Southend United

Roots Hall

Capacity: 12,392 (all seated)
Address: Victoria Ave, Southend, SS2 6NQ
Telephone: 01702 304050
Fax: 01702 304124
Ticket Office: 08444 770077
Pitch Size: 110 x 74 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Shrimpers
Year Ground Opened: 1955*
Undersoil Heating: No
Shirt Sponsors: MD
Kit Manufacturer: Nike
Home Kit: Blue With Sky Blue Trim
Away Kit: Pink and Black

East (Main) Stand
East (Main) Stand
Looking Towards The North Stand
Looking Towards The North Stand
East and South Stands
East and South Stands
South Stand
South Stand
North Stand
North Stand
From Behind The North Stand
From Behind The North Stand
Main Stand External View
Main Stand External View
West Stand
West Stand

At one end of the ground is the relatively modern South Stand. This stand which was opened in 1994, replaced a former open terrace and greatly improved the overall look. It is a small 'double-decker' type of stand, the upper tier hanging over the lower. It is all seated and covered but unfortunately has a few supporting pillars. On its roof is a small clock, dedicated to a former player, Director & Chairman, Frank Walton. There are a couple of blocks of flats that overlook the ground from behind this stand. Opposite is the North Stand, which like the West Stand at one side of the pitch, is single tiered and has an old looking 'barrel' shaped roof (that dates back to the 1950’s), with the West Stand having a unique double-barrel roof. The West Stand extends around to the North Stand so that one corner is filled with seating. It has a number of supporting pillars right at the front, which may hinder your view of the action. It also has the most precarious looking TV gantry that stands on stilts and is accessed by a long ladder.

On the other side is the East (Main) Stand which is another single tiered, covered stand, that has a row of executive boxes running across the back of it. At the front are some strange looking dugouts, which has the management team standing at the front leaning on a wall, with the players sitting behind. The ground has four tall traditional looking floodlight pylons. In other words a proper football ground! On the roof of the North Stand is a relatively new scoreboard that was installed in 2012. The club have an unusual looking club mascot called 'Elvis J Eel', the 'J' standing for jellied!

The club have submitted plans to build a new 22,000 capacity stadium at Fossetts Farm, just behind the club’s training ground in Eastern Avenue.The scheme plans also to feature a hotel, retail space, a cinema, plus indoor soccer pitches and residential accommodation. It planning permission is quickly forthcoming then works could start towards the end of this year. However, initially the stadium will be restricted to a capacity of 14,000 and will only have three sides. It is hoped that revenue generated from the new build will then be used to fund future developments.

Away fans are normally housed on one side of the North Stand (on the Main Stand side of the ground), where up to 1,200 away supporters can be accommodated. If demand requires it then the whole stand can be allocated bringing the allocation up to 2,000 seats. The stand is covered, but there are a number of supporting pillars running across the front of the stand that could impede your view. The stand is a former terrace and like most former terraces that have had seats bolted onto them, the leg room and height distance between each row are less than desirable. One good thing for away fans in the North Stand is that comparatively few numbers of fans can really make some noise from it, making for a good atmosphere. Refreshments within the away area are served from a 'Transport Cafe' type establishment, complete with tables and chairs. Bear in mind though, that getting your drinks in one piece back to your seat can be quite a challenge. The front of the stand is below pitch level, with stairs leading up to each pitch access point where the stewards stand. Going up and down these flights of stairs, with a cup of coffee in each hand, can present a problem. 

Even though Roots Hall is an older ground it has some rather modern electronic turnstiles. Each match ticket has a bar code printed onto it and fans insert their ticket into a bar code reader at the turnstile to gain entrance to the stadium. I did notice once inside the stadium, that the stewards were alerted when a concession or junior ticket was being used, so that they could check that it was for the appropriate person.

At the ground is the Shrimpers Bar. Although primarily for home fans, it does admit away supporters, apart from 'high profile' matches. It serves real ale and has a number of television screens showing the early kick off. Otherwise there is the Blue Boar pub which is located on the main Victoria Road, just up from the ground (going towards Southend town centre) on one corner of the crossroads.

