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26 December 2020 Venue Roots Hall Attendance

Kick off 13:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

BIG PREVIEW: SOUTHEND VS COLCHESTER

24 December 2020

Southend United vs Colchester United...

Overview

Boxing Day sees Southend United and Colchester United come head-to-head in a huge Essex Derby clash at Roots Hall with local bragging rights as well as three massive points at stake.

Blues have an excellent record when it comes to Boxing Day clashes with Southend having not lost any of their last eight Boxing Day games in the past 10 seasons.

Incidentally, Colchester were the last side to beat Southend on December 26th in 2009 but Blues will be hoping they can replicate the 2015 result which saw Blues beat the U’s 2-0.

Form

Last time out Southend put in a dogged defensive display in Nottinghamshire to earn a point on the road at Mansfield Town, extending their unbeaten run to four matches.

It’s Blues’ best unbeaten run since January and they’ll go into Boxing Day in good spirits having won two and drawn two of their last six league games.

Colchester also have won two and drawn two of their last six matches, but they haven’t won any of their last three with a draw to Port Vale being followed up by defeats to Cambridge and Morecambe. 

Last League Meeting

Saturday 6th February 2016

Southend United 3-0 Colchester United

Wordsworth 82’, Barrett 88’, McQueen 90’; Gilbey Sent Off 36’

Three goals in eight minutes from Blues secured a big derby day win the last time these two sides met in the league as Southend broke Colchester’s resilient defence in a 3-0 victory.

Colchester’s Alex Gilbey saw red after 36 minutes, but it took until the 82nd for Blues to make the breakthrough with Anthony Wordsworth, Adam Barrett and Sam McQueen sealing the win.

From The Boss

“Hopefully we can bring a bit of festive cheer to the fans.

“It’s my first derby and we all know what the game means to the fans.

“Not having them there to create that atmosphere is literally taking any kind of home advantage away.

“It’s the situation we face, we’re bitterly disappointed but it’s up to us to remain professional and make sure we get a result to cheer everyone up.

“They’ve had a fantastic start and have a lovely way of playing; good attacking football. They’re a good footballing side so we will certainly give them the respect they deserve.

“We’re in for a very hard game but one we’re ready to take on.

“Sometimes these games have a different feel to them and form, the league table go out the window. It’s whoever holds their nerve and performs their best on the day.”

Blues Team News

James Olayinka has returned to his parent club Arsenal for treatment on an on-going groin problem which has been hampering the midfielder for some time now.

Mark Molesley though is hopeful Olayinka will be back and available for Boxing Day, with the Blues boss also hoping Alan McCormack can recover from a slight calf strain picked up on Saturday.

A late decision will be made on full-back Tom Clifford who ended up in a protective boot at Mansfield after receiving a nasty gash on the inside of his ankle.

In more positive news, experienced defender John White has returned to full training after a hamstring problem, putting him in line for a return to the squad on Boxing Day.

Colchester Dangerman

Callum Harriott is certainly someone that Blues need to be wary of this weekend, with the winger already exceeding his goal tally for the last two seasons combined this campaign.

The 26-year-old has five goals to his name, including a stunner against Crawley at the start of the month, with further goals also coming against Oldham, Walsall, Harrogate and Grimsby.

Harriott can cause havoc for opposition defenders with his pace and 1-on-1 ability, which is what caught the eye of Dutch legend Jaap Stam when he signed Harriott for Reading in 2016.

Ref Watch

Boxing Day will see Neil Hair in charge of proceedings, being assisted by Marc Wilson and Darren Blunden, with Anthony Da Costa sitting in as the fourth official.

Hair has officiated 14 games so far this season, issuing 56 yellow cards and just the one red which came in his last outing at Crawley’s 4-2 win against Barrow a fortnight ago.

This will be Hair’s first visit to Roots Hall since last Boxing Day’s 2-2 draw against MK Dons, having also officiated both side’s Carabao Cup clash against each other earlier that season.

iFollow Blues

With fans again not able to attend Roots Hall in person, Blues fans can watch Boxing Day’s clash with Colchester by picking up a Match Pass for iFollow Blues for £10.

A Match Pass will allow you to watch the game on your laptop, computer, tablet or mobile device with Season Ticket holders already having access to their pass via their iFollow account.

For more information on how you can get your Match Pass and ensure you miss none of the action in this huge Essex derby on iFollow Blues, click here

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: SOUTHEND 2-0 COLCHESTER

26 December 2020

Southend United delivered a late Christmas present on Boxing Day as goals from Simeon Akinola and Timothee Dieng earnt Blues a 2-0 win in the Essex Derby against rivals Colchester United at Roots Hall.

