“Oh we do like to be beside the seaside…”

Southend 2 City 2 

Southend, home to the world’s longest pier, is West Ham country and the latest Hammers joke is apt: why does Curbishley tell his players to use their mobile ‘phones in the car?  It’s the only way they’ll get three points!!! 

There was an odd combination of pre and half time entertainment at Roots Hall (in Estate Agent language, ‘a quaint football ground’): a lady live singer, Chesney Hawkes from yesteryear, a man trying to kick four footballs into a box to win a car and the Essex Bluebell girls.  We were also speculating about the identity of the Southend Mascot – was he a secret Ku Klux Klan member, or an upturned cigarette butt?  No, a shrimp! 

The match started in sun, it rained and finished cloudy, this summed up City’s performance on the day.  A rearranged back four with Maybury on the left struggled all match to contain Southend down the flanks; the ball was given away too often in midfield against a very hard working home side – but there were incisive Leicester attacks, particularly in the first half that saw Horsfield twice and Hume, through 1:1 on the keeper, fail to add to Leicester’s early goal. 

The game began with a wonderful triple save from Henderson to keep out Eastwood at point blank range, then a sweeping City move saw Hume, unmarked, head a driven Porter cross from the left across goal and in at the far post (9 minutes).  Horsfield was booked for diving when it looked like he stumbled and Southend, driven on by Mayer and Gower especially, competed well and finished the half strongly….

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Trust AGM Review

The Trust AGM commenced with a talk from John Rudkin about the work carried out in the LCFC Academy, which was enlightening for all those present. The Trust website will feature an in depth interview with John Rudkin soon. 

11yo Jack Patrick then talked about what it meant to support LCFC and his expectations for the future. (see Jack's full speech below)

The Trust election results for the Trust Board were announced with Paula Aldred & Ian Guyler re-elected to the Trust Board. Additionally Matt Davis who was previously a co-opted board member was also elected, no other candidates stood. 

The Trust Board will seek to co-opt further board members in the months ahead, so any Trust member who is interested in getting more involved should contact Chairman Ian Bason. 

Following the formal AGM processes a diary of events surrounding the takeover of LCFC was presented and an extended version will feature in a member’s newsletter to be published during March. 

The Trust board also took the opportunity to gather member’s views on the future direction of the Trust and will take those thoughts into the next Trust board meeting……

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Sing Your Heart Out For The Lads….

The last home game featured a trial run of having a singing section in Block N, to help improve atmosphere at the ground. While the combined factors of the arrival of Milan Mandaric, the first half performance and playing local M69 rivals obviously were all significant factors in the increased volume, generally the experiment initially appears to have been a success leading to extending the trial to this weekends game against West Brom. 

The Trust supports any initiative which helps create a better atmosphere in the ground and in doing so makes the ground harder to visit for opposing teams. We asked one of the organisers of this initiative to give his views of the first trial, here is Andy Hunt’s report. 

“After having met the club’s officials a week prior to the match against Coventry and the green light being given about a singing section in Block N, it was a relief finally when Saturday came to make the singing section a reality. The singing section had been well-publicised by the football club on the official website and the story even ran in The Leicester Mercury, which heightened expectation and increased popularity in the idea. As the days elapsed prior to the match, tickets for the game were selling well and the club were expecting a crowd in excess of 25,000. Block N was also in demand and few seats were available by Saturday. 

When I ascended the steps in Block N half an hour before kick-off, for the first time I can remember since the construction of The Walkers Stadium in 2002, there was singing at the back of the stand amongst an effervescent group of early arrivals. The atmosphere was excellent and it soon drew the attention of several Coventry supporters who then attempted to encroach towards the Leicester fans and engage in some banter….

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Side Give Milan Perfect Start

City 3 Coventry 0 – Sat 17th Feb 2007  

We all sat round and applauded as ’The New Saviour’ appeared with an embarrassed looking grandson, who was paraded around the pitch and cuddled by ‘the Birch’ and encouraged to speak to the crowd.

I am not sure why this whole thing makes me cringe so much, but it does, and not just me. I am sure that the level of applause shows some reluctance from large sections of the crowd. Cynics? Without doubt.  Still we know that we need his money and showing by the performance of this match we are on the up! 

Everything was set for disaster, the mood was positive the players looked lively and ‘up for it’ but long memories have made us all twitchy and worried that ‘Cov’ might spoil our party. NOT FOR LONG. 

Within just a few minutes a nice lifted cross from Porter to Horsfield. A looped header which appeared to be headed off the line and the very nice linesman awarded us a goal, 1-0 and so soon. How were we going to defend the lead for 80 minutes?  

A few minutes later Johnson headed a cracker and we were 2-0 up. Johnson had his best game that I have seen, I don’t know whether he was trying harder knowing that ‘senior loan players ‘ are on the way or if Jarrett playing along side him had helped. Whatever reason the midfield looked solid. (I can almost celebrate that we now have a midfield because for a long time they have been absent). A lot more width with Porter and Yates exploiting space on the wings….

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Although a life-long City fan and season ticket holder, I moved to Suffolk 22 years ago and I could not remember the last time we had beaten Ipswich at Portman Road (apparently it was 19 years ago). Each year I go to this match, usually with friends and colleagues in the Ipswich part of the stand, and have to endure the annual humiliation and jokes at our expense. 

However, this time we won!! Fanfare and drum rolls! And, dare I say it, we deserved to win, outplayed and outmuscled Ipswich, particularly in the second half and, when we were 2-0 up with three minutes of injury time to go, I even started to feel confident! City fans will know what I mean…..  

Kelly chose to bring in new loan signings Yeates, Horsfield and Jarrett and, on a sticky pitch, the match started evenly with Jarrett starting to settle in to midfield. The match was quite open and Peters’ cross shot was well saved by Henderson. On the break Horsfield headed into the ground when in with a good chance and Hume had a shot saved on the break. 

Half way through the half City won a corner taken by Porter. McAuley headed in low from close range and the ball seemed to skid through the legs of the Ipswich goalie and defender on the line. Ipswich had a few chances afterwards and Hume had a tremendous shot on the turn well saved by their keeper Price…..

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