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13 March 2021 Venue Roots Hall Attendance

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

BIG PREVIEW: SOUTHEND VS STEVENAGE

12 March 2021

Southend United vs Stevenage...

Overview

Blues welcome Stevenage to Roots Hall tomorrow afternoon in what is shaping up to be another hugely important afternoon for Mark Molesley’s side.

Tomorrow’s visitors haven’t conceded in any of their last five games, underpinning their recent upturn in form which has seen them steer clear of the relegation dog fight.

And with Southend looking to bounce back from the midweek defeat to Tranmere, they will likely face another big test of their fighting characteristics against Alex Revell’s Boro.

Form

Southend are coming into Saturday off the back of a frustrating 2-0 defeat to Tranmere which boss Mark Molesley described as a ‘blip’ that Blues could ill afford to repeat.

In their last six league games, Southend have won once and drawn twice with draws against Salford and Oldham following a win at Forest Green Rovers.

Stevenage are currently on a seven-game unbeaten run which has seen them pick up three wins and four draws, conceding just once. Last time out they drew 0-0 away at Leyton Orient.

Last Meeting

Saturday 5th December 2020

Stevenage 0-0 Southend United

Both sides cancelled each other out the last time Stevenage and Southend met back in December as the points were shared in a 0-0 draw at the Lamex Stadium.

Brandon Goodship and Richard Taylor had Blues’ best opportunities, while Tyrone Marsh was unlucky to see his effort hit the crossbar as both sides settled for a point apiece. 

From The Boss

“They've done a fantastic job and they've led the way [of how to pull themself out of danger].

“They've made themselves hard to beat, they've got the best defensive record by some margin now in the last chunk of games.

“They're very resilient, very hard to beat so it is going to be another real tough challenge for us.

“I like to think that we haven't been too far away, but maybe we haven’t had to the points to show for our hard work on a few of the games lately.

“But it just shows, if you can keep that belief and keep that resilience then you can go on a run in this league and that’s what we’ll certainly be doing everything we can to do.”

Blues Team News

Simeon Akinola has ‘got a chance’ of making Saturday’s squad, according to Blues boss Mark Molesley, who described the striker as not being far away after missing the midweek defeat to Tranmere with a back injury.

Jacob Mellis is pushing for his first Southend appearance after coming through an U23's game unscathed earlier in the week, although Molesley also suggested another behind-closed-doors game would put Mellis in a better place to then put him in the frame.

Saturday may be too soon for Terrell Egbri as well. The winger is working his way back from a hamstring problem and, like Mellis, played 45 minutes for the U23's on Tuesday.  

James Olayinka is closing in on a return after a combination of groin and ankle injuries have kept him sidelined. The winger won’t be available this weekend, though he is expected to appear in a behind-closed-doors game next week to help build his fitness after a prolonged period out.   

Stevenage Dangerman

The form of Elliott List since the turn of the year has been one of the biggest catalysts behind Stevenage’s rise up the table and he is certainly going to be a big threat tomorrow.

Since mid-January, the former Gillingham midfielder has scored six times, with his most recent strike seeing him smartly round the goalkeeper to score the winner against Harrogate.

The 23-year-old has shown he can score all manner of goals too with long-range efforts and smart finishes leading to goals in recent weeks, making him one of Stevenage’s main dangermen.

Ref Watch

Saturday’s clash with Stevenage will see Peter Wright take charge, being assisted by James Vallance and Leigh Crowhurst, with Gareth Viccars the fourth official.

It’ll be Wright’s first-ever visit to Roots Hall since being promoted to a Football League ref in 2018, though he has taken charge of one Blues game before, a 2-2 draw at Fleetwood in 2019.

So far this season, Wright has officiated 25 games in which he has shown a total of 73 yellow cards and three reds, with his last match being the 2-1 win for Bolton against Cambridge on Tuesday.

iFollow Blues

With fans not able to attend Roots Hall in person, Blues supporters can watch tomorrow’s game with Stevenage by picking up a Match Pass on iFollow Blues for £10.

