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18 February 2020 Venue Roots Hall Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Big Preview: Southend United vs Gillingham

18 February 2020

Southend United vs Gillingham...

Overview

Southend United are quickly back in action tonight as they entertain Gillingham at Roots Hall in an Essex-Kent derby.

Rearranged from early January, this is Blues’ second of three straight home matches this week as they look to pick up precious points to keep their battle against the drop alive.

In their way are a Gills side who have proven themselves to be tough to beat in the last couple of months, with Steve Evans’ side currently on a 13-game unbeaten run in League One.

Form

Southend’s defeat to high-flyers Coventry City on Saturday was Blues’ third successive defeat in the league, following on from reversals against Peterborough United and Blackpool.

Prior to the three-game losing run, Sol Campbell’s side had recorded two wins out of their previous three with victories over Accrington Stanley and Lincoln City.

Gillingham beat 10-man Doncaster Rovers on Saturday to extend their unbeaten run in the league to 13-matches, with Gills winning three and drawing three of their last six outings.

Last Meeting

Saturday 5th October 2019

Gillingham 3-1 Southend United

Jones 43’, O’Keefe 46’, Hanlan 87’; Cox 58’

Blues suffered a 3-1 defeat to Gillingham at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium in a game that saw Southend finish the game with 10 men and Gills miss two penalties.

Goals from Alfie Jones, Stuart O’Keefe and Brandon Hanlan wrapped up the points for Gills despite Mikael Ndjoli missing twice from the spot, with Simon Cox grabbing a consolation for Blues.

Blues Team News

Southend are waiting to hear the extent of goalkeeper Mark Oxley’s thigh injury which saw him limp off late on in the defeat to Coventry at the weekend, but he is certainly ruled out. A scan will determine whether he misses the next three or six weeks.

18-year-olds Harry Seaden or Callum Taylor will come in to deputise unless an emergency loan is acquired in time. 

Jason Demetriou and Stephen McLaughlin should be available for selection again, although Campbell suggested the Cypriot might only make the bench. If McLaughlin returns he will be hopefull of scoring having done so on five of his previous six games against the Gills.

Stephen Humphrys is still sidelined with his broken nose but fit-again Harry Kyprianou is pushing for a start after coming into the squad at the weekend.

Gillingham Dangerman

John Akinde was a recent acquisition for the Gills in the January transfer window from Lincoln and he’s no stranger to scoring a goal or two, making him one to watch.

The 30-year-old striker fired Lincoln to promotion last season as their top scorer and he’s already off the mark for his new employers with a goal in Gillingham’s 3-2 win over Blackpool last Tuesday.

His power and size make him a handful for defences, allowing him to hold up play and bring others into the equation and making him an all-round threat, not just in front of goal.   

Ref Watch

Trevor Kettle will be in charge for his third Blues game of the season this evening, being assisted by Alasdair Ross and Paul Kelly, with Nicholas Cooper sitting in as the fourth official.

Kettle had previously been in the middle for Southend’s home game against Brighton u21s in the Leasing.com Trophy and their away trip to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.

This will be Kettle’s 26th game of the season, with his previous 25 games seeing 93 yellows and nine reds, though Kettle didn’t brandish a single card last time out during Saturday’s game at Grimsby.

Tickets

Tickets are available to purchase from the Blues Box Office, online or by calling 08444 770077.

Prices increase on a matchday with tickets available right up until kick-off, and you can find out more information about ticket availability and pricing by clicking here.

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Match Reports

Match Report: Southend 0-1 Gillingham

18 February 2020

Blues’ woes continued as Connor Ogilvie’s powerful header midway through the second half earned Gillingham a 1-0 win at Roots Hall.

After a tight first 45 minutes of few chances, Ogilvie got on the end of a wicked cross from Jordan Graham to power home his header from a matter of yards out.

That was enough to win it for Gillingham in miserable conditions in Essex, allowing the visitors to extend their unbeaten league run to 14-matches and continue their late play-off push.

But there can be no faulting the effort and endeavour shown by a young Blues side who battled valiantly and had a great chance to nick a point late on as Matt Rush got goal side only to fire wide.

Ogilvie’s goal though meant it was a fourth defeat in a row for Blues, leaving them 14-points adrift of safety with 12 matches remaining, starting with Saturday’s visit of Burton Albion.

Following on from Saturday’s defeat to Coventry, Sol Campbell made three changes to his Blues side for the visit of in-form Gillingham, including giving a full debut to goalkeeper Harry Seaden.

The 18-year-old was in in place of the injured Mark Oxley but he was barely troubled in a tight first half that produced limited chances for either side.

Of the chances that were created, Southend had the best of them and saw efforts from Harry Kyprianou and a couple of free-kicks from Stephen McLaughlin easily seen off by Jack Bonham.

Elvis Bwomono also had a chance after finding space to run into, though he saw his scuffed effort easily gobbled up by Gills goalkeeper Bonham as it remained goalless at the interval.

Gillingham had come into tonight’s game off the back of a 13-game unbeaten run in League One but they struggled to make any inroads and test the debuting Seaden in the Southend goal.

In fact, it was Seaden’s opposite number Bonham that was having the busier evening and he was forced into making a superb save low to his left to prevent Charlie Kelman from firing in.

Kelman done brilliantly to get on the end of a long ball forward, and with no support forthcoming, the youngster would shift onto his right before shooting low only for Bonham to get down quickly.

The visitors though would make the breakthrough midway through the second period and, having missed an earlier headed chance, Connor Ogilvie would make amends by powering in the opener.

A cross from the right from substitute Jordan Graham picked out the run of the Gills full back perfectly, leaving Ogilvie to thunder in his header from about three yards out.

Sol Campbell’s side were now having to play catch-up and as the rain came down at Roots Hall, they were unable to find a way through to an equaliser as a fourth successive defeat was confirmed.

They did though have a fantastic chance in the final minute of normal time as substitute Matt Rush got goal side but he rifled his shot just wide of Bonham’s right-hand post.

Gillingham continue their march closer to the top-six, and with it a chance at promotion to the Championship, while Southend’s troubles at the bottom of League One continue.

Blues XI: Seaden, Bwomono, Milligan, Dieng (C), McLaughlin, Mantom, Kelman, Kyprianou (Shaughnessy 75’), Clifford, Egbri (Rush 85’), Mitchell-Nelson. Subs Not Used: Taylor, Klass, Barratt, Hutchinson, Kinali

Gillingham XI: Bonham, Ehmer (C), Ogilvie, Hanlan, Willock (Lee 62’), Mandron (Graham 46’), Roberts (Charles-Cook 90+4’), Fuller, Akinde, O’Connor, Tucker. Subs Not Used: Walsh, Jones, Pringle, Woods

Referee: Trevor Kettle

Assistants: Alasdair Ross & Paul Kelly

Fourth Official: Nicholas Cooper

Scorers:

Southend United: None

Gillingham: Connor Ogilvie 67’

Yellow Cards:

Southend United: Miles Mitchell-Nelson 74’, Charlie Kelman 90+3’

Gillingham: Jack Tucker 30’, Max Ehmer 72’

Attendance: 6,021 (877 Away Fans)

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