Authorities have confirmed that there is an ‘incredibly likely’ chance of trouble today as Southend United meet Colchester United for the first Essex Derby at Roots Hall for a number of years. Because of this, all fans attending the game have been reminded to stay alert at all times, and plain-clothed personnel will be mixing with regular supporters to ensure that the day passes without any serious incidents.

A representative for the match organisers spoke to a Southend News Network reporter. He said: ‘We can confirm that intelligence has been received to indicate we can expect a significant amount of trouble at the game. First of all, it has been made clear that the thousands of travelling Colchester supporters may have severe trouble locating Roots Hall after getting off the train at Prittlewell, and a small minority of U’s supporters may also have trouble locating the ground if they park right outside. To ensure that nobody misses the kick-off, Colchester supporters should follow the thousands of other people who all seem to be heading in one direction – some of these individuals will also be wearing Southend or Colchester replica shirts and this will make them easier to spot.’

He continued: ‘Today’s match day programme will be mainly pictures so that all fans can truly understand what is going on, and any snack outlets serving the away supporters will be adding straw and engine oil to the menu so that everyone is well-fed.’

Officials in charge of the fixture have already predicted that the atmosphere will be incredibly tense after the FA announced that Colchester could be DOUBLE RELEGATED at the end of this season as punishment for constantly sitting just above the relegation zone almost every year. A representative of the Colchester United Supporters Alliance Federation confirmed: ‘We have the same problems every time we come down to Roots Hall, especially when we enter the away supporters enclosure and realise that we have a shiny new stadium but still have around 2000 fewer seats than Southend’s crumbling relic. We tried to upset the Southend fans a couple of months ago by parading Karl Duguid around the Community Stadium before kick-off on Boxing Day, but he didn’t even make it out of the tunnel, falling over an isotonic drinks bottle and spraining his ankle.’

Southend Council staff have confirmed that additional tractor parking is available in the grounds of Southend High School for Boys.