A bit further away is the 'The Bell', a large Toby Carvery, which you pass on your way into Southend on the A127. The town centre is around a 20 minute walk away, where there are plenty of pubs including a Wetherspoons outlet (the Last Post on Weston Road). There are also a number of bars along the seafront, which can be quite nice on a a sunny Saturday afternoon.

The Spread Eagle pub near to the ground is for home fans only. Please note that alcohol is not served to away fans within the stadium. There is also a good fish and chip shop located across the road from the Blue Boar by the traffic lights, called the 'Fish House', which I found to be excellent. Judging by the amount of fans standing outside eating fish and chips (there is some seating inside as well), then I'm not the only one that thinks it is good.

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From M25 take Junction 29 and follow the A127 to Southend. Continue towards the town centre, through the lights near to the Bell Pub. At the next roundabout turn right (3rd turning), continuing on the A127. The ground is on the right just past the next traffic lights. If you turn right as you reach the ground, this will put you behind the away end where there is plenty of street parking to be found. Otherwise, there is a car park at the ground, behind the Main Stand which costs £5, or there is the Southend High School For Boys which also offers car parking for £5 per car (the school entrance is on Prittlewell Road). 

Bear in mind that in the fair weather months Aug/Sep/April/May, if the weather is at all sunny the whole of East London seems to head down the A127 on a Saturday afternoon, so allow an extra 30 mins if the temperature is on the warm side.  Post Code for SAT NAV: SS2 6NQ

Prittlewell Railway Station is the closest to Roots Hall, being located about a five minute walk away. It is served by trains from London Liverpool Street. As you exit the station turn right, you will then come to a crossroads with traffic lights. On your right is the 'Fish House', fish and chip shop. Pass this and turn right. Walk about 100 yards and the ground is tucked away on your left.

If you happen to end up at Southend Central station (served by trains from London Fenchurch Street), you're about a 25 minute walk from the ground. The main bus station is close to Southend Central, and therefore it may be an idea to get a bus up to the ground, rather than walking.

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

All areas of the Roots Hall Stadium*
Adults £22
Over 60's £15
Under 21's/Students £14
Under 16's £10
Under 8's £4 

* Please note that these prices are for tickets purchased prior to matchday. Tickets purchased on the matchday itself can cost up to £3 more per ticket.

Official Programme £3
All At Sea Fanzine £1

Southend United FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

Colchester United, Leyton Orient, Dagenham and Redbridge and West Ham United.

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the  Level Playing Field website.

Record Attendance

31,090 v Liverpool
FA Cup 3rd Round, 10th January 1979.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record

11,735 v Yeovil Town
League Two, 30th April 2005.

Average Attendance

2017-2018: 7,195 (League One)
2016-2017: 7,406 (League One)
2015-2016: 7,001 (League One)

If you require hotel accommodation in the area then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Southend Hotels and Guest Houses page.

Remember that you can use the above link or panel below to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

Booking.com

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Special thanks to Owen Pavey for providing the photos of Roots Hall.

Southend United v Peterborough United
League One
Saturday 8th September 2018, 3pm
Andy (Peterborough United)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Roots Hall?
 
Roots Hall is one of the old school ground and can have an excellent atmosphere even with smaller crowds.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I went by train. Some engineering work meant Southend central was the best option. So a 20-minute walk but no issues. Lots of pubs etc. in the town and a few close to the ground.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Went to a McDonalds in the town and a slow walk to the ground. The few home fans I came across were friendly enough.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Roots Hall Stadium?
 
I have been to Roots Hall before and have never seen Peterborough win there in years. So I was hoping for a change of fortune. A low roof over the away end creates a good noise. I much prefer Roots Hall to some of the soulless bowls like stadium MK, which I visited the previous Tuesday.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The facilities are basic and with only one side of the stand open, there were large queues for everything at half time but no worse than some other grounds. The stewards were okay and no complaints and the ones I came across relaxed and easy going. The atmosphere very good and there was plenty of noise from the Posh fans. You can’t beat a late winner and nice for striker Ivan Toney, as his family were there to see him score his first for us.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
It is slightly annoying that you have to leave in the opposite direction to the station and then walk back through the same fans that they are trying to prevent you doing so in the first place but otherwise fine.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I always enjoy a visit to Roots Hall. It was even a better day thanks to the late winner.

