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04 September 2021 Venue Roots Hall Attendance

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Match Previews

BIG PREVIEW: SOUTHEND VS WREXHAM

3 September 2021

Southend United vs Wrexham…

Overview:

After being held to a frustrating stalemate against Wealdstone on Monday, Southend United take to the Roots Hall pitch tomorrow afternoon, Wrexham the opposition.

It will be the Blues’ second tough home match in a row. After being defeated 1-0 by a Stockport County side tipped for success last weekend, Phil Brown’s side are set to take on other promotion favourite in the form of the Red Dragons on Saturday.

The two sides have clashed plenty of times before, including the Shrimpers’ LDV Vans Trophy final heartbreak in 2005, falling to a 2-0 defeat against the side based in north Wales. This will be Southend and Wrexham’s first ever meeting in the National League, however. 

The Opposition:

Now under the supervision of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s company, RR McReynolds Company LLC, Wrexham are very much a ‘club on the up,’ eyeing a return to the Football League and out of the National League which they have resided for 13 years.

Heavy investment has seen the club lure in various eye-catching signings, Paul Mullin, Ben Tozer, and James Jones to name a few.

But what has also transpired from their shift in ownership is a movement of backroom staff, welcoming the highly experienced Phil Parkinson to the set-up, a manager with plenty of success in the third and fourth tier of English football.

Wrexham’s 1-1 draw away at Dagenham & Redbridge on the final day of the 20/21 campaign saw them lose their seventh place spot at the expense of Bromley. The Red Dragons will be looking to make a spot in the upper reaches of the standings a little more secure this season.

Form:

Southend’s debut season in the National League has started with the Blues picking up a win, a draw, and a loss in their first three matches, four points from a possible nine.

Boss Phil Brown vented his frustrations after his side drew 0-0 away at Wealdstone on Monday.

48 hours prior, they fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat against Stockport, as they have yet to add another victory to their opening day triumph against King's Lynn Town, beating the Linnets by a goal to nil.

Wrexham are undefeated in their three matches so far. They drew against Notts County and Solihull Moors either side of their 2-0 victory over Eastleigh last weekend.

From The Boss:

"Bringing a new group of players together is never an easy task to start off with, piecing together a new jigsaw, but it's exciting for me," said Phil Brown.

"There's probably only two or three players that I've worked with before and the rest is a whole new ball game.

"Is that a reason for a poor second-half performance against Wealdstone? Maybe. But bottom line is I'm not accepting it. I want them to understand what a Phil Brown team looks like.

"One of my strengths is organising a team that can keep a clean sheet. I think I’ve gone through my career, quite successfully, being able to do that. Two out of three I’m delighted with.

"One goal for and one goal against, am I delighted with that? Probably not in the modern-day game. I think the modern-day supporter, now, wants to sit down and be entertained and I’m there to entertain them.

"Mark my words, we will be trying to score goals, there’s no doubt about it. I think we’ve brought a group of players together and piecing that beautiful picture of scoring a wonderful goal is probably a little bit more difficult than piecing together a horrible unit that can stop the opposition from scoring, but we’ve got to bring both of them things to the party in time for Saturday against Wrexham, because they can play.”

Blues’ Team News:

Josh Coulson and Jason Demetriou will be pushing for a return to the starting eleven after being left out on Bank Holiday Monday due to the 48-hour turnaround.

Alongside them, James Dunne and Will Atkinson are also off the treatment table and ready to return for Brown’s side, the latter looking to make his second debut for the club.

Abu Ogogo picked up a hamstring injury against Stockport last Saturday, the midfielder will remain out for at least two weeks with the problem.

Tom Clifford remains absent, recovering from a longer-term injury suffered in pre-season. The left-back isn't expected to be seen in action until at least November.

Ref Watch:

Alan Dale will be the man in the middle calling the shots as Wrexham come to town.

His last visit to Roots Hall concurred with Sol Campbell’s first win as Blues boss, a 3-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon in the EFL Trophy, Dale acting as fourth official on the night.

Saturday will be his first time refereeing the Shrimpers.

Last season, Dale took charge of 24 matches, brandishing 95 yellow cards in the process, whilst also showing eight red cards and awarded eight penalties. 

Elsewhere in the National League:

Altrincham v Dover
Boreham Wood v Stockport Town
Chesterfield v Bromley
Dagenham & Redbridge v Wealdstone
Eastleigh v Kings Lynn Town
Grimsby Town v Barnet
Maidenhead United v Torquay United
Notts County v Aldershot Town
Solihull Moors v Weymouth
Yeovil Town v FC Halifax Town (17:15)

How to Follow:

Tickets are on sale and Friday is the final chance to take advantage of the cheaper pre-matchday prices, which increase by £2 on the day of the game.

Blues fans unable to attend Roots Hall on Saturday 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: SOUTHEND 2-2 WREXHAM

4 September 2021

Southend United picked up their first home point of the 21/22 campaign this afternoon as Wrexham were in town, both sides taking a share of the spoils in an eventful 2-2 draw.

Phil Brown’s side worked their way into a two-goal lead courtesy of goals either side of half-time from Sam Dalby and Rhys Murphy.

However, a quickfire double from the visitors levelled the game, Jamie Reckord on target 12 minutes before Dior Angus tapped home to equalise for the away side.

6,036 fans watched on, as both sides had chances to take a late lead, but ultimately couldn’t be separated on the day.

Both sides took their time to work out one another, producing in a scrappy opening 15 minutes in which neither team managed to carve out a real opportunity, despite the away side winning a couple of corners.

But, on the 17th minute, James Jones came very close for Phil Parkinson’s side, hitting a thunderous strike from the edge of the box which Steve Arnold dealt with smartly to push past the right post.

Nine minutes later, Roots Hall roared for the first time since December of last year, Dalby netting his second goal of the season and the Blues’ first at home.

A lovely move by the home side enabled Harry Phillips to cut inside from the left flank and deliver an impeccable cross into the on-running Dalby, who headed below Rob Lainton and into the back of the net.

The Red Dragons nearly bit back on the 35th minute, tension filled the stands as Luke Young and Jordan Davies stood over a free kick right on the edge of the Blues’ penalty box.

The latter hit the set-piece with power, looping off the Southend wall and over. A scare for the hosts as the looping ball looked as if it was heading in.

Seven minutes later, an audacious effort from Murphy went wide of the left-post, the striker hitting a sweetly struck volley on the turn in the last of the first half action, seeing Brown’s side head into the half-time break a goal to the good.    

As the two sides emerged from the tunnel and the second half commenced, it did not take long for the Blues to threaten again.

Fantastic work by Jack Bridge saw him charge forward down the left, cutting inside and working the ball into the box, his flashed cross was dangerous, but nobody came to meet it.

Building upon an impressive start to the season, Southend ‘keeper Arnold made a crucial save on the 50th minute, Jake Hyde denied after an excellent ball in by Dior Angus.

An equaliser will have turned the tide of the match, but instead of a leveller, Southend doubled their lead three minutes later.

James Dunne clipped fantastic ball over the top of the Wrexham backline, onto Murphy, who had run in behind the defence.

He took the ball down well and slotted past Lainton with a low, left-footed effort.

However, it did not take long for another twist in the plot of a lively game at Roots Hall.

On the 54th minute, Jamie Reckord fired home after a powerfully delivered cross by Tyler French was launched into the box, reducing the hosts’ lead back to just one goal.

After an intense beginning to the second half, Nathan Ferguson came painfully close to a third for the Blues five minutes later, firing a low effort across the far, left post and inches wide.

It was end-to-end action, the visitors looking dangerous in wide areas, their endeavour was rewarded in the 66th minute as they equalised through Angus.

The Red Dragons looked to have fire in their belly, they launched a probing attack down the right flank, French delivered yet another excellent ball in which Angus found himself on the end of to level the game up.

There was no let up in action, the North Wales based side coming close to taking the lead two minutes later, Davies trickled an effort through a sea of bodies which tamely bounced off the right post, the attackers following up the loose ball found themselves offside. 

After that hectic spell of play, the game calmed somewhat, it took the home side until the 84th minute to gain their next opportunity.

Murphy found himself with on the edge of the penalty area, he fired a low effort narrowly wide of the left post.

Hearts were in the mouths of Blues fans late on, with Wrexham winning a dangerous wide free-kick, however, the visitors couldn’t find a finishing touch as both sides finished level at Roots Hall.

Blues XI: Arnold, Ralph (Hobson 56’), Coulson, Bridge, Dunne (Dennis 72’), Murphy, Dalby, Ferguson (Egbri 81’), Phillips, Demetriou, White. Subs not used: Seaden and Atkinson.

Wrexham XI: Lainton, Reckord, Hayden, Tozer, Davies, Young, Hyde (McAlinden 88’), French, Angus (Ponticelli 72’), Lennon (Cleworth 74’), Jones. Subs not used: Dibble and Jones.

Referee: Alan Dale

Assistants: Karl Sear & David Harrison

Fourth Official: Ayrton Hursey

Scorers:

Southend United: Dalby (26’), Murphy (53’)

Wrexham: Reckord (54’), Angus (66’)

Yellow Cards:

Southend United: None

Wrexham: Jones (36’), Davies (93’)

Attendance: 6,036

 

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