Newsletter #242

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Xmas has arrived early for the Blues, number one has to be our second away victory of the season and number two, well – events have conspired to keep certain rival fans a little quiet these days. In fact, I even know of people who have suddenly called in sick!

We have 2 match reports, 2 match views, news of a MCIVTA FC fixture, opinion and an excellent Why Blue.

Next game, Swindon Town away, Saturday 2nd November 1996

MATCH REPORT ‘LIVE’

SOUTHEND UNITED vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Tuesday 29th October 1996

“Who the ***k is Simon Royce?”

Well this was the type of occasion I left New Zealand to take part in. A cold, wild, wintery Tuesday night out to watch the Blues at the footballing giants that are Southend. For all those trivia experts out there this was the first league meeting between the two teams, and a memorable occasion it turned out to be too.

I should say from the outset that my match reports aren’t the type where you get a minute by minute breakdown of what happened. I’m either (a) too pissed by the time I get to the ground, or (b) too s**t scared that we’re going to concede another goal to note down who passed to who, before it got to Uwe… who fell over. But enough of my ramblings, onto the match.

After a quick race from work, and an even quicker downing of a couple of cans of Boddies myself, and some other London-based Blues (You know who you are!) arrived in Southend. A quick nosh-down of local Fish n Chips (or Fush un Cheeps as I used to say in NZ) followed. And what good fish n chips they were too… obviously other Blues thought so too because at one point during the game the chant of “S**t ground, no fans” was amended to “S**t ground, Good Fish n Chips”. Alas it didn’t catch on!

So onto the game. After eventually finding the “Universal Bicycles Stand” shed (it’s true!) we took to our seats to see the game. The Blues trotted out and took control of the game from the off. The team looked lively and keen to put away the chances that had been spurned against Wolves. Dickov, Kinky, and Symons all looked up for it, and even the lethargic Summerbee seemed to be coasting along at a higher rate. Despite a few hoofs into our area by Southend we looked largely untroubled. And then it happened: a mazy, weaving run by Kinky beating two defenders before slipping the ball through to Uwe who fired it home. Surely I hadn’t been slagging him off as a slow diver on the train going to the game?

So 1-0 at half time, and the domination continued into the second half. Another sublime run by Kinky saw him position a perfect shot into the bottom corner in front of a mass of cheering City fans. 3-0 quickly followed with Dickov felled in the area, and Kinky slotting home the penalty. With ten minutes to go we were cruising, keeping ourselves entertained with chants such as: “You can shove your jellied eels up your a**e”, and listening to the embarrassing botches by the Southend announcer (does he ever shut up?). Then it happened, a hopeful punt lead to confusion in the area (à la Lincoln) and the ball was in the back of the net. Still two goals up, no worries right? Wrong, five minutes later Mike Marsh (ex-Liverpool) did some good work and somehow the ball ended up in our net again. Cue the usual finger-nail biting, and last minute panic. This was not helped by the ref, who had proved himself a real tosser all night, playing 10 – yes 10 – minutes of extra time. Still we hung on for our first away win under Steve Coppell.

In conclusion I gotta say that we should have won this handsomely, and not had to endure that stressing Southend fightback. We dominated 85 per cent of the game and Kinky was superb all night. Do not criticise this man! He really is a star and we’d be lost without him. He is not however my man of the match. That goes to Simon Rodger, the new on-loan player we got from Palace. This guy played excellently all night, providing added bite in midfield, passing well, and supporting players. Buy him. He would be great alongside Stevie Lomas. On a negative note I still think that Rösler is a pale shadow of his former self and didn’t play great, despite the goal. Summerbee just doesn’t play well enough to justify his place in the side. He is slow, and is the only winger I’ve ever seen who cannot run fast. And Frontzeck, well I restate the case that he is the worst City player I have ever seen. Sell him, I hear the Rags need some good defenders! And the official man of the match: Simon Royce – the Southend goalie! Conceded three and became man of the match. Cue the Blues’ “Who the***k is Simon Royce!” Great stuff. Be Blue, Be White, Remember Man U are s***e!

Roger – The Blue Kiwi (rogers@lp-ho.poptel.org.uk)

MATCH REPORT ‘LIVE’

SOUTHEND UNITED vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Tuesday 29th October 1996

This was my first “new ground” of the season and I must say it was well worth the visit for this, the first-ever League meeting of the two clubs. The stadium itself is rather like a smaller version of Loftus Road with four neat stands of roughly equal height giving a total capacity of around 12,500. The attendance of 8,707 was around double the average and 3,200 higher than the previous best, the visit of Wolves on Sunday 13th October. This was despite the fact that we (disappointingly) didn’t sell our full allocation of tickets, though it’s a long way to go to Southend on a cold Tuesday night. However, the 1,000 or so Blues that did make the trip certainly made up for the lack of numbers by giving the lads very vocal support throughout.

The only team change from the Wolves game was the inclusion of loan signing Simon “Jolly” Rodger in place of the suspended Lomas. The game was open right from the start, with both sides committed to playing a passing game and attacking their opponents. City had the edge in terms of possession and chances, with Dickov denied a first-half hat-trick by Simon Royce in the Southend goal. One of these chances came by way of a glorious 40-yard pass by Kinkladze which left Dickov one-on-one with Royce but he couldn’t match Steve Bull’s finish from Sunday. Southend had one decent chance when Jeroen Boere beat Dibble to a loose ball and managed to flick the ball over the goalkeeper. Fortunately the ball sailed wide of the post.

City took the lead 2 minutes before the break and once again Kinkladze was the creator. He went on one of his trademark runs, taking on three or four defenders before threading the ball through to R

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