SOUTHEND’S United’s chief executive has urged the club’s fans to stand up and be counted - and reveal the troublemakers who marred Saturday’s Essex game.

Police and the club particularly want to speak with the thug who stepped out of the Southend crowd, strolled over to the Colchester away section and started throwing random punches into the crowd.

Blues chief excutive Steve Kavanagh said: "Such people are not welcome at Roots Hall and I hope all fans will assist the club in identifying them to ensure that their actions do not go unpunished.

“The incident on Saturday is something that hasn't occurred in recent memory and the club will do everything we can to ensure Roots Hall continues to remain a safe and family friendly environment for football fans.”

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that police did not feel they needed a significant presence within the ground during the game.

Trouble erupted during the second half of the League One encounter following provocative chants between the rival supporters. That’s what led to a Blues fan running across the pitch from the West Stand to attack U’s supporters in a 1,000 strong away contingent in the North Stand.

Yet a joint risk assessment, conducted by the police in collaboration with the club, prior to the game deemed there was no intelligence to suggest violence was likely to happen and therefore a significant police presence was not needed inside the ground.

But the decision was condemned by fans who took to Facebook to vent their anger, believing the lack of police led to the situation escalating.

Blues supporter Alan Sheehy, who attended with his seven-year-old son, said: “The efforts made by police inside the ground were disgusting, I think I saw two.

“I could see that trouble was going to come from just 20 mins into the game. However, outside the ground the police presence was very good. My question is where were these officers during the game?”

Another Southend fan Tony Agg added: “Fair play to the stewards there for holding the Colchester fans back while the few police just watched on totally disinterested.”

A police spokesman said officers were now examining CCTV to try and identify yobs, particularly the man involved in the crowd attack. No-one has yet been arrested.

He added: “Police were not in receipt of any information before the match which suggested any significant officer presence in the ground was required.”

The match was eventually won 3-0 by Southend.