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Southend United (H) match preview

11 February 2019

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Rovers are in league action once again when they host Southend United in Sky Bet League One on Tuesday night.

Rovers will be looking to further their promotion push with another win after securing three points against play-off rivals Peterborough United on Saturday in a 3-1 victory.

Southend on the other hand will be in search of their first win in four games, with a 1-1 draw away at Charlton Athletic at the weekend.

Brief history of Southend United

Southend United play at the 12,392-capacity Roots Hall, with the ground being their home since 1955. They are nicknamed ‘The Shrimpers’, a reference to the town’s maritime industry, with a shrimp taking place in one quarter of the club’s crest.

The Shrimpers have won promotion from League One twice in the last 30 years, winning the division in 2006, returning to the second tier for the first time in 20 years, before being relegated the following season. The year after would see the Shrimpers face Rovers in the League One play-off semi-final, with James Coppinger inspiring Rovers to Wembley with a hat-trick in the second leg at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Southend became famous for their League Cup victory over a Manchester United side featuring the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney in November 2006, with a Freddy Eastwood goal ensuring that the Shrimpers would be one of just a handful of teams to hold a 100 per cent win record over the Red Devils.

This campaign is the Shrimpers fourth consecutive season in League One, following their return in 2015 after a penalty shoot-out win over Wycombe Wanderers in the League Two play-off final, with a 7-6 spot-kick victory following a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes, with former stopper Daniel Bentley saving the decisive strike.

Who’s the gaffer?

Former Shrimpers player Chris Powell is now at the helm of the club he spent six years with as a professional footballer, signing a two-and-a-half-year deal back in January this year. Powell made close to 300 appearances for the Shrimpers between 1990 and 1996, and his arrival as manager was well-received by the Southend faithful.

Powell has managerial pedigree at this level, leading another one of his former playing clubs, Charlton Athletic, to the League One title in 2012, before taking the Huddersfield Town job two years later.

During his time at Roots Hall, Powell has over seen 58 games whilst in charge of the Shrimpers, winning 24, drawing 10 and losing 24, leaving him with a total win percentage of 41.38 per cent.

Ones to watch

Simon Cox

The Shrimpers main man up top is a forward with plenty of Premier League and international experience, with a trip to Euro 2012 with the Republic of Ireland under his belt. Cox began his career with Reading, though it would be his time with Swindon Town where he first impressed, earning a move to West Bromwich Albion, helping the Baggies to promotion in his first season. Cox made a step down to the second tier, firstly with Nottingham Forest in 2012, before a second spell with his first club Reading two years later. His move to Essex with the Shrimpers came around in 2016, scoring 16 goals in 44 games in his first season. And after a prolonged spell out with injury last term, he has hit the ground running at Roots Hall once again already well into double figures this campaign.

Sam Mantom

The central-midfielder was installed as Shrimpers skipper upon his arrival at Roots Hall in the summer. After starting out in Walsall’s academy, Mantom would then begin his career at West Bromwich Albion, with the Baggies paying £20,000 for the at the time. However, he would make his move back across the West Midlands and back to Walsall, initially on loan in 2012 before a permanent move to the Banks’s Stadium a year later. Mantom moved on from Walsall after defeat in the League One play-off semi-final in 2016, joining Scunthorpe United and spending a season-and-a-half with the Iron. Mantom made his switch to Essex, initially on loan for the second half of last season, before making his move a permanent one, signing a two-year deal.

Michael Turner

The experienced centre-half is a man with a wealth of Premier League experience, and he signed a one-year contract extension with the Shrimpers back in the summer. Lewisham-born Turner began his career with Charlton Athletic before a move across London to join Brentford. Turner is perhaps best known for his time with Hull City, being voted as the Tigers’ Player of the Year during the 2007/08 season in which they won promotion to the Premier League. After three years with Hull, Turner moved further north to Sunderland in 2009, before a move to his third Premier League side in Norwich City. Turner found opportunities limited however at Carrow Road, spending time on loan at Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday, before signing for the Shrimpers in the summer of 2017, linking up with then-Southend boss Phil Brown, with whom he’d achieved play-off success at Hull.

Who’s the ref?

Anthony Backhouse will be the man in the middle when the two sides meet on Tuesday evening, and you can read more about him here.

Last time out

You’d only have to go back to the opening day of the season for the last time Rovers and the Shrimpers played, with a thrilling encounter at Roots Hall. Goals from John Marquis, Mallik Wilks and Tommy Rowe seemingly had Rovers in control in Grant McCann’s first league game in charge.

Tom Hopper and former Rovers man Theo Robinson then scored to bring the Shrimpers back to just a one-goal deficit, but a number of fine saves from Marko Marosi throughout the game, as well as Rovers ability to see out eight minutes of stoppage time in the second half saw them come away with the first three points of the season.

Rovers’ last home win over the Shrimpers came in October 2017, with a 10-minute hat-trick from Ben Whiteman helping them to three points. Anthony Wordsworth put the visitors ahead before Marquis levelled in first-half injury-time. Whiteman then scored his quick-fire treble, completing it from the penalty spot to secure a brilliant win for Rovers.

Tickets for Tuesday night’s Sky Bet League One clash against Southend United are still available via the Club Doncaster Box Office. Purchase yours by either visiting in-store at the Keepmoat Stadium, by calling on 01302 762576, or online at tickets.clubdoncaster.co.uk.


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