Pride as well as points at stake for U's

ESSEX pride is not the only prize at stake, as in-form Colchester United take on struggling Southend in front of the Sky TV cameras at Roots Hall this lunchtime (kick-off 12.

By Carl Marston

ESSEX pride is not the only prize at stake, as in-form Colchester United take on struggling Southend in front of the Sky TV cameras at Roots Hall this lunchtime (kick-off 12.30pm).

Hosts Southend might have more to lose than the U's, but a third win on the trot for Geraint Williams' men would see them tighten their grip on a top-10 place in the Championship.

There is no love lost between the two neighbours, not least following the bad-tempered Layer Road clash last November.


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The U's coasted to a 3-0 win after the Shrimpers had midfielders Kevin Maher and Mark Gower both sent off.

U's skipper Karl Duguid was involved in both dismissals, so he can expect a cold reception from the Roots Hall faithful.

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“I'll be wearing my hard-hat,” joked Duguid, who enjoyed a recall after a knee injury for last weekend's 3-0 win over Norwich.

Southend need to win to drag themselves out of the relegation zone. They are currently two points adrift of safety, with just six matches remaining.

This is the first of three games on the trot against relegation-haunted teams for the in-form U's.

They entertain second-from-bottom Leeds United in a sell-out clash at Layer Road on Easter Monday, and then travel to Hull City the following weekend.

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