Monday, August 29, 2005; Southend United 3 Colchester United 1:
It had been sixteen seasons since the last Football League derby between Southend United and Colchester United, and thirty since the Shrimpers last outdone the U's in a League fixture, although there were wins in the LDV Vans Trophy in the previous two seasons, and a 2-1 home League Cup success in 1989.
The previous League clash between the clubs, at Layer Road, was in April 1990, when a two-goal Bank Holiday victory for Blues effectively promoted the visitors and relegated the hosts. This two-goal Bank Holiday success may not be so important come the end of the campaign, but the Seasiders coped easily without the services of suspended Freddy Eastwood, even if Wayne Gray limping off ten minutes from the end represents a worry.
Former Grays Athletic man Cole was the only change in Steve Tilson's side as Carl Pettefer missed out from the 1-0 away defeat to Scunthorpe United. Colchester named Dean Howell in place of injured Neil Danns in the only change from a dour 0-0 draw against Oldham Athletic at the weekend.
This encounter was far from dull or drab, with both sides intent on attacking the other and causing problems for what were, on the whole, shaky defences. The form book, admittedly rather level with both sides collecting five points from their first five games, was thrown out of the window, and caution thrown to the wind.
Inside the opening fifty seconds, Gray believed that he had a confident claim for a penalty kick turned down when Kevin Watson bundled the speedy striker off of the ball as he burst into the penalty area. A minute later, at the other end, the ever-dangerous Chris Iwelumo easily dribbled around Andy Edwards and Adam Barrett before forcing Darryl Flahavan to tip around the left-hand post for a corner.
But from that flag-kick, the hosts took the lead with a quick break. Luke Guttridge, the game's man-of-the-match with a typically wholehearted display, lofted a fine ball over the Colchester defence from the right flank and picked out Bermudan Goater, who controlled the ball well with his thigh before blasting past Rayleigh-born Dean Gerken and high into the roof of the net. A wave of ecstatic emotion was released around a shaking Roots Hall. (1-0)
Blues failed to build on that early strike, and slowly the U's fought they way valiantly back into proceedings. Kemal Izzet, brother of Turkish international Muzzy, curled a right-footed shot against Edwards before Che Wilson was handily placed inside the six-yard box to hack Iwelumo's flicked header. Mark Yeates' 20-yard free-kick was then directed a yard over the crossbar.
Finally, on 18 minutes, Colchester gained their reward for their endeavours. A long Watson throw was predictably won by Iwelumo, and the ball fell to former Barnet man Sam Stockley, who drilled his shot from the edge of the penalty area low into Flahavan's bottom left-hand corner. (1-1)
Again the visitors came forward, led by central midfielder Watson, whose high, floated through ball was won by big striker Iwelumo in the air before he sliced his shot wide of the left-hand upright. But, just as Blues were beginning to look anxious, they were galvanised by a magnificent solo strike by their teenage winger, Cole.
Latching onto a loose ball inside of his own half, the hitherto erratic wide man suddenly came into his own, easily outpacing his marker, Stockley. Although the space that this initially generated was clawed back by desperate U's captain Wayne Brown, Cole maintained his composure to drive another low shot underneath the outstretched left arm of Gerken and into the bottom right-hand corner. (2-1)
Southend managed to keep their advantage until half-time, with the summer sunshine undoubtedly causing the pace of the match to slow. A clumsy challenge gave Keates another chance to find his range from just outside of the penalty area, but despite hitting the target, he was foiled by Flahavan's tip over the crossbar. At the other end, Mark Gower curled a left-footed effort inches past the left post.
Half-time: Southend United 2 Colchester United 1
The second period saw a re-ignition of hostilities. Watson's corner was headed goalwards by Liam Chilvers, with goalkeeper Flahavan making an easy save above his head, and then Stockley's right-wing cross was nodded at the shotstopper by Iwelumo, again beating Edwards in the air.
Unfortunately for the Shrimpers, they then wasted a fine chance to extend the lead on 51 minutes. Neat interchange by Gower, Kevin Maher and Lewis Hunt culminated in ex-Tottenham Hotspur trainee Gower getting to the bye-line to deliver a wicked near post cross. Guttridge, the shortest man on the pitch, met the ball well, headed into the ground but also past the right-hand post.
By now Southend were dominating proceedings, and were denied another blatant penalty kick, this time by referee Rob Styles. Having had a stonewall spot-kick waved away at Glanford Park on Friday, this time Guttridge's through ball was latched onto by Gray, who was outrageously shoved square in the face by Stockley. Stockley, you may remember, was the defender who was 'injured' when Drewe Broughton fired Blues into the LDV Vans Trophy final in 2004, before jumping to his feet to protest about the validity of the strike.
