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23 November 2019 Venue Roots Hall Attendance

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Big Preview: Southend United vs Oxford United

22 November 2019

Southend United vs Oxford United...

Overview

Southend United return to league action tomorrow afternoon as Blues entertain Karl Robinson’s free-scoring Oxford United at Roots Hall.

Following a 10-day break, Sol Campbell’s Blues should be fresh and chomping at the bit to get back into action following their 3-1 win over AFC Wimbledon in the EFL Trophy.

That victory was Campbell’s first as Southend boss and provided everyone at the club a big lift, and something Campbell and his team hope to build upon as they go in search of vital league points.

Form

As mentioned, Blues’ last foray saw them defeat AFC Wimbledon in the EFL Trophy, providing boss Sol Campbell with his first win as Southend boss following a tough start to his tenure. 

Blues though are without a win in their last eight league matches, having only picked up a point in that time, with their last league win coming in September against MK Dons.

Oxford United, on the other hand, have the second-best attack in the division and are unbeaten in their last nine league games, which has put them within a point of the top-six.  

Last Meeting

Wednesday 26th December 2018

Oxford United 0-1 Southend United

Kightly 79’

Michael Kightly marked his return to the Blues starting line up by scoring the winner at the Kassam Stadium as Southend won 1-0 away at Oxford United.

In a scrappy contest that rarely went above boiling point, the midfielder nodded in a cross from Theo Robinson with 11 minutes to play to earn Southend a vital three points.  

Blues Team News

Despite a long break from competitive action, Blues still have a number of players out through injury with the likes of Luke Hyam, Sam Mantom and Charlie Kelman still on the sidelines.

Stephen Humphrys is another absentee that’s expected to be out at least a couple more weeks while Jason Demetriou’s lack of day-to-day training may harm his chances of a starting spot.

Harry Lennon remains unavailable due to disciplinary issues, with Richard Taylor potentially in line for a league debut having impressed on his full Blues debut against Wimbledon 10-days ago.

Oxford Dangerman

Oxford have a number of players in top form in front of goal, but we’re going to focus on the on-loan Bristol City striker Matty Taylor as United’s dangerman this weekend.

Taylor’s season-long loan at the Kassam has proven a success so far with his hold-up play as well as his runs in behind causing opposition defences all sorts of problems.

The experienced frontman has scored in six of his last nine appearances for tomorrow’s visitors, most recently notching an injury-time equaliser for Oxford away at Portsmouth.

Ref Watch

Tom Nield takes charge of Blues this Saturday, being assisted by Matthew Lee and Adrian Tranter with Paul Lister in as the fourth official.

Nield has officiated 13 games so far this campaign, issuing a total of 35 yellow cards and two reds, with his last appearance coming in Walsall’s 6-0 EFL Trophy win over Forest Green Rovers.

It’ll be Nield’s first visit to Roots Hall since August 2018 where he took charge of Blues’ 2-0 win over Bradford, with his last match involving Southend coming a month later in a 3-2 win at Wycombe. 

Tickets

Tickets are available to purchase from the Blues Box Office, online or by calling 08444 770077 and are at a discounted price if purchased before Saturday.

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

OXFORD TICKET GIF.gif

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Match Reports

Match Report: Southend 0-4 Oxford

23 November 2019

Southend United were handed yet another big defeat in League One as Oxford United beat Blues 4-0 at Roots Hall.

The visitors went in front in the first minute after Richard Taylor’s loose pass was telegraphed by his namesake Matt Taylor, who accepted the invitation to slot the ball beyond Nathan Bishop.

Then an error from Timothee Dieng just after the half-hour mark was capitalised on as Dieng’s own loose pass went straight to James Henry who sent the ball rifling into the bottom corner.

Blues we unable to mount any sort of comeback and the points were sealed when Taylor grabbed his second with five minutes remaining before Dan Agyei scored a minute later to make it four.

Defeat for Blues stretches their winless run in the league to 10 games since beating MK Dons back in September while Oxford climbed into the play-off places.

