The glorious nostalgia relating to this fixture prompted me to splurge a quid on another Coppinger hat-trick at 100-1. This kind of optimism is why bookmakers drive expensive cars.
This same optimism will tell you that Rovers remain unbeaten this season with a solid defensive foundation to build upon, however the lack of midfield creativity was woefully evident yet again in what was mostly a scrappy, uninspiring game.
Boos rang around the Keepmoat at half time to underline a first half performance that seemed tired and demotivated, upon which a team better than the lacklustre Southend would surely have capitalised.
In the second half Rovers showed much more urgency, Andy Williams causing many problems for United’s defence and Harry Forrester seeing a cross cleared off the line, having beaten the keeper. Yet still Rovers were far too easily caught in possession in midfield, and but for excellent performances from centre halves Andy Butler and Gary McKenzie, and more game-saving acrobatics from man-of-the-match Thorsten Stuckmann, Southend could have easily snatched a winner on the break more than once.
Ultimately the slow march to another goalless draw seemed inevitable, Williams left chasing long balls to his growing frustration, and most of the set pieces Rovers worked so hard to win were poorly executed.
Most will point to the obvious need for extra striking power to kick-start the season, but it’s becoming increasingly apparent that a vast improvement in supply and delivery to any forward line set-up is perhaps an even greater requirement.