It did not impact on the Seasiders' confidence, as next Gower hit a stinging shot that George Elokobi deflected wide at the near post. In an effort to shore up defensively, Mark Bentley replaced attack-minded Cole, whilst Gareth Williams, easily the better part of a deal that saw Crystal Palace sign Wayne Andrews, and John White came on for Elokobi and Howell.
Immediately, Williams outfoxed Hunt on the Colchester left, before cutting inside and whacking at the near post, where Flahavan was equal to the task. He also created another great chance when he swivelled on a mis-hit shot from Iwelumo, who was appealing for a penalty as Williams smashed a shot against the top of the crossbar.
Minutes later, and with time running out, a fine one-two by strikers Williams and ex-Alemania Aachen forward Iwelumo saw the latter's fine low shot parried out by Flahavan. England Under-20 international Greg Halford hit the rebound over the North Bank.
That was one miss too many for the visitors, and Southend took their toll twelve minutes from the end. Maher found Bentley on the halfway line, and the makeshift right-sided midfielder hit a hopeful ball through the middle of the pitch. 35-year-old Goater was first to the ball ahead of Gerken, and somehow shinned the ball over the goalkeeper and into the net. (3-1)
There was still time for Southend to hit the crossbar, Bentley's penchant for nodding close range headers against the crossbar seeing the ex-Dagenham & Redbridge man thud an effort at the woodwork from a Gower centre. Another Gower cross in the last minute saw substitute James Lawson aim at air-kick at the ball before his smart back-heel allowed Bentley to fire across the face of goal.
By then, the direction did not matter. Four minutes of stoppage time passed, and Styles blew the final whistle on a classic encounter; one which saw Southend move back into the top half of the League One table and just three points off of the play-offs, and Colchester plummeting back into the relegation zone. If things end up like this forty games on, no-one at Roots Hall will be complaining.
Full-time: Southend United 3 Colchester United 1
3 CCL1 1 4-4-2 TEAMS 4-4-2 Darryl FLAHAVAN Dean GERKEN Lewis HUNT Sam STOCKLEY Andy EDWARDS Wayne BROWN Adam BARRETT Liam CHILVERS Che WILSON <63 George ELOKOBI Mark GOWER <82 Greg HALFORD Luke GUTTRIDGE <80 Kevin WATSON Kevin MAHER Kemal IZZET Mitchell COLE <61 <63 Dean HOWELL Shaun GOATER Chris IWELUMO Wayne GRAY <72 Mark YEATES Bart GRIEMINK Mark COUSINS Spencer PRIOR >63 Gareth WILLIAMS Mark BENTLEY >61 Pat BALDWIN Jay SMITH >80 >82 Jamie GUY James LAWSON >72 >63 John WHITE
Shaun Goater 3, 78
Mitchell Cole 30
Sam Stockley 19
<63 George ELOKOBI
<82 Greg HALFORD
Luke GUTTRIDGE <80
Mitchell COLE <61
<63 Dean HOWELL
Wayne GRAY <72
>63 Gareth WILLIAMS
Mark BENTLEY >61
Jay SMITH >80
>82 Jamie GUY
James LAWSON >72
>63 John WHITE
Southend United (2)…3 Colchester United (1)…1
@ Roots Hall, Southend-on-Sea in Coca-Cola League One on Monday 29/08/05
Goals: Southend: Goater 3 (blasted Guttridge cross into roof of net; inside area; timed at 2:52), Cole 30 (magnificent solo run finished with low drive into bottom right-hand corner; inside area; 29:45), Goater 78 (shinned Bentley through ball into net; inside area; 77:30); Colchester: Stockley 19 (low finish from loose ball; outside area; 18:13).
Bookings: Southend: Wilson 70 (foul); Colchester: Halford 41 (persistent infringement of the laws of the game), Elokobi 53 (foul)
Total Goal Efforts | Shrimpers 13 U's 13
Shots/Headers On Target | Shrimpers 5 U's 6
Shots/Headers Off Target | Shrimpers 6 U's 3
Blocked shots | Shrimpers 1 U's 3
Hit Woodwork | Shrimpers 1 U's 1
Corners | Shrimpers 6 U's 8
Free-kicks | Shrimpers 17 U's 13
Offsides | Shrimpers 5 U's 1
Match Time | 95:04 (First half: 45:59, Second half: 49:05)
Indicated Stoppage Time | First half: 1 minute, Second half: 3 minutes
Referee: Rob Styles (FA) 8 out of 10 (general control 5/5, application of laws 1/3, appearance and personality 2/2) - Styles was not at his best - allowing Iwelumo to do exactly to Flahavan as Mido had done when sent off for Tottenham without recourse. He also missed a blatant shove by Stockley on Gray. But he did control the players well, and a derby game passed off without a sending off.
Attendance: 7344 (c. 900 away fans)
Programme Cover: Jay Smith
(Article by Robert Craven, The Little Gazette, Monday August 29, 2005)