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Roots Hall
  Southend United v
Stockport County
League One 
Saturday August 7th 2010, 3pm

Matt Stambach
(Stockport County fan)

Roots Hall was a place which I had always fancied. An old ground with plenty of character not an out of town flat pack stadium like the Greenhous Meadow or that one down the road in Colchester. 

We arrived early (around midday) after a pleasant drive down from Stockport. We parked up on a road just near the Civic Centre around 5 mins walk from the ground, which was excellent and then set about looking for somewhere to have a pint or two. 

There were a number of pubs near to the ground but most were home fans only pubs so we set off in search of some in the the town centre. After finding the centre we continued walking towards the seafront.

Along the way we came across ‘The Last Post’ a Wetherspoons pub which had a fair few County fans knocking about so we decided to stop there. The only downside to the visit to The Last Post was they were showing the Southampton vs Plymouth match on the TV, and then changed it to the Rangers vs Man City friendly!! We went to ask for it to be changed back and we were told that this was the game they were showing and that was that. Terrible.

Either way, after a few drinks we headed back to the ground hoping to get a drink or two there. When we arrived at the away end we were told we were in the wrong place and had to walk around to the other side (this despite a massive sign saying “away fans only” above the stewards heads). We walked around the other side to find that was home fans and was sent back from where we had just come. The second attempt to get into the ground was successful. Upon entry, the smell from the toilets was really foul and couldn’t be avoided. A quick hop up some stairs towards the stand we found a little cafe to the left hand side. There was a decent variety of food but no alcoholic beverages to speak of. This was quite disappointing so we left to find a seat. 

The away stand was okay, apart from the multiple view obstructing posts. The way the roof was constructed though allows plenty of atmosphere to be created which was excellent. The seating was however a little cramped and foot room was not much to speak of. Similar to the away end at Luton they have bolted seats onto what was shallow terracing (two steps per row of seats) which means you don’t have much leg room and will quite easily do some damage to your ankle if you were to jump up to celebrate a goal (as turned out to be the case!!)

The game was a relatively dull affair but really exploded in the 80th minute when Stockport scored a hotly contested goal. This lead to a big player protest from the Southend players and their manager Paul Sturrock being sent to the stands. This melee contributed to the six minutes of stoppage time being added on at the end of the game. And wouldn’t you know it? Southend equalised in the 95th minute!

Exiting the ground was easy and the traffic also wasn’t too bad getting away from Roots Hall back towards the M25.

All in all a satisfactory trip to Roots Hall, and one which I would make again.


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