Southend For Starters

OUR 2012-13 League 2 pilgrimage will begin at Roots Hall on August 3, when we visit Southend United.

In the 30th anniversary of the 1983-84 season, when Third Division Argyle reached the FA Cup semi-final, it is a notable way to start the new season.

It was at Southend that the Pilgrims began their march to a famous Villa Park showdown against Watford with an inauspicious 0-0 first-round draw in mid-November.

Three days later, back at Home Park, they were given a helping hand when Shrimpers’ defender Micky Stead set them on their way with an own goal before Tommy Tynan netted a second in a 2-0 win. The rest is history.

This season's fixture marks a quick return to Essex for Argyle, whose 2-0 victory there in March was crucial in avoiding relegation from the Football League. Paul Wotton and Reuben Reid scored the goals.

It is the sixth time in the last 10 seasons – and fourth time in the last five – that the Pilgrims have begun their league campaign away from Home Park.

Last Time: Reuben Reid celebrates his winning goal at Roots Hall in March

The good news is that they have not lost any of the previous five matches, winning at Southampton (2010-11), Hull City (2007-08) and Reading (2005-06) and drawing at Shrewsbury Town (2011-12) and Crystal Palace (2009-10).

Indeed, last season's 2-0 home defeat by Aldershot was the first time the Pilgrims have lost on the opening day of the campaign for 10 years.

Last season's victory in Essex – which followed a 1-1 draw at Home Park in the earlier reverse fixture – continued the Pilgrims' excellent run against Southend.

In five previous fixtures at Roots Hall, they have lost once - in 2011-12 - won twice, and drawn twice.

That defeat is the only time in the last 11 meetings between the two sides that Argyle have lost: they have won four and drawn six.

Going back, Argyle once scored six goals against Southend in back-to-back consecutive victories: 6-0 in the last game of the 1924-25 season, and 6-2 in the first game of the 1925-26 season.

All fixtures are subject to confirmation.