Akinola headed the home side in front inside the opening 10 minutes, getting on the end of Sam Hart’s free-kick, to score his first goal in Southend colours before Dieng notched his first of the season finishing off a flowing move from Kyle Taylor.

Colchester went close to halving the deficit before the break when Kwame Poku hit the post and Southend had to put their bodies on the line in the second-half to keep The U’s at bay as Southend stood firm to pick up another huge three points to preserve their unbeaten December.

Boxing Day has been more than kind to Blues over the last decade with Southend not losing on December 26th since 2009, so Mark Molesley was looking to extend that unbeaten run, as well as Blues’ current run of four matches without defeat, with the visit of near-neighbours Colchester.

The Southend boss made four changes to the side that drew 1-1 at Mansfield with Tom Clifford, Alan McCormack and James Olayinka failing to shake off knocks picked up against the Stags, while Emile Acquah was relegated to the bench as Simeon Akinola run the line on his own upfront.

It proved to be a wise choice by Molesley as the Blues number nine headed Southend in front after inside the opening 10 minutes. Sam Hart picked the striker out with his in-swinging free-kick, allowing Akinola to nod in from eight-yards to give Southend the lead.

Blues were off to the perfect start, and they went close to doubling their advantage a few minutes later when Ashley Nathaniel-George – one of the four brought in – drove at the Colchester defence and after beating a couple of challenges he slashed wide of the target.

Southend though would go on and double their advantage with a well-taken effort from Timothee Dieng for his first of the season. Kyle Taylor teed the Frenchman up after a marauding run forward, sliding in Dieng whose first-time shot across Dean Gerken made it two.

The home side had been well worth their two-goal lead and they had chances to extend it to three with Shaun Hobson heading just wide from a set-piece routine before Nathaniel-George left his marker for dead and forced a save out of Gerken from a tight angle.

Colchester though were desperately unlucky not to halve the deficit before the break when Kwame Poku struck the woodwork. The U’s winger cut in from the right and curled a delightful effort beyond Mark Oxley only for it to come off the post to preserve Blues’ deserved lead.

The visitors needed a response in the second-half and had a couple of decent chances fall to Courtney Senior, whose touch let him down at a vital moment, and Michael Folivi whose low drive forced Oxley into making a smart save down low to his right.

After a long spell of pressure from the away side, Blues settled and had a great chance on the counter-attack come and go when Akinola’s cute header into Nathaniel-George set him free down the left but the winger didn’t quite have the legs to get his shot away.

With 15 minutes remaining Colchester went close when Folivi’s looping header required tipping over the crossbar by Oxley before Southend had a glorious chance to wrap up the win as the ball fell to Terrell Egbri inside the area only for his shot to be blocked by some last-ditch defending.

Substitute Jevani Brown forced another save out of Oxley, firing through a sea of bodies as Oxley showed good reactions to parry it clear, before tempers flared in stoppage time as a clash between Hart and Noah Chilvers sparked a flurry of yellow cards from referee Neil Hair.

Blues had been more than value for their victory which extended their unbeaten run to five matches – their longest unbeaten run since Chris Powell’s opening five games in charge in February 2018 – and lifted Southend off the bottom of the table ahead of Stevenage’s clash with Cheltenham.

Blues XI: Oxley, Bwomono, Hobson, Deign, Akinola (Acquah 73’), Egbri, Nathaniel-George (Howard 89’), Demetriou, K Taylor (Halford 79’), Hart, White (C). Subs Not Used: Seaden, Phillips, Sterling, Walsh

Colchester United XI: Gerken, Smith (C), Sowunmi, Senior, Brown, Chilvers, Eastman, Clampin, Poku (Gambin 60’), Stevenson (Lapslie 63’), Folivi (Bohui 79’). Sub Not Used: George, Welch-Hayes, Tovide, Sayer

Referee: Neil Hair

Assistants: Marc Wilson & Darren Blunden

Fourth Official: Anthony Da Costa

Scorers:

Southend United: Simeon Akinola 10’, Timothee Dieng 22’

Colchester United: None

Yellow Cards:

Southend United: Sam Hart 17’, Shaun Hobson 90+6’

Colchester United: Tom Eastman 43’, Courtney Senior 59’, Noah Chilvers 90+6’, Tom Lapslie 90+6’

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