Southend United v Rotherham United
League One
Saturday 24th March 2018, 3pm
Georgina Hawkes (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Roots Hall?
 
My team Maidstone were away up north so I decided to use a free Saturday to tick off another local-ish ground.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I decided to get the train rather than run the risk of the M25/Dartford Tunnel! I took a direct train from London Fenchurch Street to Southend Central. The station is located right in the centre of the High Street which is easy for access.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I arrived at around 12.30pm so wandered down to the beach and along the pier (2.6 miles along and back!) I then walked back up to the ground. This took around 20 minutes from the town centre and Roots Hall is well signposted. Everyone seemed friendly and helpful.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Roots Hall?
 
From the outside the ground, it looks very rundown and could do with a lick of paint! I had a seat in the West Stand so had to walk all the way around back out on the residential street and back in again. Could do with a few stadium maps around as I had to ask in order to find the right entrance. Its still pretty old looking and dilapidated inside but it definitely has character! The West Stand I was in has an unusual high arched roof and I was sat in front of the press gantry which involved the journalists strapping on a harness and climbing a ladder - definite character!
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The match was very entertaining, especially the first half. My view wasn’t the best as I was in the front row with the pitch at eye level, although I could see both goals and most of the action seemed to be on my side. I even caught the ball at one point! The atmosphere was good, I was reasonably close to the singing section complete with a drummer. I couldn’t hear the away fans but not sure its a ground where the sound carries very far. I bought a sausage roll before the match. The snack bar was well stocked and I was quickly served. Southend won the game 2-0.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
I was intending to walk back to the town centre but I was so frozen I decided to get the bus back. Only £1.60 so worth the effort if you don’t fancy walking. The train back was easy, I was back in Maidstone by 8pm.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
It was a good day out, Southend is a nice place for a day trip and the stadium is one to tick off before they move on to their new ground. A definite one to visit for fans of old-school traditional grounds.

Southend United v Portsmouth
League One
Saturday 17th February 2018, 3pm
Adrian (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Roots Hall Ground?
 
I hadn't been to Southend before and always heard about it being a good old proper ground located in a seaside town.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
Pretty straightforward by train as I live not that far from Southend. living not far from. I went to Southend Central Station because I wanted to spend sometime visiting the seafront first.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Having lots of time on our hands we took a wander through the town centre and also down along the seafront for a few beers. It reminded me of Blackpool big Pleasure Beach and there were lots of pubs and food outlets. We had some food at a Wimpy Bar which was a nice change as you don't seem to see many Wimpy's anymore. The pubs along the seafront were welcoming and very reasonable price wise. If you do visit the seafront then leave enough time to get to the Roots Hall ground as its good 15-20 minutes walk away.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Roots Hall?
 
Very impressive as I like the old grounds. It creates a good atmosphere especially with Portsmouth being in town, who always travel in big numbers 
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game was decent if you were a Southend fan, but not so much for Portsmouth, who needed the win to remain in contention for the play offs. The home side won 3-1.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Getting away from the ground was pretty straightforward. I needed to rush back so left the game five minutes early and got the train from Prittlewell Station.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
A good day out and a decent game of football. It is always nice to visit an old school ground especially near a seafront which I should imagine is very popular in the summer.

Southend United v Northampton Town
Football League One
Saturday 18th February 2017, 3pm
Alex Compton (Northampton Town)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Roots Hall?

My son has never been to Southend before so he was looking forward to it more than me.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Surprisingly very easy, the M1 and the M25 were behaving themselves. We found the Roots Hall ground with ease and we parked in Priory Road next to a park which was a 4-5 minute walk away from the ground.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We had food in the car on the way but right near the ground is 'Pizza Man' which looked okay. The home fans seemed friendly as well as the stewards.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Roots Hall?

Roots Hall is an old looking ground which looks like it needs a bit of doing up but as I'm a bit old fashioned I love the traditional looking grounds over the boring soulless modern stadiums.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was a good one which ended 2-2 with Northampton twice coming from a goal down. The atmosphere in the away end sounded very loud as it had a low metal roof which echoed the noise. The home fans themselves were quite noisy but the drum they insist on banging on throughout the whole game does get slightly annoying. The stewards were very helpful, even helping me put my flag up.We only had a hot drink inside but it was reasonably priced and tasted nice.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away was really easy and were back on the M25 in real quick time.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A really good day out, obviously the result and our performance helps. My son really enjoyed his first trip to Roots Hall.

