Morecambe vs Southend United...
Southend United make the long trip to the Mazuma Stadium this evening as they travel to take on promotion-chasing Morecambe in League Two action (6.30pm Kick-Off).
With Blues trying to cling on to those above them and Morecambe just two points from an automatic promotion spot, the three points on offer are of huge significance to both sides.
But Morecambe are Southend’s ultimate bogey club with the Shrimps winning 10 and drawing one of their 11 league meetings to date, so history will need to be made if Blues are to come out on top.
Defeat to Carlisle on Saturday ended a four-game unbeaten run for Blues with their last defeat before the weekend coming against Tranmere Rovers towards the start of March.
Between those two defeats, Southend had drawn three in a row – against Stevenage, Scunthorpe and Walsall – before beating Harrogate 1-0 away from home.
Morecambe fell to a 2-1 defeat at Cambridge on Good Friday but have won three of their last six, claiming victories against Carlisle, Harrogate and Cheltenham.
Last League Meeting
Saturday 26th September 2020
Southend United 1-2 Morecambe
Acquah 5’; Wildig 55’, Phillips 73’
Morecambe come from behind to claim victory at Roots Hall the last time these two sides met back in September, with goals from Aaron Wildig and Adam Phillips completing the turnaround.
Emile Acquah put Blues in front with his first senior goal after just five minutes, but Wildig levelled 10 minutes after the restart before Phillips completed a Morecambe counter-attack to seal the win.
From The Boss
“We’ve got to react quickly. The games are running out and we’re well aware of the situation, and that’s why it was so bitterly disappointing to see on Saturday that we didn’t get to the heights that we needed to.
“We have to take care of our own business. We didn’t do that on Saturday, so regardless of other people’s results, we’ve got to concentrate and focus on ourselves. It would be nice to be in line with everyone [having to play a day later than the rest of the league], but that is out of our control.
“Saturday was a stark reminder that if you think you can take your eye off any element of our game, you get hurt in this league. We’ve got to be spot on in every aspect and be the very best we can in every aspect that we look for. We’ve got to have complete performances from everyone now and show every characteristic.
“Morecambe will be a big challenge. They’re a play-off team that are pushing and it’s tight up there. Both teams have got everything to play for and it’s going to be a really tough game.”
Blues Team News
Mark Molesley is waiting to hear the result of James Olayinka’s scan before deciding if he will travel to Morecambe this evening after the Arsenal-loanee missed the Carlisle game with a groin injury.
Blues will almost certainly though be without the experience of midfielder Alan McCormack who limped off during the first-half of Saturday’s game with a calf injury.
However, Timothee Dieng is available again for selection after completing a two-game suspension, while Sam Hart has one game left of his three-game ban for a red card against Walsall.
Carlos Mendes-Gomes currently leads Morecambe’s scoring charts for the season and will undoubtedly pose one of the Shrimps’ biggest threats this evening.
The winger is into his third season with the club but has totted up more appearances this season than in his previous two combined, which is a clear indication of his growing importance to the side.
And with 12 goals and three assists to his name this season, he’s combined his flair with a clinical edge, often cutting inside from the wing and causing damage to opposition defences.
Scott Oldham is the appointed referee for tonight’s clash at Morecambe, being assisted by Daniel Woodward and Paul Graham, with Gary Hilton the fourth official for the evening.
Oldham has overseen 26 matches across the course of this season, only showing 51 yellow cards and no reds, with his last match being Oxford’s 2-1 win against Lincoln on Good Friday.
Tonight will be Oldham’s second-ever Blues game, with his one and only Southend game to date being the 1-1 draw with Crawley in the Emirates FA Cup First Round back in November 2018.
With fans unable to attend matches in person, Blues fans can watch tonight’s clash with Morecambe by picking up a Match Pass for iFollow Blues for £10.
Overseas supporters can pick up a pass for just £7 with the pass allowing you to catch the game on your laptop, computer, tablet or mobile device.
For more information on how you can get your Match Pass for iFollow Blues and ensure you miss none of the action at the Mazuma Stadium, click here.