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4-2
07 December 2019 Venue Memorial Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Big Preview: Bristol Rovers vs Southend United

6 December 2019

Bristol Rovers vs Southend United...

Overview

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.

Form

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.

Last Meeting

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Brandon Goodship was also withdrawn Tuesday night at the Pirelli Stadium with a slight groin problem but is expected to be available again, as will Mark Milligan who returns from suspension.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.

Ref Watch

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

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.

 

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Match Reports

Match Report: Bristol Rovers 4-2 Southend

7 December 2019

Bristol Rovers completed a remarkable second-half turnaround to come from 2-0 down to defeat a stunned Southend United 4-2 at the Memorial Stadium.

Blues had taken a deserved lead when Brandon Goodship’s low cross was fired in from close range by Tom Hopper, who scored the winner here last season.

Goodship then doubled Southend’s advantage before the interval, getting on the end of a defence-splitting pass from Stephen McLaughlin with Blues more than worth their two-goal lead.

But the wheels would fall off shortly after the restart as Jonson Clarke-Harris won a penalty thanks to a foul by Elvis Bwomono, before sending Nathan Bishop the wrong way from the spot.

And shortly after Abu Ogogo would bring the two sides level as he latched onto a loose ball inside the area to slot the ball into the bottom corner and make it 2-2.

Ed Upson then gave Rovers the lead with a brilliantly taken half-volley that thundered beyond Bishop before Alfie Kilgour’s header completed the turnaround.

After a first-half of many positives for Sol Campbell’s side, Blues will be hugely disappointed not to have come away with at least something, while Rovers climb into the play-off places with the win.

Off the back of Campbell’s first point as Blues boss at Burton Albion in midweek, the Southend boss made two changes for the trip to the Memorial Stadium.

Mark Milligan returned from suspension and Richard Taylor came in for the injured Nathan Ralph as Southend started brightly at the Memorial Stadium, looking particularly dangerous down the flanks.

Brandon Goodship put in a beauty of a first-time cross to pick out Stephen McLaughlin who blazed over on the volley before McLaughlin crossed for Tom Hopper who got underneath his header.

It was a case though of third time lucky for the visitors as Blues took the lead with their third chance on goal as Hopper scored from close range to give Southend the lead inside quarter of an hour.  

Goodship put in a superb, low cross into the danger zone which Hopper was more than happy to tap home from inside the six-yard box and put Blues into a deserving lead.

Southend’s start to the game belied their league position and only a brilliant reaction save from Anssi Jaakkola prevented Campbell’s side from going further in front.

Sam Mantom’s corner from the right was flicked towards goal by Timothee Dieng and look destined for the back of the net before Jaakkola tipped the ball onto the frame of the goal to keep it at 1-0.

The home fans were getting increasingly frustrated with their side as Southend continued to come forward with intent and Hopper saw an effort from a tight angle deflect wide for a corner.

And then, almost unbelievably, Blues would go on to double their advantage before the interval as Goodship grabbed Southend’s second of the afternoon.

McLaughlin played a fantastic defence-splitting ball which ran perfectly for the run of Goodship, with the Blues number 14 having the calmness to slide the ball past Jaakkola and into the back of the net.

Southend were more than deserving of their two-goal lead and it could have gotten even better for the visitors before the break as Jason Demetriou got goal side and forced a save out of Jaakkola.

Rovers needed the next goal to go their way if they were to get back into the game and within 10 seconds of the restart, Tom Nichols got goal side and forced a save out of Nathan Bishop.

Moments later and the home side got back in it as Jonson Clarke-Harris was brought down inside the penalty area by Elvis Bwomono, before dusting himself off to score from the spot.

That goal gave the home side the momentum and they went close to levelling when Clarke-Harris headed the ball down to Sercombe who fired over on the half-volley.

But The Gas wouldn’t have to wait long for an equaliser as Abu Ogogo latched onto Richard Taylor’s header to slot the ball into the bottom corner and cancel out Southend’s two-goal advantage.

Blues had been blown away by a resurgent Rovers but they had a chance to restore their lead on the counter as Stephen Humphrys’ got away, teeing the ball up for Sam Mantom who slashed wide.

That would turn out to be a chance that Southend would rue missing as Graham Coughlan’s Rovers side would complete their second-half turnaround with Ed Upson scoring an unbelievable third.

Southend thought they’d cleared the danger, heading the ball out as far as Upson, but he had other ideas as he chested the ball down and thundered it past a stationary Bishop on the half-volley.

The goal was brilliantly taken by Upson but was harsh on Campbell’s side who looked to be coming away from the Memorial Ground without anything to show for their endeavour.

And the home side would make the points safe with a little under 10 minutes remaining as Tony Craig’s header across goal was directed into the net by Alfie Kilgour to send Rovers into the top six.

Bristol Rovers XI: Jaakkola, Little, Ogogo, Craig (C), Upson (Hargreaves 90+3’), Sercombe, Clarke-Harris (Smith 88’), Nichols (Adeboyejo 71’), Leahy, Kilgour, Rodman. Subs Not Used: Van Stappershoef, Kelly, Tomlinson, Hoole

Blues XI: Bishop, Bwomono, Milligan, Dieng (C), Hopper (Humphrys 52’), McLaughlin, Goodship (Acquah 84’), Kiernan, Mantom, Demetriou (Hamilton 63’), Taylor. Subs Not Used: Oxley, Cox, Hutchinson, Kinali

Referee: James Oldham

Assistants: Hristo Karaivanov & Marvyn Amphlett

Fourth Official: Stevan Plane

Scorers:

Bristol Rovers: Jonson Clarke-Harris (p)48’, Abu Ogogo 56’, Ed Upson 75’, Alfie Kilgour 81’

Southend United: Tom Hopper 13’, Brandon Goodship 36’

Yellow Cards:

Bristol Rovers: Mark Little 25’, Tony Craig 27’, Abu Ogogo 42’

Southend United: Rob Kiernan 45’, Richard Taylor 85’

Attendance: 6,797 (347 Away Fans)

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Ticket News

Bristol Rovers Ticket Information

5 December 2019

Tickets for Blues' match against Bristol Rovers on Saturday 7th December will go off sale at 12pm on Friday 6th December 2019.

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