Southend United v Coventry City
Football League One
Saturday 10th December 2016, 3pm
Matt (Coventry City fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Roots Hall Ground?

I was looking forward to the game as it was another ground of the 92, plus we going to make a weekend out in Southend. However, with Coventry's recent horrific form, I wasn't looking forward to the game as much.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We parked at our hotel for the night and walked through the town centre which was pleasant and took about 20 minutes. With some help from Google we found the ground easy enough even though it's well hidden.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Pubs in the city centre were very hard to come by but the Blue Boar near the ground was away fans only. It had a great atmosphere with very friendly staff, we got food from the burger shop next door which was also excellent.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Roots Hall?

From the outside Roots Hall looks very old and run down and it was the same inside. However there was good atmosphere and the stadium has a lot of character.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was terrible from our point of view, a goal down after six minutes and it didn't get any better, finishing 3-1 to Southend. The stewards were good, didn't really see them too much which was probably why. The pies were good too and at a decent price too although they were sold in the away end 'restaurant' which was hardly Michelin Star!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The ground was easy to get away from but getting a taxi back towards the city centre was much more difficult. I would suggest booking before the game if possible.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall, despite the game it was a great day out. Southend was a great away day, even if the stadium was run down. I would definitely recommend Roots Hall for a good away day.

Southend United v Gillingham
Football League One
Saturday 6th August 2016, 3pm
Harvey McKenzie (Gillingham fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Roots Hall Ground?

It was the first game of the new season and a local away game seemed like the perfect chance to visit a new ground. Also, I hear Southend may well be moving soon to a new stadium. so I thought it would be good to pay Roots Hall a visit.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

The journey there was pretty awful for us to be honest. As this guide helpfully points out, if it's a sunny day, it seems like everyone is going through that area. Road works and accidents made the journey even longer and it took us about two hours to travel 40 miles. We managed to park at Southend High School for boys at around 1:45pm.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We wanted to get in the ground early to get our seats (seating was unreserved) so we didn't have time to find any pubs or chip shops. Eventually we just decided to get food and drink inside the stadium. We didn't really see many home fans but there didn't seem to be any hostility about either.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Roots Hall Ground?

Roots Hall is looking a bit run down these days but it looks like it gets the job done. The leg room in the away end is pretty undesirable but our fans just stood for most of the match anyway. The other stands look okay but like I say, could do with a bit of a facelift.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game started as typically as any other first day of the season, pretty frantic! Southend took the lead on 22 minutes when Stephen McLaughlin shot from distance and Stuart Nelson was unable to save. The Gills seemed to come alive after that and new signing Jay Emmanuel-Thomas fired home from a corner to make it 1-1 and send the 2,000 Gills fans into raptures. The second half was dominated by Gillingham and we took full advantage as Max Ehmer headed home from Ryan Jacksons throw. 2-1! We continued to attack Southend throughout most of the half and Emmanuel Osadebe slotted home to make it 3-1 and the Gills were on our way to opening day success. The atmosphere was brilliant in the away end with constant singing and chanting. The stand opposite the Main Stand at Southend is where their best atmosphere is although I couldn't hear it all that well from where I was sitting. The toilets at the ground are not for the faint of heart although the food was actually pretty nice (I had a cheeseburger ). Stewards were passive and let the fans enjoy themselves, although they did have to deal with some fans who decided to let off flares when we scored.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was easy and quick and, after getting out of the car park, the journey home took us half the time of the journey there. We arrived home delighted with the points at around 6:45pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall, a brilliant day out with a 3-1 win away from home that made the struggle of a journey completely worth it. Hope to visit more venues later in what I hope will be a good season. Come on you Gills!

Southend United v Gillingham
Football League One
Saturday 19th March 2016, 3pm
Lee Hepburn (Gillingham fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Roots Hall?

