Tilson predicts a cracking derby

SOUTHEND boss Steve Tilson is predicting an attack-minded Essex derby when his team pay their first ever visit to the Weston Homes Community Stadium this Saturday.

Carl Marston

SOUTHEND boss Steve Tilson is predicting an attack-minded Essex derby when his team pay their first ever visit to the Weston Homes Community Stadium this Saturday.

While hosts Colchester United still have one distant eye on scraping into the play-offs, despite now being 10 points adrift of the top six, the Shrimpers will just be happy to retain their League One status.

Tilson set a target of five more wins to be safe, following last weekend's last-gasp 2-1 home win over Tranmere, but his side then slumped to a dismal 1-0 home defeat against lowly Crewe on Tuesday night.


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It was only Crewe's second away victory of the campaign, and it prompted Tilson to label the whole night as "boring." He expects a more entertaining clash this Saturday.

"Tuesday night was one of the most boring games that I have ever watched," insisted Tilson.

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"But we now have Colchester on Saturday and they are a more attacking side, especially at home, so hopefully it will be more entertaining."

Essex pride may be the chief prize on offer, but then the County's recent successes will also be showcased this weekend.

Essex County Cricket Club had an outstanding 2008 season, and the title-winning team will be one of the attractions at the Community Stadium.

The members of the Essex CCC squad will be in attendance, and are set to parade their Friends Provident Trophy on the pitch at half-time.

They also clinched the NatWest Pro 40 Division Two title last summer.

Meanwhile, tickets have been selling well for the League One contest, with more than 7,500 sold by the end of yesterday. Capacity is 10,000.

The Stadium car park has already sold out of parking permits for the big day.

The U's slipped to 10 points adrift of the play-off zone, following Tuesday night's round of results.

Paul Lambert's men will be looking to bounce back from successive defeats, sustained at the hands of Tranmere and at Walsall last weekend.

Southend are five points behind Colchester in 14th spot, and are nine points clear of the drop zone.

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