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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

07 December 2021 Venue Roots Hall Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Vanarama National League

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Match Previews


7 December 2021

Southend United welcome Maidenhead to Roots Hall on Tuesday night, hoping to get their second win in as many games after beating Altrincham 2-1 last time out.

We’ve picked out five talking points ahead of the game.

Fresh legs or loss of momentum?

After Yeovil Town’s progression in The FA Cup, Blues were given an extended, and perhaps unwanted, break on Saturday. After gaining the first away win since the opening day of the season against Altrincham, head coach Kevin Maher might have wanted the games to come thick and fast, but alas it wasn’t to be. With tonight’s game being rescheduled from two weeks ago after a case of Covid-19 in the Magpies' squad, Blues will know a win can open up a gap between themselves and the relegation zone.

Former Blues

When Alan Devonshire brings his Magpies to Essex, the squad will be filled with a few familiar faces. Former academy prospect Emile Acquah joined the club in the summer after he left Blues. The striker recently netted a brace, in a 7-4 defeat to Halifax. Prolific winger Sam Barratt will also be in the side after he left Blues in 2020. The winger will be looking to prove a point after a horrific injury hampered his time at the club. The last familiar face in Devonshire’s squad is Kane Ferdinand. A bright prospect in 2012, Ferdinand left the Blues for Peterborough before dropping into non-league in 2016 with East Thurrock United. He’ll be hoping to get on the score sheet, as he gets his career back on track.

41 goals conceded

Goals have been hard to come by for Maher’s side this season, with Blues scoring just 13 times in the Vanarama National League, the least of any side. The best chance to change that record might come on Tuesday night, with Maidenhead conceding 41 goals in 18 games this season in all competitions - including 18 goals in the last four games. The Magpies have kept just two clean sheets this season.

Six pointer?

Most would probably say December is too soon to refer to games as ‘six-pointers’, but with Tuesday night’s game being the last at Roots Hall in the league before Christmas, Maher and his side will know the importance of a win against Maidenhead. The Magpies and Blues are level on points and separated by just three goals, which means a win for Maidenhead will see Blues drop into the relegation zone. If Blues were to win, however, Maher would see his side rise to 18th, with an extra game in hand on those around them.


Tuesday’s game will be the first time Southend United and Maidenhead have met. Both Maher and Devonshire will be hoping to lead their respective teams to the first win, and push either side up the Vanarama National League.

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Match Reports


7 December 2021

Southend were held to a 1-1 draw against Maidenhead United at Roots Hall this evening with Rhys Murphy’s first-half strike being cancelled out by Kane Ferdinand’s equaliser.

After a disjointed first 45 minutes from the home side following a 10-day break, Murphy scored his ninth goal of the season after being teed up by Sam Dalby and he should have grabbed a second before the interval only for a superb save from James Holden to keep him out.

The visitors though put the pressure on Blues in the second-half and Southend’s defence finally cracked as Ferdinand lashed in the leveller from inside the box to ensure that the points were shared between the sides.

Blues returned to action for this rearranged game with Maidenhead at a wet and windy Roots Hall looking to pick up back-to-back wins for the first time this season and move away from the relegation places in the National League following a win at Altrincham last time out.

Kevin Maher named an unchanged line-up to take on an out of sorts Maidenhead who fell into the drop zone after a 3-0 defeat to Barnet at the weekend, but they had the better of the early chances with Josh Kelly stinging the palms of Steve Arnold with a low shot.

Kelly again threatened midway through the first-half as he attacked the near-post and came close to converting George Wells’ dangerous cross from the left as the home side struggled to get going under the lights in Essex.

But right on half-time Southend would break the deadlock as Rhys Murphy put the home side in front. After carrying the ball forward, Sam Dalby slid in the Southend number nine who was in acres of space and had time to turn and fire in to make it 1-0.

That was Murphy’s ninth of the season and it should have been double figures before the half was out as Dalby again found Murphy, but this time he was thwarted by a superb save from Holden who spread himself well.

The visitors began the second-half brightly with Kelly continuing to be their key protagonist and he forced a smart save low to Arnold’s right after the Maidenhead dangerman had broken clean through.

Alan Devonshire’s side continued to build the pressure as Southend struggled to get a grip of the ball and a mistake from Arnold almost let sub Dan Sparkes in, but the Blues goalkeeper managed to make up for his error to keep him out.

Kelly went close again when his cross from the right was close to sneaking its way through only for Murphy to clear the ball off the line, and eventually, the visitor’s pressure told as Kane Ferdinand was teed up inside the box to smash home the equaliser in the 73rd minute.

The next goal would be key and Murphy had a glorious chance to win it for Blues after getting on the end of a ball over the top from Jason Demetriou, but he was unable to keep his half-volley down as his strike flew over the crossbar and a frustrated Southend had to settle for just a point.

Blues XI: Arnold, Ralph, Hobson, Murphy, Dalby, Ferguson, Walsh (Egbri 65’), Atkinson (Gard 82’), Lopata, Demetriou (C), Brunt. Subs Not Used: Dunne, Clifford, Rush

Maidenhead United XI: Holden, Wells, Parry, Clerima, Ferdinand, Smith (Sparkes 62’), Acquah (Blissett 64’), Upward, Kelly, Massey (C), Adams. Subs Not Used: Sendles-White, Burley, Beckwith

Referee: Scott Tallis

Assistants: Alan Cresswell & Farai Hallam

Fourth Official: Aaron Conn


Southend United: Rhys Murphy 45’

Maidenhead United: Kane Ferdinand 73’


Yellow Cards:

Southend United: Kacper Lopata 4’

Maidenhead United: Manny Parry 90+1’

Attendance: 4,928 (27 Away)

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