I was looking forward to visiting Southend United for a lot of reasons. Firstly it was my first away game following the Gills. It also had a local derby feel as Southend is only an hours drive away from Gillingham and two there was going to be almost 2,000 Gillingham fans going to Roots hall. So this was going to be a game not to be missed and hopefully one to remember.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I travelled with my Father and Brother on one of the official club supporters coaches, heading to Southend  We left the Preistfield Stadium.at 12 noon. It was a great atmosphere on the bus and this wasn't dampened by a longer than expected journey due to heavy traffic. We eventually arrived at Roots Hall at 13:50. The coach pulled up right outside the away turnstiles so we didn't have to find our way.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

By the time we got off the coach it was 2pm so we brought a programme and went straight into the ground. The ground has electric turnstiles which I found easy to use, others who struggled were quickly helped by stewards. 

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Roots Hall?

To be honest Roots Hall looks quite run down in places. However there was a good atmosphere in the away end, helped by the low roof which amplified the noise. The stand is all seated and there wasn't a  a lot of room between seats, giving the impression that they had almost been squashed in together. As regards the toilets, well they left a lot to be desired and weren't for the faint hearted. The other stands looked okay. The one opposite to the away end (the smallest stand at the ground) was two tiered and looked quite new. The stand to the right of us was the only one with a bit of atmosphere from the home fans.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game finished 1-1 but the Gills should have won the game. One goal that looked fine was ruled offside, whilst there was more controversy when a goal line ball clearance by a Southend player, looked to have crossed the line. Southend took the lead on 21 minutes following a dodgy back pass which let the Southend number 22 in easily to tap it home Gillingham equalised early in the second half through Norris, who guided the ball into the top corner from close range. The atmosphere in the way end was fantastic, but this could not be said of the stewards who seemed heavy handed at times.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting out of Southend took about 30 minutes because of heavy traffic but apart from that was a smooth calm ride home to the ground which we arrived back at just after 18:45 and walked home very very tired.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was a brilliant day out and hopefully one of many more to come. It was a shame we didn't grab all three points but oh well as least we didn't lose which was the main thing. The 1,903 visiting fans were amazing the noise felt like 10,000 away supporters at times! Lets we can keep pushing towards the Championship League. Come On You Gills!

Southend United v Exeter City
League Two
Saturday October 18th 2014, 3pm
Steve Ellis (Exeter City fan)

1. Why were you looking forward to going to this ground?

This was another new ground for me to visit. Also with Roots Hall being an old traditional ground and with Southend looking to possibly move to a new stadium, then I wanted to visit it before Southend move away from Roots Hall.

2. How easy was your journey and finding the ground?

I travelled as usual on the supporters coach, leaving Exeter at 7.30am. The journey should have been straight forward but an incident that closed the M5 meant a diversion along some of the old roads for about 13 miles. We eventually got to the ground with no further incident at 1.50pm

3. What did you do before the game, pub, chippy....home fans friendly?

On arrival we headed up to the Blue Boar pub, which is away supporter friendly and will take a mix of home and away fans and was not over busy while we were there. Pints were priced at £3.70. Home fans that I encountered were friendly enough.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground,  first impressions of away end and then other sides of ground?

The away supporters are housed on one side of the North Stand. On getting into the ground, the turnstile is just behind the away end with entry to the stand located at the side and then up some steps. The view from the seats is good but can be restricted by supporting pillars. Depending on the game the away support get up to half the stand, I guess this can be increased for larger followings. The West Stand joins onto the North Stand and also has supporting pillars. The East Stand on our left is slightly better as it does not have any pillars. There is a nice two tiered stand at the South end.

View From The Away Section

View from the away section

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, refreshments etc.

The game was enjoyable with both teams having opportunities to take all three points, but it ended in a 1-1 draw. There seemed to be a good atmosphere, stewards were low key but helpful. I didn't get any refreshments but noted that they were sold in a proper room with a few tables, reminding me of an old fish and chip shop. Toilets though were disgusting and looked and smelt as though no one had made an effort with cleaning or drainage in last few weeks.

6. Comments on getting away from the ground after the game.

No issues in getting away after the game as the coach was parked right outside the away end and once clear of the post match traffic it was an easy journey back towards the motorway, eventually getting home just after 10pm.