Going into the game, Southend had been buoyed by their 3-1 win over AFC Wimbledon in the EFL Trophy 10 days prior, their first win under boss Sol Campbell since he took over at the club.

With that in mind, Campbell made just the one change from that night, with Tom Hopper coming in for Emile Acquah while Richard Taylor retained his place to make his league debut.

But it was a nightmare start for Taylor as, within a minute, the youngster’s loose pass was picked off by Matt Taylor who slotted the ball home to give Oxford an early lead.

Oxford boasted the second-best goal tally in League One going into the game and after being gifted the lead they needed little invitation to come forward with menace as the first-half rolled on.

James Henry looked the main threat for the visitors, forcing Nathan Bishop into action on a number of occasions, including forcing the goalkeeper into making a superb double save with his feet.

Southend went forward in bursts and after some neat link-up play between Hopper and Simon Cox, the latter had an effort on goal well blocked by Rob Dickie.

But having made a mistake at the back for the first goal, Southend repeated the trick a little after the half-hour mark as a loose pass from Timothee Dieng was picked off by the menacing Henry.

The Oxford midfielder gleefully received Dieng’s pass out from the back, taking a touch before rifling a low strike into the bottom left-hand corner to double Oxford’s advantage.

Two defensive errors had been capitalised on clinically by the visitors and it could have gotten even worse for Southend just minutes later when Rob Kiernan lost the ball trying to play out.

His poor pass allowed Henry to turn brilliantly and get a shot away which was blocked. The rebound fell to Taylor but he couldn’t get the ball past Bishop who made a superb save from close range.

Roots Hall hadn’t been a happy hunting ground for Oxford in recent years having failed to win in any of their previous 11 visits but they were well on their way to a first victory in Essex since 2003.

Southend needed a response in the second-half to give them any hope but they struggled to get a foothold and almost went further behind when Tariqe Fosu struck the foot of the post.

Isaac Hutchinson was introduced just before the hour mark by Campbell and he almost made an immediate impact, getting into a good shooting position only for his effort to screw wide.

However, that was the best Southend could muster going forward as Oxford went close again when Chris Cadden’s cross towards Taylor needed a last-ditch header from Dieng to clear it away.

The visitors needn’t have worried about that missed chance as a quickfire double late in the contest sealed the three points as Taylor grabbed his second of the game before sub Dan Agyei made it four.

Taylor scored Oxford’s third after being picked by a threaded ball from Henry, with the on-loan Bristol City man calmly firing past Bishop in front of the travelling Yellows fans.

In the aftermath of that goal, Agyei was introduced and immediately got himself on the score sheet, running beyond the Southend backline to find the bottom corner with his first touch.

Hutchinson went close to a consolation in the dying seconds with a curling effort that had to be tipped over the crossbar by Simon Eastwood as their winless run continues

The win for Oxford extended their unbeaten run to 15 as they rose into the play-off spots while Blues remain without a league win in 10 and are now 11 points from safety.

Blues XI: Bishop, Bwomono, Ralph, Milligan, Dieng (C), Hopper, Cox, McLaughlin, Kiernan, Hamilton (Goodship 67’), Taylor (Hutchinson 58’). Subs Not Used: Oxley, Ndukwu, Demetriou, Acquah, Rush

Oxford United XI: Eastwood, Cadden, Ruffels, Dickie, Rodriguez Gorrin (Moore 82’), Taylor, Fosu (Agyei 85’), Forde (Hall 72’), Mousinho, Henry, Sykes. Subs Not Used: Stevens, Long, Jones

Referee: Tom Nield

Assistants: Matthew Lee & Adrian Tranter

Fourth Official: Paul Lister

Scorers:

Southend United: None

Oxford United: Matty Taylor 1’, 85’ James Henry 33’, Dan Agyei 86’

Yellow Cards:

Southend United: Mark Milligan 45+2’

Oxford United: Alex Rodriguez Gorrin 26’, James Henry 35’

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