Blues ended their League One campaign with a 0-0 draw against 10-man Bristol Rovers at Roots Hall.

Neither side were able to break the deadlock, despite the fact that Rovers had to play the entirety of the second-half with just 10-men after Ollie Clarke was sent off late in the first-half.

Prior to that, Southend went agonisingly close when Simon Cox struck the crossbar with an acrobatic scissor-kick and Bristol themselves hit the woodwork with a Tony Craig header in the second-half.

Despite the man advantage, Chris Powell’s side were unable to get the goal they desired which would have given them a fourth win in a row to end the season on a high but, thanks to Bradford’s draw, Blues would still finish the campaign in the top 10.   

The draw would extend Rovers’ winless run to seven matches but Darrell Clarke’s side would come away from Roots Hall with plenty of positives having held out for a point.  

It was arguably a disappointing way for Southend to end their campaign having gone into the final day off of three straight wins.

Following last weekend’s victory over Bradford, Chris Powell made one change to his starting line-up with Michael Kightly coming in for Marc-Antoine Fortune while his counterpart Darrell Clarke would make three alterations.

In typical end-of-season style, the opening exchanges produced little in the way of clear chances for either side with Theo Robinson’s scuffed effort at Sam Slocombe and a near-post effort from Dru Yearwood the best Blues could muster early on.

Bernard Mensah forced a smart save out of Mark Oxley midway through the first-half for the visitors before Jason Demetriou had the first clear opportunity of the afternoon after Kightly’s cross fell to full-back whose shot zipped across the face of goal and wide.

Blues would continue to increase the pressure on the Rovers back-line as the half went along and Simon Cox was incredibly unlucky to see his acrobatic scissor-kick bounce up and smash the face of the crossbar before Demetriou’s rebound was blocked.

It would remain goalless as the half-time whistle blew, but Southend were given a boost just before the break when Ollie Clarke was sent off for a second yellow card. Having picked one up for a foul on John White early on, Clarke went in late on Sam Mantom and was given his marching orders.

Blues threatened early in the second-half with a Kightly free-kick that had to be tipped away at full stretch by Slocombe and the Rovers ‘keeper was called into action once again to deal with Robinson’s half-volley from outside the area.

With the man advantage, Southend continued to have the majority of possession and Robinson missed a great opportunity after getting on the end of a low cross from Elvis Bwomono, but he failed to hit the target from a tight angle.

Despite Southend dominating the ball, the 10 men of Bristol would still create a couple of good openings and only a reaction save from Oxley would prevent Ellis Harrison from scoring with his snap-shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Rovers would then go even closer later in the half when Sercombe’s cross found the head of Tony Craig, who saw his glancing effort hit the face of the post with Oxley stranded.

That was to be the closest that either would come to breaking the deadlock as Southend would have to settle for a final day draw.

Blues XI: Oxley, Kightly, Cox, McLaughlin, Yearwood (Coker 38’), Mantom (Fortune 46’), Demetriou, Kyprianou, Robinson, Bwomono (Harrison 81’), White (C). Subs Not Used: Bishop, Ferdinand, McGlashan, Ladapo

Bristol Rovers XI: Slocombe, Lockyer, Sercombe (Nichols 83’), O Clarke, Harrison, Lines, J Clarke, Broadbent, Mensah (Baghdadi 70’), Craig, Bennett (Russe 57’). Subs Not Used: Smith, Kilgour, Hargreaves, Kelly

Referee: Anthony Coggins

Assistants: Callum Winchester & Andrew Williams

Fourth Official: Kevin Howick

Scorers:

Southend United: None

Bristol Rovers: None

Yellow Cards:

Southend United: Mark Oxley 9’, Harry Kyprianou 26’

Bristol Rovers: Ollie Clarke 10’, Tom Broadbent 75’

Red Cards:

Southend United: None

Bristol Rovers: Ollie Clarke 42’

Attendance: 8,179

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Ticket News

Back Blues This Weekend Against Bristol Rovers

2 May 2018

Blues will end the 2017/18 season with a game against Bristol Rovers on 5th May and it's at Roots Hall!

Prior to kick-off on Saturday we will be announcing our End of Season Award winners for Player of the Year, Goal of the Season, Save of the Season, Players POTY and Champagne moment, so keep an eye out for the winners!

Chris Powell's side are currently on a three-game unbeaten run at Roots Hall which has seen them score 10 goals against tough opposition.

Blues are also unbeaten in three games after an excellent week scoring nine goals and conceding none against MK Dons, Oldham and Bradford.

Darrell Clarke's side would like to finish the campaign off with a win, something that has alluded them in their last six outings.

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

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