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26 December 2021 Venue Hayes Lane Attendance

Kick off 17:20 (UK)

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Match Previews

BIG PREVIEW: BROMLEY VS SOUTHEND

24 December 2021

Bromley v Southend United…

Overview:

Southend United make the trip to Hayes Lane on Boxing Day, eager to continue their Christmas celebrations with a victory against high-flying Bromley.

December 26th is a day that usually treats Blues well, they have not been beaten on that date since 2009.

And while Kevin Maher will be keen for his side to continue their good festive track record, it’ll be a very tough task for them against a strong outfit in the National League.

Not only will the Boxing Day clash be viewed by the sell-out away end at Hayes Lane, but it will also be broadcasted live on BT Sport.

It’ll be the first time the two sides have clashed in their history.

The Opposition:

Throughout their history, Bromley have plied their trade within the non-league ladder.

But they are a club well acquainted with recent success in the fifth tier.

After the dismissal of former boss Neil Smith in March of this year, highly rated Andy Woodman took the reigns and led his side to a play-off finish.

Despite not gaining promotion, Woodman’s men gathered the momentum to make a fast start to this season, and that translates with their high league positioning.

And just two points from the top of the table, there is no reason the Ravens cannot go all the way this season and achieve promotion to the EFL for the first time in their history.

Form:

Bromley have won each of their last three matches in all competitions, a run which ended a momentary lapse as they suffered consecutive defeats to Yeovil Town and Wrexham.

Their success has been largely based upon their impressive forward play, that has been rewarded with 35 goals so far this season.

The Ravens have lost just four league games this season.

Maher’s side’s form has also seen improvement, they’ve only lost once in their last four matches in all competitions, and victory in London on Boxing Day would be their second successive win.

Blues haven’t achieved back-to-back victories so far this season.

From The Boss:

"Since I’ve come back in this job the following we’ve taken everywhere has been incredible especially with what they’ve had to go through recently," said Maher.

"They’ve had their frustrations with things and how the club has been for a number of years but they still turn up.

"That’s the one thing as manager, staff and players knowing you have that backing is brilliant.

"There aren’t many teams in this league who can do that.

"It shows to us they’re with us and we want to give them something to cheer.

“Boxing Day is always brilliant when you win because there’s always a good atmosphere.

“Hopefully this year will be the same."

Blues’ Team News:

Steve Arnold will be available for selection after missing last weekend’s FA Trophy clash with concussion.

Sheffield United loanee Kacper Lopata may again have to miss out for Blues as they wait to see the full extent of his knee injury.

Abu Ogogo remains out with a chest problem.

Jack Bridge and Simeon Akinola are also side-lined.

Ref Watch:

Lewis Smith will referee Blues’ Boxing Day clash.

Smith officiated Southend’s 1-0 loss against Stockport County in their second match of the 21/22 season, another outing which played out in front of the BT Sport cameras.

He has issued 33 yellow cards and two reds in his nine matches in the middle so far this season.

He will be aided by Robert Evans and Steve Durnall, Richie Watkins will be fourth official.

Elsewhere in the National League:

Aldershot Town v Woking

Dover Athletic v Dagenham and Redbridge

King’s Lynn Town v Notts County

Stockport County v Altrincham

Torquay United v Yeovil Town

Weymouth v Eastleigh

How to Follow:

Blues fans unable to attend Hayes Lane will still be able to follow all the live action by subscribing to Blues TV where you’ll get live match commentary from the BBC Essex team from all first-team matches this season.

Blues TV costs £4.49 per month or a one-off cost of £45 for the season, with your subscription not only giving you match commentary, but also exclusive access to extended match highlights, full pre-match press conferences and interviews.

You can also follow live minute-by-minute updates on social media via the Club’s official Twitter account by following @SUFCRootsHall on Twitter, which will ensure you get all the latest news and more throughout the 2021/22 season.

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: BROMLEY 1-1 SOUTHEND

26 December 2021

Southend United picked up a point at promotion-chasing Bromley as Matthew Dennis’ second goal in as many games helped Blues to a 1-1 draw at Hayes Lane.

After a goalless first-half, Michael Cheek broke the deadlock in the 65th minute with his flicked header beating Steve Arnold but Southend responded immediately two minutes later with Dennis converting from inside the box to ensure both sides claimed a point.

Blues boss Kevin Maher made four changes for this Boxing Day clash with Steve Arnold, Will Atkinson, Matthew Dennis and John White all coming into the side to take on a Bromley team who had the chance to top the National League table with victory.

The home side – in their changed red strip in support of the #NoHomeKit campaign by the charity Shelter – made a bright start live on BT Sport with Louis Dennis causing problems in the Southend box with a fizzing cross before Omar Sowunmi had a header cleared off the line by Atkinson.

Blues settled and carved out a couple of half-chances of their own with Sowunmi cutting out an audacious Zak Brunt rabona-style cross which was destined for the head of Matthew Dennis before Southend’s Dennis teed up Sam Dalby whose shot was blocked.

Bromley continued to have the better of the first-half chances with Sowunmi again going close from a corner, heading narrowly wide, and right on half-time the Ravens broke forward and saw Jude Arthurs have a strike on goal which was brilliantly cleared off the line by Nathan Ralph.

Southend came flying out of the blocks in the second-half with a flurry of chances after the interval with Matthew Dennis going close with a low drive that whistled past Mark Cousins’s left-hand upright.

Blues were in again seconds later as Dalby rounded the Bromley goalkeeper but ran too far wide for a strike on goal, instead playing the ball back to Demetriou who slashed his strike wide. Demetriou then was in again getting in at the far post with his diving header going wide.

Southend needed to be more clinical in front of goal to press home their advantage, but Bromley would punish Blues’ profligacy by taking the lead in the 65th minute as Michael Cheek got on the end of a Liam Trotter close, flicking his header beyond the dive of Arnold to break the deadlock.

Cheek’s 14th goal of the season temporarily sent Bromley to the top of the National League table, but their lead was short-lived as less than two minutes later, Blues equalised through Matthew Dennis. Demetriou’s cross found Dalby who laid it back to Dennis to beat Cousins and level things up.

Kevin Maher’s side had their tails up and were further buoyed when Trotter limped off after Bromley had already made all of their allotted changes, meaning for the final quarter of an hour Blues had a man advantage to try and pick up a vital three points.

Southend pinned Bromley back with the extra man and had a couple of chances to grab the victory with subs Lewis Gard and Rhys Murphy both having opportunities go begging. Dalby then went close with seconds of added on time to play but Bromley kept him out as the spoils were shared.

Bromley XI: Cousins, Bush, Sowunmi, Coulson, Arthurs, Cheek, Dennis (Alexander 45+1’), Trotter, Webster (C), Forster (Alabi 66’), Sablier (Whitely 55’). Subs Not Used: Partington, Cawley

Blues XI: Arnold, Ralph, Hobson, Dunne (Gard 46’), Dalby, Clifford, Atkinson, Demetriou, Dennis (Murphy 70’), Brunt, White (C)(Coulson 59’). Subs Not Used: Andeng Ndi, Walsh

Referee: Lewis Smith

Assistants: Robert Evans & Steve Durnall

Fourth Official: Richie Watkins

Scorers:

Bromley: Michael Cheek 65’

Southend United: Matthew Dennis 67’

Yellow Cards:

Bromley: George Alexander 57’

Southend United: Will Atkinson 57’, Shaun Hobson 84’

Attendance: 3,759

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