The S24 Preview: Southampton v Southend United
Another season comes to an end then, not the best, but at least we've still got a club support at St. Mary's on Saturday, May 8th; kick-off 15.00. v SHRIMPERSSo we face the final curtain on the season, until next August, and League One, ?. Our second visit to St. Mary's and we look forward to a third at some time in the future that's not on the last day of the season, and when we've not been relegated!For now Tilly says he may pick some kids from the reserves Tuesday and place them on the bench, but it does look as if Scott Vernon will not be joining us next season and the Blues boss sees Harry Crawford and ex-Saint Matty Paterson as the future, certainly for Saturday anyway!How many of the others on the pitch will we be seeing for the last time? Jean-Yves M'Voto I would have thought will return to Sunderland, and then go elsewhere, good to see him returning to his best form at the end.Whatever happens, the Shrimpers faithful will do what they always do in this situation, have themselves a real good time.See you for the next preview after England win the 20-20 Cricket World Cup and the boys bring home the football one as well. Possibily.Boston away for starters anyone?COME ON YOU BLUES!!!!!Possible Southend United: Mildenhall, Francis, Baldwin, M'Voto, Herd, Grant, McCormack, O'Keefe, Crawford, Paterson, Moussa.Subs: Jack, Sankofa, and pick 5 from the Tuesday reserve game! OPPOSITION Lee Barnard will be hoping to be passed fit to face his former team mates after an ankle injury picked up at the Gills last weekend.Saints defender Wayne Thomas, midfielders Lee Holmes and Ryan Doble have all returned to training ahead and should be in the squad. Fellow midfielder Oscar Gobern will undergo hip surgery later this week and is out.6Huddersfield Town 451481522293102932231111815480+277Southampton (-10)4514534520896372622149824670+368Colchester United 451453362157112731191214635269+11Last Time Out - Gillingham 2 Southampton 1 (played Saturday, May 1st.)Saints slipped to their first defeat in 11 games as they were beaten 2-1 at relegation battlers Gillingham.Alan Pardew rung the changes to his team with the play-off dream now over for the season and he saw his side beaten by a pumped up Gills side fighting for their League One survival. There was a bright spot with David Connolly scoring his first goal since the start of December in his first start since Boxing Day but it couldn't prevent Saints from a rare loss in their penultimate game of the season. David Connolly was gifted a great chance two minutes into the game when Curtis Weston's attempted header back to the keeper fell over his shoulder. The header never had much weight on it and Connolly pulled the trigger on the half volley from the edge of the area but slashed it wide. But Saints were under being put under pressure at the back by a Gillingham team really up for the task as they battled for points to try and avoid relegation. Simeon Jackson had their first opportunity on eight minutes from Jack Payne's cross but, back peddling, could only put a tame header from six yards straight at Kelvin Davis. There was a flash point on 12 minutes when Jose Fonte was harried as he tracked back towards goal and went down, grabbing the ball hoping for a foul only for the referee to give a free kick for handball against him and show him a yellow card. Jason Puncheon tested Alan Julian for the first time three minutes later when Joseph Mills whipped in a cross form the left that the Saints midfielder quickly directed goalwards but, though well struck, was straight at the Gillingham keeper. It was Gillingham who took the lead though on 19 minutes. A long ball was smashed straight down the centre of the field and Jackson battled with Fonte to try and get to it. Davis rushed out to try and deal with it but as he tried to clear and Jackson tried to shoot, Davis and Fonte ended up in a heap on the ground with the ball ricocheting between the three men allowing Rene Howe to smash it into the empty net from 12 yards out. As the half wore on Gillingham showed no signs of stepping off the pace and continued to have Saints on the back foot as they pushed for another goal. Saints were being pressured but were guilty of giving the ball away a little cheaply at times and putting the defence under the cosh. However, for all that they were standing firm and Gillingham for all their pressure were not carving out chance after chance. When the half-time whistle went Saints were behind but after the onslaught they had faced they were probably happy enough that the deficit was only one which gave them a good chance to get it back in the second half with a strong bench for Pardew to call on. He did just that at the break, making two changes. Dan Seaborne came on for the unusually ragged Fonte at centre half while Rickie Lambert replaced Adam Lallana. Saints switched to a three-man central midfield of Puncheon, Dean Hammond and Lloyd James with Lee Barnard playing in behind Lambert and Connolly. Barnard tried a looping shot from 20 yards three minutes after the restart but it took a slight deflection and dropped just over the bar. Mills became the second player in the book for bringing down Dennis Oli. From the free kick Jackson saw his header hit the post from point blank range but Gillingham worked the ball out