It's one of the longest trips of the season - but Carlisle United won't mind that if they can bring three points back from Essex tomorrow.

After stopping the rot against Crawley on Tuesday, it's a clash with struggling Southend at Roots Hall for Chris Beech's side.

Can United follow up their midweek efforts with an Easter win that could resurrect their play-off hopes - or will the Shrimpers' desperation for survival points prove decisive?

Here's our handy look at the key details of the clash.


Two definite United absentees are Rhys Bennett and Brennan Dickenson, whose knee injuries are likely to keep them out for the season.

Striker Joshua Kayode is getting closer to returning from an ankle injury but Beech would not be drawn on whether the loanee would be fit to return at Roots Hall.

News and Star: Joshua Kayode, pictured at Tuesday's game against Crawley (photo: Barbara Abbott)Joshua Kayode, pictured at Tuesday's game against Crawley (photo: Barbara Abbott)

United are nursing a couple of other knocks from the Crawley game but Beech could be reluctant to make too many changes after that welcome victory.

Jack Armer, Lewis Alessandra and Joe Riley, who all came back into the side to good effect, could keep their places.

Nick Anderton, Dean Furman, Gime Toure, Ethan Walker, Taylor Charters and Cedwyn Scott are among the other options available to Beech.

Midfielder Danny Devine is back from injury but yet to feature in the first-team squad. Morgan Feeney (foot) is still out.

Southend boss Mark Molesley has a number of absentees.

Captain John White will miss out with an arm injury he suffered at Harrogate last Saturday.

Tyler Cordner is his likely replacement at centre-half.

Midfielder Timothee Dieng and left-back Sam Hart are both suspended while othres sidelined with injury are Nathan Ralph, Harry Lennon, Lewis Gard and Nile Ranger.


Carlisle's win on Tuesday ended a three-game losing run and was their second victory in 14 games.

It now boils down to whether the Cumbrians can build on that much-needed Brunton Park result and also improve away form which has only seen four wins on the road this season.

After Good Friday's fixtures the Blues sit 14th in League Two, but still just six points outside the play-off places.

Southend, meanwhile, head into the Saturday game second bottom and five points adrift of safety.

Mark Molesley's side have picked up points lately, winning 1-0 at Harrogate last time out, and unbeaten in four going into the Carlisle game.

News and Star: Southend boss Mark Molesley (photo: PA)Southend boss Mark Molesley (photo: PA)

The Roots Hall club have lost two of their last nine games, drawing five in that time - including four 0-0s.

Goals have been hard to come by all season, with the Shrimpers the lowest scorers in the divisoin with just 23 goals from 38 games.

Their leading scorers are James Olayinka and Tom Clifford, who have three apiece.

Ashley Nathaniel-George's winner at Harrogate was Southend's first goal from open play in eight games.

At home, Molesley's side have won four, drawn four and lost 11, with only Oldham having suffered more home defeats in the division.


The bookies fancy Carlisle to pick up a win in Essex.

United, whose last victory on the road came at Walsall on January 2, are 13/10 with Bet365, 11/8 with William Hill and 13/10 with 888Sprt, Betfair and Bet Victor.

Southend, whose last Roots Hall win was on January 9 over Barrow - nine home games ago - are 2/1 for the victory with Paddy Power and Boyle Sports, and 23/10 with Sky bet.

The draw is also 23/10 with Bet 365, 11/5 with Sky Bet and 9/4 with Betfair.

(source: Oddschecker)


Don't be late tuning into this one.

It's a 1pm kick-off at Roots Hall.

That time was confirmed early in the season when the two clubs agreed early kick-offs for both their meetings in 2020/21.

This game was originally scheduled for Good Friday but was put back a day to help with preparation and recovery amid a busy period of games.

iFollow is the only way fans can watch the game, with matches continuing to be played behind closed doors because of Covid-19.

The News & Star will be reporting live from Brunton Park and BBC Radio Cumbria will provide commentary, with their commentary team of James Phillips and Chris Lumsdon allowed to travel to away grounds again.

They have spent the last three months covering away matches from the office because of the BBC's Covid-19 lockdown procedures, but will be at Roots Hall tomorrow.


Alan Young is the man in the middle for this one.

It's a second encounter of the season with the Blues, Young having also overseen United's 1-0 defeat at Forest Green in December.

News and Star: Referee Alan Young (photo: PA)Referee Alan Young (photo: PA)

Before that it was the 2-0 loss at Plymouth in October 2019 during the latter stages of Steven Pressley's reign.

Young booked four Carlisle players and one Forest Green man at the New Lawn this term.

He also showed five yellow cards in the Plymouth game, including one to a young league debutant called Jarrad Branthwaite.


United's game against Southend at Brunton Park this season was memorable, as it saw the return of fans to an EFL fixure for the first time after Covid-19 struck the game.

Some 1,000 supporters watched the "test game" in September as Omari Patrick and Joshua Kayode netted for a 2-0 Blues win.

News and Star: 1,000 home fans watched Carlisle take on Southend at Brunton Park in September (photo: PA)1,000 home fans watched Carlisle take on Southend at Brunton Park in September (photo: PA)

It's been six years since Carlisle last played at Roots Hall, meanwhile - a dour 2-0 defeat under Keith Curle in 2-0 which saw Raphael Spiegel (remember him?) make one of his two loan appearances in goal.

United are winless in three visits to Southend's ground, and last prevailed there in 2007, when Joe Garner's goal earned a 1-0 win.

The Blues have won four times in 18 visits over the years, Southend winning the fixture eight times. 

Here is footage from one of those games, in 2001. Sadly it's of a 3-2 defeat, and the film is a bit grainy, but it's worth watching just for the treat of an overhead kick goal from Tony Hopper, and some great behind-the-goal celebrations from the much-missed Cumbrian: