Southend United vs Forest Green Rovers...
Southend United make their belated return to Roots Hall this evening as they entertain Mark Cooper’s Forest Green Rovers in a first-ever meeting between the two sides.
Rovers will become the third team this season to face Blues for the first time and Southend will hope it’ll be third time lucky after defeats to Salford and Harrogate in previous first-time meetings.
And after an impromptu weekend off due to a combination of COVID-19 and injuries, Mark Molesley’s side will be keen to get back to work in search of another first of the season, a home win.
Blues’ last outing against the Saddlers was Southend’s first maximum of the season and was just reward after a battling display up in the West Midlands in difficult conditions.
Victory at the Bank’s Stadium also ended Blues’ losing run which had seen them lose their previous six league games as well as suffer defeats in two cup competitions.
Forest Green are currently on a sticky run of form with no wins in their last four in all competitions, having won six of their eight games prior to this most recent run.
From The Boss
"It’s going to be a tough challenge. I’ve got the utmost respect for Forest Green.
"They play a lovely brand of football. A very good side in possession so we’ve got to be at our very best, as we have to every week.
"There’s some big challenges but we should be in a confident mood after we showed a good performance and got a win and clean sheet in our last game. There’s something to build on for ourselves."
Blues Team News
Mark Molesley will have some juggling to do to his matchday squad this evening with a number of players still missing.
Harry Lennon is set to be out for several months as he undergoes surgery on a knee injury as well as a known calf injury which the battling centre-back had been playing through the pain barrier with.
His absence opens the door for Elvis Bwomono to slot back into the side after Shaun Hobson expertly deputised at right-back while Bwomono was on international duty with Uganda.
Blues continue to be without three players due to positive Covid-19 tests and having to self-isolate, however Kenny Coker will be available again having recovered from the the virus which he went down with two weeks ago.
James Olayinka faces a late fitness test, while Harry Kyprianou will come back in after his loan at Bromley ended at the weekend.
Forest Green Dangerman
Nicky Cadden looks like the player to watch this evening with the Scotsman coming into the game off the back of scoring his first goal in English football at the weekend.
The 24-year-old is one of the newer faces at Forest Green after joining in the summer from Scottish Championship side Greenock Morton where he scored 10 goals in 30 appearances last season.
Cadden plies his trade on the wing where his pace and power are troublesome for defenders, and he’s also a dab hand at free-kicks, as proven by his superb late strike against Barrow on Saturday.
Keith Stroud will be taking charge of proceedings this evening in Essex, being assisted by Sam Lewis and Mark Jones, with Garreth Rhodes filling in as the fourth official.
Stroud reached double figures for appearances this season at the weekend, and during his 10 games so far this campaign, he’s issued a total of 21 yellow cards and just the one red.
It’ll be the first appearance for Stroud at Roots Hall since New Years Day 2019 when he oversaw Blues’ 2-0 win against Gillingham, which was sealed by a late Taylor Moore tap-in.
With fans still 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.
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.
For more information on how to purchase your Match Pass if you are a non-season ticket holder, as well as other useful information such as technical support for iFollow, click here.