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Match Previews

Big Preview: Dover Athletic vs Southend United

8 November 2019

Dover Athletic vs Southend United...


Southend United travel to the Crabble Athletic Ground to take on National League side Dover Athletic in the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup this Sunday, live on BT Sport (12pm KO).

Manager Sol Campbell won the FA Cup four times as a player with Arsenal and Portsmouth and he’ll be hoping that those happy memories can drive him onto a first win as Southend boss.

But in former Gillingham boss, Andy Hessenthaler, Dover have an experienced manager who will know more than a thing or two about Sunday’s visitors as his side aim to cause a cup upset.


Blues’ winless run continued in midweek thanks to a 4-1 defeat to Portsmouth at Fratton Park with Southend now without a win in nine matches in all competitions.

New boss Sol Campbell has had a baptism of fire facing Ipswich, Sunderland and Pompey in his first three games as Blues manager, with Southend having picked up just two wins all season.

Dover currently sit 12th in the National League and come into the weekend off the back of a 3-1 win over Eastleigh at home before a goalless draw in midweek away at AFC Fylde.

Last Meeting

Saturday 13th December 1975

Southend United 4-1 Dover Athletic

Southend and Dover have met just the once before, during the 1975/76 season where the two sides met in the FA Cup Second Round at Roots Hall, with Blues running out comfortable 4-1 winners.

Having beaten Swansea in Round One, Southend surpassed Dover before beating Brighton and Cardiff to make the fifth round where they eventually fell to Derby County.

Blues Team News

Blues welcome back two midfielders into the fold with on-loan Manchester United man Ethan Hamilton and Irishman Stephen McLaughlin back available again after suspension.

One midfielder not available though is Sam Mantom who remains on the sidelines with the 27-year-old expected to be out for another couple of weeks with a hamstring problem.

Mantom is joined by Stephen Humphrys, Charlie Kelman and John White on the injury list along with long-term absentees Sam Barratt and Harry Kyprianou.

Dover Dangerman

Inih Effiong will certainly be Dover’s dangerman on Sunday with the 28-year-old up there as one of the top goal scorers in the whole of the National League.

Effiong has scored nine times for The Whites already this campaign, which is the same amount of goals he scored for Dover in the league during the whole of last season.

The 6ft 3in striker scored seven goals in a nine-game spell earlier in the year and recently ended a six-game goal drought with a brace in Dover’s 3-1 win over Eastleigh.

Ref Watch

David Rock will be in charge at the Crabble Athletic Ground on Sunday, being assisted by Leigh Crowhurst and Mike Desborough with Dean Whitestone standing in as the fourth official.

Rock has officiated 10 matches so far this season, brandishing 23 yellow cards and one red, with his last outing the 1-1 draw between Leyton Orient and Carlisle United in League Two.

It’ll be the first time that Rock has refereed a game involving Blues, though he’s more familiar with Dover having taken charge of Dover 18 times in his career, including three matches last season.

Away Fans Guide

The Crabble Athletic Ground is found in a picturesque setting, situated into a hillside on one side of a river valley with the ground surrounded by trees which overlook the pitch.

Behind each goal is a terrace, with the main stand – which has a second tier for directors and corporate guests – opposit the newly built family stand which was introduced in 2016.

Blues fans heading to the south-east of Kent will mostly find themselves in the Dover End Terrace which can hold up to 2,000 fans with the Crabble as a whole having a capacity of 5,745.


Sunday’s match at Dover will be all-ticket with no pay-on-the-day option available, with Southend being given an allocation of 2,000 tickets – 112 of which are seated.

Tickets are on general sale until 3pm today (Friday 8th November) and all tickets must be collected in person from the Blues Box Office as there will be no option to collect on matchday.

You must collect your tickets from the Blues Box Office before by close of play on Friday 8 November unless arrangements are made with the Box Office to pick up on Saturday between 10am and 3pm.

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