We take a look back on a memorable Essex derby in 2006As we prepare to take on our local rivals, Colchester United today at Roots Hall, we take a look back on a previous encounter of the two sides:
On March 4th 2006, Southend United strengthened their grasp of the League One title race with a 3-0 victory over Colchester at Layer Road.
The win was wrapped up in convincing fashion after just 32 minutes, goals from Freddy Eastwood, Kevin Maher and Che Wilson putting Blues six points clear of Huddersfield in second place.
A rampant Southend side included club stalwart Adam Barrett, who captained the Shrimpers on Tuesday night at Shrewsbury Town, whilst John White lined up against Southend on that day, but will, of course, be hoping to don the darker shade of blue and white for Blues if he recovers from injury to face the U’s on Saturday.
The win for Southend stretched the gap between the Essex rivals to eight points, however come 6th May on the final day of the 2005-06 season, the points differential was only three in favour of Blues.
The two teams occupied the top two places earning them promotion to the Championship, and thanks to Wayne Gray’s 87th minute strike against Bristol City on the final day, it was Southend who were crowned champions. Colchester’s 0-0 draw away to Yeovil Town was inconsequential in the title race, the U’s pipping Brentford to a second place finish.
As it turned out, Southend’s 3-0 triumph in front of 5,920 fans at Colchester’s old home ended up having a bigger importance in the league standings come the end of campaign, Blues finishing on 82 points and Colchester 79.
On the day, though, it would have been just as big for bragging rights, which will again be up for grabs following on from Blues’ 2-0 victory at the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Boxing Day earlier this season.
Blues: Flahavan; Jupp, Barrett, Sodje, Wilson; Gower, Guttridge (Moussa 90), Maher, Bradbury;
Eastwood, Goater (Lawson 82).
Unused: Hunt, Petterfer, Smith