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Match Previews

Preview Southend (H)

8 August 2014

The Football League returns this weekend and Stanley get their campaign going with a home game against Southend United at the Store First Stadium.

Ahead of kick off, the official website has all the information you might need:After a summer of anticipation and pre-season action, the real thing returns to the Store First Stadium for James Beattie and Accrington Stanley.

The close season has brought a relatively small number of personnel for the Reds, who will be buoyed by a superb finish to 2013/14 which saw them lose just one of their final five games and win the last two back to back.

That sole defeat in the run in came to tomorrow's visitors Southend who were en route to a play-off place.

Beattie has the core of last season's squad at his disposal for the new campaign and despite scepticism from the national media the players, staff and supporters will be feeling quietly confident that there are good performances and results ahead.[/vc_tab]Summer signings Luke Simpson and Connor Martin could make their Stanley debuts and in the process make their bows in the Football League too.

Midfielder Will Hatfield is being protected after picking up a knock in pre-season but will be monitored in the build up to kick off having returned to action in training.

After being handed the number nine shirt and scoring three goals in his last two competitive games, striker James Gray will hope to lead the line.

Michael Timlin is Southend's only senior absentee, leading boss Phil Brown to welcome the selection headache he has ahead of kick off.

The visitors used a 3-5-2 system in their friendly with QPR and may adopt this again for the opener.[/vc_tab]After losing to Burton Albion in last season's play-off semi-finals following a fifth place finish the Shrimpers will be targeting promotion again in the new campaign.

They've had a busy summer, with Phil Brown looking to strengthen his squad in the transfer market with the likes of former Stanley loanee David Worrall, defender Cian Bolger and forward Lee Barnard.

Their pre-season programme has seen them defeat League One side Colchester and draw with Premier League newcomers QPR and they'll make the trip north to Lancashire as one of the bookmakers' favourites to win promotion this season.[/vc_tab]

Phil Brown

Brown is currently in his fifth managerial role after succeeding Paul Sturrock as manager of the Shrimpers in 2013. Prior to being Southend manager, Brown has also had spells in charge of Preston North End, Hull City, Derby County and as caretaker manager of Bolton Wanderers.

Prior to being a manager, Brown also had a successful playing career, appearing for clubs including Hartlepool United, Halifax Town, Bolton Wanderers and Blackpool.[/vc_tab]

Lee Barnard

The striker is now in his third spell with Southend United after a successful two years between 2008 and 2010 and a loan period last season.

The former Spurs trainee signed permanently in the summer following his release by Southampton after spending the last four months of last season at Roots Hall.

The 30-year-old is a proven Football League goalscorer and could be the man to fire Southend up the League Two table.[/vc_tab]The two sides have met on a dozen previous occasions and it's Southend who hold the upper hand with five wins to Stanley's three.

The last meeting came as recently as April when the Shrimpers were 1-0 winners at Roots Hall, with the corresponding game in Lancashire ending in a 1-1 draw.

The Essex outfit have made four previous visits to the Store First Stadium, winning one and drawing two.

Stanley will be looking for a repeat of the 2011 meeting which saw them win 3-1 thanks to Ian Craney, Terry Gornell and Phil Edwards.[/vc_tab]

Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear)

Mr Haines is an experienced official who has been taking charge of games at Football League level since 2007.

His last Stanley game was the 2-1 defeat at Burton in March, which saw the Brewers win thanks to a hotly contested penalty kick.

This season: 0 games, 0 yellow cards, 0 red cards[/vc_tab]Admission prices for the game are:

Adults £20

Over 65′s & Students £15

Under 18′s £10

Accompanied Under 12′s £5

All supporters will be able to pay on the turnstiles and the sports bar in the Jack Barrett Stand will be open.

For more information on Southend United, why not visit their official website www.southendunited.co.uk or their Twitter feed @SUFCRootsHall[/vc_tab][vc_posts_grid loop="size:6|order_by:date|post_type:post" grid_columns_count="3" grid_layout="title|link_post,image|link_post,link" grid_link_target="_self" grid_layout_mode="fitRows" grid_thumb_size="150x150"]


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