to Curtis Weston on the left. He delivered a superb cross to the edge of the six-yard box on 51 minutes which picked out the head of Josh Gowling and his downward header into the bottom corner beat the sprawling Davis diving to his left and made it 2-0. Jackson threatened to make it worse but saw his shot blocked. Gillingham were really putting the squeeze on Saints again and Mark Bentley thought he had got another on 59 minutes when he directed a free header from a corner goalwards but Mills was alert on the far post to quickly head it off the line. Pardew made his final change moments later with the injured Barnard being replaced by Papa Waigo. He made an instant impact with Connolly's cute flick inside allowing Waigo a shot from 12 yards with his first touch but Bentley slid across to block. Jackson managed to almost bundle the ball home on 62 minutes but was just about crowded out at the vital moment. Saints got themselves back into the game four minutes later as Puncheon was quick to win a challenge with Adam Miller and get the ball through to Connolly just inside the area. He produced an instinctive first time right-footed finish that flashed low past Julian at his near post for 2-1. Lambert controlled Jon Otsemobor's cross on his chest and volleyed goalwards on 73 minutes only for a deflection to deny him before Martin was booked for a foul as Saints turned the tables on Gillingham and started to put the pressure on them. Hammond won a header from a corner on 82 minutes as Gillingham started to suddenly look a little nervy as they tried to hang on for a big win in their bid to avoid the drop but it went wide. Gillingham made a change with two minutes remaining with Chris Dickson coming on for Jackson. Weston fired in a vicious strike from 25 yards moments later but it flashed just wide. Connolly had a chance deep into the four minutes of added time as James hooked in a high cross from the right which picked him out behind the back four but his first time volley from eight yards out went into the ground and was easy for the keeper. When the final whistle went there was huge elation for Gillingham with jubilant fans pouring onto the pitch but a tinge of disappointment for over 2,000 travelling Saints fans who were consoled by the knowledge that the defeat didn't mean much in the context of the season.(Report supplied by Adam Leitch on www.dailyecho.co.uk) PREVIOUSLYAt Southampton (12)At Southend Utd. (13)ResultsTotal%ResultsTotal%Southampton866.67Southend Utd.646.15Southend Utd.216.67Southampton538.46Draws216.67Draws215.38GoalsTotalAv.pgGoalsTotalAv.pgSouthampton322.67Southend Utd.181.38Southend Utd.131.08Southampton191.46On Neutral Ground (0)Overall (25 matches)ResultsTotal%ResultsTotal%Southampton00.00Southampton1352.00Southend Utd.00.00Southend Utd.832.00Draws00.00Draws416.00GoalsTotalAv.pgGoalsTotalAv.pgSouthampton00.00Southampton512.04Southend Utd.00.00Southend Utd.311.24RecordsHighest Aggregate8Southampton 3 - 5Southend Utd.1953/1954 Highest Southampton score:5Southampton 5 - 0Southend Utd.1921/1922 Highest Southend Utd. score:5Southampton 3 - 5Southend Utd.1953/1954 SeasonDateHomeScoreAwayCompetition 2009/2010Fri 09 OctSouthend Utd.1 - 3SouthamptonLeague One 2006/2007Sun 06 MaySouthampton4 - 1Southend Utd.Championship Sat 09 DecSouthend Utd.2 - 1SouthamptonChampionship 2005/2006Mon 22 AugSouthend Utd.0 - 3SouthamptonLeague Cup 1994/1995Sat 07 JanSouthampton2 - 0Southend Utd.F.A. Cup 1959/1960Sat 23 JanSouthampton3 - 1Southend Utd.Third Division Sat 05 DecSouthampton3 - 0Southend Utd.F.A. Cup Sat 12 SepSouthend Utd.2 - 4SouthamptonThird Division 1958/1959Sat 14 MarSouthampton3 - 2Southend Utd.Third Division Sat 25 OctSouthend Utd.1 - 1SouthamptonThird Division 1957/1958Sat 01 FebSouthampton2 - 2Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Sat 21 SepSouthend Utd.3 - 2SouthamptonThird Division (South) 1956/1957Sat 12 JanSouthampton1 - 2Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Sat 08 SepSouthend Utd.1 - 2SouthamptonThird Division (South) 1955/1956Sat 24 MarSouthampton0 - 0Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Sat 12 NovSouthend Utd.2 - 1SouthamptonThird Division (South) 1954/1955Sat 02 AprSouthend Utd.0 - 1SouthamptonThird Division (South) Sat 13 NovSouthampton3 - 0Southend Utd.Third Division (South) 1953/1954Sat 03 AprSouthampton3 - 5Southend Utd.Third Division (South) Sat 14 NovSouthend Utd.2 - 1SouthamptonThird Division (South) 1951/1952Sat 12 JanSouthend Utd.3 - 0SouthamptonF.A. Cup 1921/1922Sat 11 MarSouthend Utd.0 - 0SouthamptonThird Division (South) Sat 04 MarSouthampton5 - 0Southend Utd.Third Division (South) 1920/1921Sat 05 MarSouthampton3 - 0Southend Utd.Third Division Sat 26 FebSouthend Utd.1 - 0SouthamptonThird Division GROUNDThe Club moved from The Dell to the new St Mary's Stadium in 2001. In some ways this saw the Club returning to its roots as it was originally founded as 'Southampton St Marys'. To be truthful the stadium looks, quite simply, superb. Although comparisons have been made with the Riverside in Middlesbrough, St Mary's is better as all sides are built in the same style and are of the same height. The stadium is completely enclosed, with all corners being filled with seating. There are also two great looking screens sitting on the roofs at each end. Running around three sides of the stadium, just below