Forest Green Rovers vs Southend United...
Southend United make their first-ever appearance at the Innocent New Lawn this evening as they take on high-flying Forest Green Rovers in League Two action tonight (6pm Kick-Off)
After dropping back into the relegation zone following last night’s results, Blues will hope that their recent good away form will lead them to pick up more vital points on the road.
But with Forest Green knowing that a win will send them top of the table with two games in hand on current leaders Cambridge, they will not be in the mood to hand over the points easily.
Blues’ narrow defeat to Bolton on Saturday ended their two-game unbeaten run which had been enough to see them climb out of the relegation places prior to Tuesday's results.
In their last six matches, Southend have picked up one win and one draw away at Newport and Cambridge respectively, while suffering defeats to Mansfield, Bradford, Port Vale and Bolton.
Forest Green come into tonight with four wins and a draw from their last six and are unbeaten in their last five, which include wins against Leyton Orient, Carlisle, Oldham and Newport.
Last League Meeting
Tuesday 24th November 2020
Southend United 0-1 Forest Green Rovers
This first-ever meeting between the two sides ended with a narrow 1-0 win for the visitors as Jake Young scored just after the hour mark to seal the victory for Forest Green in November.
Young took less than four minutes to make an impact after coming off the bench, firing in the winner from 10-yards out after being picked out by an Aaron Collins cross.
From The Boss
Mark Molesley: "It’s probably a similar challenge to Bolton in [terms of] styles.
"A possession-based team, play some lovely football, play through the thirds so they will use the ball well.
"They can hurt you if you give them too much time. They’re a well put together outfit, have experienced management down there so it’s a tough challenge but one we can be buoyed by how we’ve dealt with the last few."
Blues Team News
Mark Molesley reported no fresh injury concerns after Saturday’s clash with Bolton but Blues still have a number of notable absentees on the treatment table.
Recent signee Nile Ranger has worked hard but is unlikely to feature as he continues to build his fitness, as is the case for Jacob Mellis who is training and is closing in on a first Blues appearance after a spell out with illness.
Ricky Holmes will be pushing for a first Southend start after coming off the bench for his debut on Saturday, but wingers Terrell Egbri (hamstring) and James Olayinka (ankle) remain absent.
Forest Green Dangerman
Striker Jamille Matt is certainly going to be one of Forest Green’s biggest dangers tonight, especially now that he has rediscovered his scoring touch.
The Jamaican-born frontman went six games without a goal, but after a goalless January, Matt has banged in two in his last two, including one against his former club Newport on Sunday.
In all, the 31-year-old is Forest Green’s leading scorer by some distance with 11 goals to his name and he’ll be out to add to that tally this evening against Blues.
Tonight’s game will be officiated by Lee Swabey, with John Flynn and Grant Taylor the assistants, while Dean Treleaven will be standing in as the fourth official.
Swabey has taken charge of 20 games so far this campaign, showing 49 yellow cards but has yet to brandish a red, with his last match the 2-0 win for Oxford at Bristol Rovers a fortnight ago.
The Devonshire official will be taking charge of Southend for the first time in close to a year, having last overseen Blues in a 2-1 defeat to Oxford on February 29th 2020.
With fans unable to attend matches in person, Blues fans can watch tonight’s clash with Forest Green Rovers 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 Innocent New Lawn, click here.
Please note, due to current BBC guidelines relating to travel during the national lockdown, the BBC Essex commentary team will not be able to provide match commentary for the game. Instead, you will have a choice of listening to ambient stadium noise or you can switch to Forest Green’s commentary via the settings cog.