January 29, 2008, League One

Southend-v-Leeds15030 January ~ Southend club captain Kevin Maher wrote in the colourful, 84-page match programme that he'd been with the club a decade, and "it doesn't happen very often now where a player will spend ten years at the same club". Indeed, not a single one of the 27 players that took the field for this fixture six years ago is still with either team, bar match-winner Lee Barnard, who's just returned to Roots Hall on loan from Southampton. None of the players listed in Southend's Under-18 team (second bottom from the Puma Youth Alliance South East Division) are still with the team either, but Ryan Auger (back then in the Under-14s) has made a single senior appearance, so the club's Centre of Excellence is finally bearing fruit.

Why so many people would leave Southend is anyone's guess – after all, it's home to a company called Betterview, which in its ad claims to be "The No. 1 Conservatory Company". They do garage and loft conversions too. That's about as interesting as anything else in the magazine, a mighty block of eye-glazing blandness as heavy as a third-tier pitch on a January night. All that endeavour, all that firm and shiny paper, forever unread by most of mankind.

Result Southend 1 (Barnard) Leeds 0
Crowd 9,819
Southend Flahaven, Clarke, Barrett, McCormack, Francis, Hammell, Gower, Bailey, Black (Moussa), MacDonald (Scannell), Barnard
Leeds Lucas, Richardson, Huntington, Parker, Kenton, Sweeney (Carole), Kilkenny (Johnson), Prutton (Flo), Hughes, Kandol, Beckford.
Ian Plenderleith

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