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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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09 January 2021 Venue Roots Hall Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Southend United v Barrow

8 January 2021

A photograph of Southend United's stadium Joe Toth/BPI/Shutterstock
Southend United play at Roots Hall

We bring you everything you need to know ahead of Saturday's League Two trip to Roots Hall.

Southend United v Barrow
Saturday 9th January 2021, 3pm
Roots Hall
Sky Bet League Two

In Opposition
Southend United remain bottom of the League Two table ahead of Barrow’s visit to Roots Hall this weekend but The Shrimpers have cut the gap to safety on the back of a productive December.

Mark Moseley’s men were beaten just once in six games throughout last month and have picked up three points on each of their last three outings on home soil.

It’s an encouraging turnaround for the Essex side, who struggled for form in the early months of the campaign and had to wait until the middle of November for their first league win.

Just like The Bluebirds, Southend United saw their first game of 2021 fall victim to the weather when a proposed trip to Newport County was postponed so they’ll be keen to get back down to business on Saturday.

One To Watch
Simeon Akinola scored his first goal for Southend Untied on Boxing Day when he was on target during their 2-0 triumph over Colchester United at Roots Hall.

The 28-year-old forward had to be patient in waiting for embargo restrictions to be lifted after signing in September which delayed his Shrimpers debut until the middle of last month.

However, the former Barnet and Braintree Town man will be hoping to make up for lost time now he’s up and running in a Southend shirt and he’s a player The Bluebirds will have to keep quiet this weekend.

Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be only the seventh competitive meeting between the two clubs, given that they have shared a division in just three seasons previous to the current one.

You have to back to February 1972 for the last time Barrow took on Southend United – and The Bluebirds came out on top 2-1 that afternoon thanks to goals from Eddie Garbett and local boy Steve Calvert.

Barrow lost on their most recent visit to Roots Hall in October 1971 but did taste victory there on their two previous trips in November 1970 and October 1966.

Referee
Christopher Pollard will take charge of his first Barrow game of the season when he’s the man in the middle for Saturday’s League Two trip to Southend United.

The last time Pollard officiated a Bluebirds fixture was back in August 2017 in the National League when he sent off Jimmy Dunne during a 3-3 draw at Solihull Moors.

He is now in to his second season on the EFL’s list of referees and has overseen 13 games so far this term, most recently Stevenage’s 3-1 win over Scunthorpe In League Two last weekend.

Betting
Barrow have been installed as 23/20 favourites for three points at Roots Hall on Saturday, with hosts Southend United rated an 11/5 shot and the draw available at 23/10 with our friends at Sky Bet.

Click here now to take a look at Sky Bet’s range of odds on Saturday’s action.

Live Streaming
Match Passes to watch Saturday’s game live on iFollow Barrow are now available – fans are reminded that Season Ticket holders do not get free access to away games.

Fans in the UK can buy a Match Pass to watch the action now priced at £10, while overseas supporters pay £7.

Click here now to buy your Match Pass for this weekend’s game.

Live Commentary
We will also provide an audio commentary of this weekend’s game when we link up with BBC Radio Essex for their live coverage, due to BBC Radio Cumbria being prevented from travelling due to COVID-19 restrictions.

You can purchase an Audio Match Pass for £2.50, an Audio Monthly Pass for £4.49 or sign-up for Audio Season Pass which provides all live commentary and video news for just £45.

Click here now to subscribe to iFollow Barrow.

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Match Reports

Bluebirds Beaten By Early Goal

9 January 2021

A photograph of Josh Kay Ben Pooley (MI News & Sport)
Josh Kay in action for Barrow at Southend United

Barrow’s three-game unbeaten run was brought to an end at Roots Hall on Saturday as ten-man Southend United held on to claim all three points and their fourth consecutive home win.

The Shrimpers moved within one point of The Bluebirds as Reeco Hackett-Fairchild celebrated his debut by sending home what proved to be the decisive goal with only three minutes on the clock.

Michael Jolley chose to make one change to his line-up, with Chris Taylor returning in the centre of midfield in place of Harrison Biggins who was serving a one-game suspension.

The game got off to a shocking start for Barrow when debutant Hackett-Fairchild was allowed the space to drift inside from the right and he planted a curling low shot beyond the despairing dive of Joel Dixon and in to the bottom corner of the net.

It took The Bluebirds a little time to recover from the setback as the encounter developed in to a bit of a scrappy affair with neither side really creating much in front of goal in the opening quarter-hour.

Luke James brought Barrow to life with a determined run inside from the left and his dipping shot looked destined for the top corner only for Southend keeper Mark Oxley to produce a great save to tip it over the bar.

There were big shouts for a penalty from the resultant corner when Matt Platt peeled off in to space at the far post and his downward header seemed to bounce up against the arm of John White but the referee wasn’t interested.

Joel Dixon hadn’t been particularly busy but he had to be alert to come off his line and save well at the feet of Elvis Bwomono after Southend had superbly crafted a chance for the full-back to run through on goal.

James had another half chance when he found space to get off a low shot which was well saved by Oxley, while Jason Demetriou hit a speculative volley from a half-cleared corner straight at Dixon as the half came to a close.

The Shrimpers began the second half with a greater purpose and put Barrow under pressure, Hackett-Fairchild again causing problems coming inside from the right but this time his shot flew way too high to trouble Dixon.

However, their momentum was disturbed on 52 minutes when Greg Halford went in late on Scott Quigley and the referee had no option but to show the Southend men a second yellow card and reduce the hosts to ten men.

Despite being reduced in numbers, Southend produced some slick football to release James Olayinka through on goal but he delayed his shot to allow Connor Brown to hold him up and then Simeon Akinola fired the loose ball well over the bar.

As time wore on, Jolley gambled more and introduced Dior Angus from the bench. The forward had a decent chance when he got on the end of Patrick Brough’s lofted cross from the left but he could only nod an effort over the bar.

Shrimpers substitute Ashley Nathaniel-George then almost set up a second goal for the hosts when he slalomed his way through the Barrow defence to tee up Alan McCormack but he could only stab an effort over the top from close range.

Full Time: Southend United 1 Barrow 0

Southend United: Oxley, Bwomono, Hobson, Olayinka (Taylor 81), Dieng, Akinola (Nathaniel-George 81), Hackett-Fairchild (McCormack 61), Halford, Demetriou, Hart, White.
Subs not used: Seaden, Howard, Acquah, Nathaniel-George, Taylor, Walsh.

Booked: Halford, Oxley.

Sent-off: Halford.

Barrow: Dixon, Brown (Angus 72), Hird (J Jones 60), Platt, Brough, Kay, Hardcastle, C Taylor, Beadling, Quigley, James.
Subs not used: Lillis, Zouma, Wilson, J Taylor.

Booked: Hird, Kay.

Referee: Christopher Pollard

Attendance: Behind Closed Doors

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