Southend United v Northampton Town
League Two
Saturday August 17th 2013, 3pm
Simon Turner (Northampton Town fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I had recently moved to London and with Southend effectively being on my doorstep, I thought this would be a good opportunity to tick another ground off on my list and to support the Cobblers.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I got a train from Stratford to Prittlewell station which is the closest station to the ground and with the help of a friendly Southend fan, I found the ground with little trouble.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

There isn’t too much to do for an away fan before the game as most of the pubs are for home fans only so it is probably best to just head into the ground. It is also worth mentioning that the ground does not sell alcohol to supporters (away fans at least). I have read before that Southend fans have a bad reputation but everyone I spoke to was friendly and I didn’t feel unwelcome.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

I met a mate of mine outside the away turnstiles and we proceeded to struggle with the electronic ticket barrier where the stewards had to help out. Roots Hall is a nice enough ground that can be considered unique unlike many of the modern stadiums. The away stand is great for singing and chanting due to the way the roof echo’s.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game itself was very disappointing from a Northampton perspective as we missed a penalty and had a player sent off in the space of 20 minutes. From that point it was all Southend and the game was only ever going to end one way and Southend did enough to win 2-0. The atmosphere was good with both sides singing and producing some good banter throughout the match. Stewards were anonymous most of the time but I did see them remove a Cobblers fan but I’m not sure why. The facilities were basic but they served their purpose.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away was fine and I was back on the train to London within 20 minutes where I had a pleasant chat with an old Southend fan about the game and our team’s prospects.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Other then the result it was a nice day out and one worth doing, especially if Southend leave Roots Hall for a new ground which seems fairly likely. Overall it is definitely worth a day out.

Southend United v Leyton Orient
Johnstone's Paint Trophy Southern Area Final, 2nd leg
Wednesday February 20th 2013, 7.45pm
Bill Lacy (Leyton Orient fan)

My Roots Hall visit was on a Wednesday night for a Johnstone's Paint Trophy Area Final. It was a big game and I was expecting a tremendous atmosphere. It didn't disappoint.
 
Getting there from London by train was easy enough and I was there in less than 50 minutes from Stratford. The nearest railway station is Prittlewell and the ground is extremely easy to find in about 10 minutes. Getting back was more of a hassle as for some reason the trains stop running directly into London after 9pm, necessitating a change at the non-descript town of Shenfield.
 
I was a little disappointed that I wasn't able to have a drink as all the pubs en route to the ground were home-fans only. There is a little food shack in the ground but they don't serve booze. I was minded to try a fish and chip shop which was recommended by a number of people which is passed on the way to the ground. However, the queue was ridiculous, actually curving out the shop and half way down the road. Instead I made do with a fairly mediocre sausage roll in the ground. 
 
Roots Hall is a proper old school ground and the atmosphere was brilliant. The away end is covered by an arching rooftop which reverberates the sound back down. It is a bit of a squeeze in there as they have simply bolted on seats to what used to be the terracing. The view is also hampered by a number of supporting pillars. The front row is so shallow you can barely see the action, but luckily I got there early and could sit where I wanted. They don't seem to mind you standing here, which can be good but periodically means the already limited view is hampered even more when someone gets up. The only time I've had a worse view was at Bury, but the atmosphere made up for it. It was a really enjoyable football experience.

As for the game itself, then having lost the 1st leg 1-0, then Orient were always going to be up against it. Still a good performance from the O's saw us take a 2-1 lead in the leg, making it 2-2 on aggregate. But in the 90th minute, with the prospect of extra time and maybe even penalties on the horizon, Ben Reeves grabbed a goal for the home side, sending them onto the Wembley final.
 
On the down side, the stewards were a bit off-hand to be honest and the Essex Police even worse, unnecessarily re-routing people around four roads on the way out, which never kept the fans apart anyway. A lot of the Southend lot were also quite provocative.
 
We lost in dramatic fashion and the Southend fans invaded the pitch. I'd love to try Roots Hall again, although next time on a Saturday!

Why not write your own review of Roots Hall Southend United and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

* Football had been played on the same site since 1906. The Club subsequently built a new ground at Roots Hall in the 1950's.

Updated 12th September 2018

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