Southend United began their League One campaign on the weekend – their third season in England’s third division after securing promotion via the League Two play-offs in 2015. They will be looking to improve on a 7th placed finish last season, as the Shrimpers missed out on the play-offs by a solitary point – despite at one stage suffering just one defeat in 17 matches, including a run of 13 unbeaten.
Here, you can find all the pre-match facts and statistics for this Carabao Cup fixture.
Southend prepared for the new-season with no less than five friendlies. The Shrimpers won three of those matches, drew another and lost one.
In the opening friendly, Southend beat Braintree Town 2-1 - Simon Cox and Mark Antoine Fortune scoring in the first-half. They backed that up with another win at Bishop’s Stortford 4-0, Cox keeping up his good form in pre-season with two goals.
They then drew with Ebbsfleet United before suffering defeat against Premier League newcomers Brighton 3-0, the only game at Roots Hall during pre-season. The Shrimpers ended pre-season victorious, Fortune and Theo Robinson scoring in the 2-0 success at Cambridge United.
Summer Signings and Team News
Manager Phil Brown is currently undergoing a major change to his playing staff, electing to allow eight players to leave the club whilst bringing just five in.
However, the new signings possess tremendous pedigree. Ex-Premier League stars Michael Kightly and Michael Turner have joined the club, as has young West Ham prospect Stephen Hendrie.
Amadou Ba and Rob Kiernan complete the incomings at Southend.
Of the outgoings, Frank Nouble will come up against his old club after being released by Southend this summer. Other notable departures at the club include Zavon Hines and Will Atkinson.
Brown will be without one of his new additions for our meeting however, as Michael Turner has been ruled out for six-weeks with a hamstring problem. Ben Coker will also miss the game after suffering a broken leg in pre-season, with Nile Ranger also expected to miss the game.
Anthony Wordsworth and Stephen McLaughlin will face late fitness tests.
The Shrimpers started their League 1 campaign on Saturday with a 2-1 victory over title favourites Blackburn Rovers.
First-half goals from Ryan Leonard and Michael Kightly put Southend in control, before a stunning free-kick from Charlie Mulgrew got Blackburn Rovers back in the game.
Summer signings Michael Kightly and Stephen Hendrie played the full 90 minutes, as another addition Rob Kiernan was an unused substitute.
Southend fielded a 4-4-2 formation for the game.
Manager – Phil Brown
Phil Brown has been in charge at Roots Hall since March 2013. This is his 4th managerial job after spells with Debry County, Hull City and Preston North End.
Brown also had a very successful playing career, making over 250 appearances for Bolton Wanderers. His other clubs include Hartlepool United, Halifax Town and Blackpool.
Stadium – Roots Hall
Roots Hall has been home to Southend United since 1955.
The stadium’s current capacity is just over 12,000 with away fans being seated in the North Stand behind one of the goals.
Remarkably, the Exiles have met Southend United on an incredible 98 previous occasions.
County have the slight advantage on previous records, winning 43, losing 41 and drawing the other 14.
However, the sides have only met on four occasions since County’s reformation in 1989.
County moved up to 7th in League 2 with a convincing 3-1 win at Rodney Parade on 26th October.
Connor Washington gave County the lead mid-way through the first half, before Ben Coker responded for Southend with a superb 30-yard free-kick.
An Andrew Hughes header in added-time meant County went in ahead at half-time, with Ismail Yakubu completing the scoring early in the second-half.
In the return fixture, Robbie Willmott missed a penalty for County as both sides got a point in a 0-0 draw on 31st January.
County moved up to 8th in League 2 with a narrow 1-0 win at Rodney Parade on 21st October.
After Joe Day had superbly kept out a Myles Weston penalty, Mark Byrne scored the winner with 15 minutes to go.
Southend would exact revenge on County at Roots Hall on 14th April as they secured a place in the play-offs with a 2-0 win.
Cian Bolger scored in first-half stoppage time before Stephen McLaughlin sealed the victory early in the second half.
Carabao Cup Record
The Shrimpers will be looking to reach the Second Round of the Carabao Cup for the first time since the 2010/11 season.
On that occasion, they beat Bristol City in extra-time at Roots Hall, before suffering defeat at Wolves – Richard Stearman scoring in the last minute of extra-time.
In recent years, Southend have been at home in the first round for the past four years. In 2013, Yeovil progressed with a 1-0 victory before Walsall won at the same venue 2-1 just 12 months later.
Kazenga Lualua scored in added-time to give Brighton a 1-0 success in 2015 before Southend suffered another first-round exit last season – this time 3-1 to Gillingham.
Referee: Antony Coggins
Assistant Referee 1: Nick Hopton
Assistant Referee 2: Nigel Lugg
Fourth Official: David Rock
Coggins took charge of his first League 2 match on Saturday in the game between Morecambe and Cheltenham Town. In that game, Coggins distributed four yellow cards.
Last season, Coggins officiated on 24 National League matches, including the play-off semi final first leg between Forest Green Rovers and Dagenham & Redbridge.
In those 23 games, Coggins gave out 84 yellow cards, 5 straight red cards and 2 red cards for second-bookable offences.
Coggins has been second assistant referee for a County game on two occassions.
Unfortunately, the results don't make pleaseant viewing for County fans.
In the first game, County were beaten at Cambridge United 4-0, before suffering a 4-1 defeat in the second game against Bristol Rovers at Rodney Parade.
Join us on the road to Southend United and get your tickets here!