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Club News

Opening Game History

18 June 2019

The new season is fast approaching and with the fixture release day coming up on Thursday here we take a look at some of our memorable opening games of the season.

Over the previous 10 seasons, Blues have won four, drawn three and lost three of their opening games. Out of these 10 games seven of them have been played at Roots Hall, including all of the last three.

One of the most notable was back in 2017 when one of the relegated sides from the Championship, Blackburn Rovers, visited Roots Hall on the 5th August.

Blues started the season off to a flyer winning their first game 2-1 courtesy of two first half goals from Ryan Leonard and Michael Kightly, with one-time Southend left-back Charlie Mulgrew scoring for Blackburn midway through the second half. However, it turned out to be just a consolation as Phil Brown’s side kicked off the campaign with three points.

Another notable game Southend have played on the opening day of the season was a 1-0 victory away to Accrington Stanley on 9th August, 2014. It took until the 85th minute for Southend to break the deadlock, which came via a Lee Barnard penalty.

In 2011, Hereford United were the visitors, and on this occasion Bilel Mohsni was the hero with the game’s only goal coming in the 14th minute.

There are also many more memorable season openers going back further than 10 years, the 2000/01 season saw Brighton and Hove Albion travel to Southend on 12th August 2000. Blues forward Martin Carruthers gave Southend a 1-0 lead in the 5th minute, then on the 83rd minute debutant David Lee sealed the win and the three points when he scored to make it 2-0.

Overall Southend usually start their League season off well. In the four wins that the Blues have picked up, they’ve only conceded one goal and scored a total of five.

Although losing to Doncaster Rovers last season on the opening day, hopefully that trend continues whoever they face in two month’s time and follow on from their dramatic 2-1 victory against Sunderland on the final day of the 2018/19 season.

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