the roof, is a transparent perspex strip allows more light and facilitates pitch growth. On the remaining side there is a row of executive boxes. The crowd are set well back from the playing action, as firstly there is a cinder track surrounding the playing surface and secondly the pitch itself must be the largest in the League (although the playing area does not use all of it). Away fans are located in the Northam Stand at one end of the stadium, where normally up to 3,200 fans can sit. For cup games this allocation can be increased to 4,750. The view of the playing action and the facilities within this stand are excellent. Leg room is good, although the width of the seating seemed to be a bit narrower than other grounds (either that, or I am putting on weight!). The concourse behind the stand features a Ladbrokes, has TV's which show the game as it is played and a number of eating and drinking outlets. There are plenty of staff and the queues never seemed to get particularly long. There is also a 'Pie & Pint' outlet, that as the name suggests, only serves er, beer and pies, 'Heaven' to some! This will be my first visit to St Mary's and can't wait. The stadium, i'm told, has a great atmosphere and the facilities are first class. The Club is noted for the friendliness of their staff, from the stewards to the catering staff. There is quite a good football memorabilia shop near the stadium on Old Northam Road called "The Football Shop". It is worth a visit if you have time.WEATHERLight rain and 11c's.REFThe man in the middle is Rob Shoebridge from Ripley, Derbyshire.He gives an interview here: www.refworld.com/referee/165/1/rob-shoebridge FIXTURESSaturday, May 8th; (all kick-offs 15.00): League OneBrentford v Hartlepool, Brighton v Yeovil, Colchester v Leyton Orient, Exeter v Huddersfield, Leeds v Bristol Rovers, Millwall v Swindon, Norwich v Carlisle, Oldham v Charlton, Southampton v Southend, Stockport v Tranmere, Walsall v MK Dons, Wycombe v Gillingham.League TwoBarnet v Rochdale, Burton Albion v Grimsby, Cheltenham v Accrington Stanley, Chesterfield v Bournemouth, Crewe v Bradford, Darlington v Dag & Red, Hereford v Rotherham, Lincoln City v Macclesfield, Morecambe v Aldershot, Northampton v Bury, Port Vale v Shrewsbury, Torquay v Notts County. BETSouthampton (to win) - 7/19, Draw - 4, Southend (to win) - 17/2. For all the footy odds go here: www.oddschecker.com/football/english TRANSPORTBy Train go here: www.southendunited-mad.co.uk/feat/edw5/southampton_450294/index.shtmlBy Car go here: www.southendunitedmad.co.uk/feat/edw7/southampton_450459/index.shtml By Coach go here:www.southendunitedmad.co.uk/feat/edw3/southampton_450408/index.shtml PUB AND PIESFor the best drinking hostelries around, and we're aiming for the area around St. Denys station, go here:www.southendunited-mad.co.uk/feat/edw8/head_for_the_arms_pub_crawl_in_southampton_524404/index.shtmlHISTORYThe roots of the club can be traced to members of St. Mary's Church Young Men's Association, who played their football at various venues in Southampton for 13 years, prior to the move to The Dell in 1898.In 2001 the move from The Dell to the new Friends Provident St Mary's Stadium was deemed to be a spiritual homecoming for Southampton F.C., because of the new stadium's proximity to St. Mary's Church, the church where the club was founded by members of the St Mary's Church of England Young Men's Association.St Mary's Y.M.A., as they were usually referred to in the local press, played most of their early games on Southampton Common, and games were not infrequently interrupted by pedestrian insistent on exercising their right to roam. More important matches, such as cup games, were played either at the County Ground, Northlands Road, or the Antelope Cricket Ground in St Mary's Road.The club was originally known as St. Mary's Young Men's Association F.C. (usually abbreviated to "St. Mary's Y.M.A.") and then became simply St. Mary's F.C. in 1887-88, before adopting the name Southampton St. Mary's when the club joined the Southern League in 1894. After they won the Southern League title in 1896-97, the club became a limited company and changed their name to Southampton F.C.The club has won the FA Cup once, and their highest-ever league finish was second in the top flight in 1983-84.Southampton were told on 23 April 2009 that they would be deducted 10 points either in the 2008-09 season, should they finish outside the bottom three, or in 2009-10 in the event of them being relegated, due to their parent company going into administration a few weeks earlier. In the event, this deduction will occur in the 2009-10 season, when Southampton will be playing in League One, as the club finished 23rd out of 24 at the end of the 2008-09 Championship season. 2009-10 will represent the first time since 1960 that the club has played at the third tier of English league football.On 17 July 2009, Alan Pardew was appointed as manager of Southampton F.C. The club captain is goalkeeper Kelvin Davis who signed a new three year contract in July 2009.On 8 July 2009 the club was purchased by German-born Swiss businessman Markus Liebherr.For a far more comprehensive history of the club than we could ever find the space, go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Southampton_F.C.
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