A Match Pass will allow you to watch the game on your laptop, computer, tablet or mobile device with Season Ticket holders already having access to their pass via their iFollow account.

To purchase your Match Pass and ensure you miss none of the action at Roots Hall on iFollow Blues, click here.

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: SOUTHEND 0-0 STEVENAGE

13 March 2021

Southend United were unable to breakdown a stubborn Stevenage side as Blues drew 0-0 with Alex Revell’s side at Roots Hall.

Having kept five clean-sheets in a row, the visitors were always likely to be a tough nut to crack and so it proved, but Mark Molesley will be frustrated that his side weren’t able to take the guilt-edged chances they created.

Blues’ best chances came in the opening few minutes of the game with Simeon Akinola firing over from six-yards out after a superb cross from Reeco Hackett-Fairchild before Nathan Ferguson’s free-kick needed a brilliant fingertip save from Jamie Cumming to keep him out.

Stevenage had a couple of chances of their own, but nothing as clear-cut, as both sides were made to settle for a point in a repeat of the scoreline from the reverse fixture between the two sides back in December.

Going into the game at Roots Hall, the importance of this afternoon’s fixture wasn’t lost on anyone, with Barrow’s win at Walsall only heightening the importance of picking up three points against a Stevenage side that were bang in form and difficult to break down.

Boro came into today unbeaten in seven with just one goal conceded in that time, while Blues had scored in just one of their last seven, so Mark Molesley went with a more attacking line-up, making four changes and going with two up front.

Shaun Hobson, Sam Hart, Nathan Ferguson and Simeon Akinola came in and Akinola had a glorious chance seven minutes in when he was picked out by a stellar cross from Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, but the striker was unable to hit the target on the volley six-yards out.

That was a clear sign of Southend’s attacking intent, and if it wasn’t for a top drawer save by Jamie Cumming in the Stevenage goal, Ferguson would have opened the scoring with his free-kick that had looked destined for the top corner before Cumming’s intervention.

Blues continued to look the most threatening and had further chances with Hackett-Fairchild’s free-kick hitting the wall before Akinola attempted an overhead kick only for Stevenage defenders to hack the ball clear.

Stevenage started to get a foothold in the game as the half wore on and twice went close before the interval with Elliott List dragging a shot off target after half an hour. Elliot Osborne then went even closer with his effort that flashed across the face of goal, whistling just past the post.

The second-half was a much scrappier affair and it wasn’t until after the hour mark before we saw an effort on either goal as List picked up the ball on the right, cut inside onto his left and pulling his shot wide of the mark.

With 10 minutes remaining, Chris Lines’ smart free-kick afforded Luke Norris a chance on goal but with the angle narrowing the Stevenage sub couldn’t squeeze his shot beyond Montgomery who kept it out with his foot.

Five minutes added on time were shown and Blues had a free-kick in the final seconds which saw efforts from Jacob Mellis and John White blocked, before Ricky Holmes fired over on the stretch as Stevenage held on, leaving Southend frustrated at picking up just a point.

Blues XI: Montgomery, Bwomono, McCormack (Holmes 70’), Hobson, Dieng, Akinola, Hackett-Fairchild (Goodship 84’), Demetriou (Mellis 84’), Hart, Ferguson, White (C). Subs Not Used: Seaden, Cordner, Acquah, Nathaniel-George

Stevenage XI: Cumming, James-Wildin, Coker, Cuthbert (C) (Prosser 42’), Osborne, Newton (Norris 59’), Vancooten, List, Pett, Aitchison (Vincelot 90+1’), Lines. Subs Not Used: Johnson, Hutton, Read, Stevens

Referee: Peter Wright

Assistants: James Vallance & Leigh Crowhurst

Fourth Official: Gareth Viccars

Scorers:

Southend United: None

Stevenage: None

 

Yellow Cards:

Southend United: Alan McCormack 67’, Jason Demetriou 77’, Reeco Hackett-Fairchild 81’

Stevenage: Luke Prosser 45+4’

 

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