Bristol Rovers vs Southend United...
Southend United are back on the road again tomorrow afternoon as they travel down to the Memorial Stadium to take on Bristol Rovers.
The two sides exchanged away victories last season with a solitary Tom Hopper goal securing Southend a vital three points last season against The Gas back in August.
Led by former Blues assistant Graham Coughlan, Rovers returned the favour with a 2-1 win at Roots Hall and they’ll be looking for another win to keep tabs on the top six.
Blues’ point on the road at Burton Albion in midweek ended a run of five defeats in a row in the league as Southend picked up their first league point under boss Sol Campbell.
Prior to the draw at the Pirelli Stadium, Southend had picked up just the one point from their previous nine league matches with their only win of the campaign coming at MK Dons in September.
Bristol Rovers have steadied the ship after three league games without a win, beating Rochdale and Shrewsbury on the road before beating Leyton Orient on penalties in the Leasing.com Trophy.
Saturday 2nd February 2019
Southend United 1-2 Bristol Rovers
Cox 39’; Sercombe 20’, Reilly 32’
Former Blues assistant Graham Coughlan returned with his Bristol Rovers side to secure three points for the visitors with goals from Liam Sercombe and Gavin Reilly the difference.
A mistake at the back led to Sercombe’s opener before Reilly scored on the counter-attack. Simon Cox grabbed one back before the break, but Rovers held on to secure all three points.
Blues Team News
Nathan Ralph is expected to be out for a prolonged period of time after the Blues full-back suffered a dislocated shoulder in the 1-1 draw at Burton Albion in midweek.
Brandon Goodship was also withdrawn Tuesday night at the Pirelli Stadium with a slight groin problem but is expected to be available again, as will Mark Milligan who returns from suspension.
Ethan Hamilton returned to his parent club, Manchester United, in the week to get treatment on a groin injury and he will be assessed on Friday prior to the trip to the Memorial Stadium.
Rovers Danger Man
Striker Jonson Clarke-Harris has had a stop-start campaign due to injury but whenever he’s on the pitch he has been by far Rovers’ biggest threat in front of goal and one to look out for on Saturday.
After joining the club in January, Clarke-Harris ended last season with 11 goals in his last 15 appearances and has already notched nine in 17 in all competitions this term.
That’s despite missing around eight weeks of action across October and November due to separate calf injuries, the most recent of which he returned from last weekend.
James Oldham will be the man in the middle of Saturday’s clash, being assisted by Hristo Karaivanov and Marvyn Amphlett, with Steven Plane the fourth official.
This is Oldham’s first season in the Football League having spent last season in the National League where he ended his campaign by officiating the Play-Off Final between AFC Fylde and Salford City.
It’ll, therefore, be the first time Oldham has taken charge of either side tomorrow afternoon and, so far this campaign, he’s officiated 12 matches, issuing 41 yellow cards and three reds.
Away Fans Guide
Rovers’ Memorial Stadium has a capacity of just over 12,000 and is made up of an eclectic mix of stands which gives the ground a very unique look.
Those Blues fans going to tomorrow’s game will find themselves either in the terraced portion of the East Stand or in the corner of the seated South Stand behind the goal.
For more information on the ground, including info on travel directions, where to park and where to go for a pre-match drink, check out awaygames.co.uk’s guide by clicking here.
Tickets for tomorrow’s clash against Bristol Rovers go off sale at 12pm today (Friday 6th December) and can be purchased from the Blues Box Office, online or by calling 08444 770077.
Any pre-purchased tickets can be collected from the Blues Box Office before 2pm today with those unable to collect their tickets by that point able to collect them at the Memorial Stadium.
Tickets will be available to collect from the Away Ticket Booth at the ground where you can also purchase tickets on the day at no increased charge.