Today, Southend United pushed forth in their magnificant run in the Championship. Winning many of our games, we've maintained our healthy lead above Wolves! And as the players were getting into their Season, they came across a very familiar fixture. It was a Carling Cup match against, guess who, Chelsea!
Now, I'll cast your minds back to last Season. We exited the Carling Cup early on after a miserable Penalty Shootout against Chelsea, which we lost by a long shot!
But we aren't double the team we were back then! We've come a long way, and also have a few more players to brag about.
And one of those, Seydou Doumbia, would be playing up front! Luke Barnard was forced to fill some unfamiliar boots in midfield, due to an injury to Lee Sawyer, and Andy Grant being too tired to make the match. He watched from the stands.
Elliott Richards, one of the key players who played in our previous encounter, dropped to the bench for Laurent, as he was too tired to play. Richards played a vital role in our attack last time, so we were definately going to miss his strong presence.
We started the game emphatically! Doumbia made a picture perfect run behind the defence. He took it onto his right foot, and attempted to finesse the shot past the Keeper. Cech parried the shot away to his right, which fell perfectly for Laurent, who slipped the ball past the post at a tight angle to make it 1-0! The Southend fans went wild.
Chelsea came back strong, however, like they do. The over-excited Southend defence were carried away, and allowed Chelsea to split them apart. Lampard was the vital man to find space, as he recieved a great pass, and he curled one into the net. It was all square again, and the game was still to play for in the 25th minute.
But Doumbia showed Chelsea what he could do for us, as he used his blistering pace to march past the defence, and take Cech one-on-one. This time, as he took it onto his right foot, he finessed the shot past Cech easily. 2-1.
Doumbia was nowhere near over. His fitness level lowering slightly, he beat the defender in the box from a pass, and he poked it past Cech for a simple 3-1.
Just after half time, Doumbia was still fired up, and he instantly took the ball into the box and put one just passed Cech to make it 4-1. Netting a Hat Trick was a huge blessing for him. His presence at Southend has been felt so far, and he's bagging a big number of goals. He's almost sinking Elliott Richards 35 goals from the previous season, which was Southends biggest success in football history.
Finally, Freedman, who came on for Doumbia (as he deserved a rest), was able to score a good finish passed the keeper, so seal the game.
Chelsea sulked off the pitch, shocked and defeated. We had returned as a much better side. And Chelsea felt that. Doumbia, our star signing over the Summer, made us proud. And he rightfully earnt the man of the match.
Needless to say, with the rate in which we're playing, we can expect to see Chelsea next season in the Premier League. But Scott Richards insists on taking each match as it comes. And who could fault his decision? Since joining the club last Season, our success has been uncanny. If you could disagree with any decision he makes, you know you'd be a fool!
And his decision is correct. It's only the start of the season. There's still alot of matches to be played, and there will probably be a few hurdles for Southend to climb before they can look too far ahead into the future.