Crawley Town vs Southend United...
Next up for Blues is a trip to The People’s Pension Stadium as they take on Crawley Town tomorrow afternoon in League Two.
Tomorrow will be just the seventh meeting between the two sides and Southend hold an impressive record against the Red Devils with just one defeat in their previous six meetings.
And Mark Molesley will hope that record holds Southend in good stead tomorrow as they go in search of their first points of the league campaign.
Blues will be glad to see the back of September after failing to pick up a victory in five competitive outings, the most recent of which saw Southend fall to a narrow 2-1 defeat against Morecambe.
Defeat to The Shrimps last weekend was Blues’ third in a row at the start of the league season having previously been on the wrong end of defeats to Carlisle and Harrogate.
Crawley welcome Southend off the back successive victories against Scunthorpe and Oldham, which were the perfect tonic to their opening day defeat at Port Vale.
Tuesday 20th November 2018
Crawley Town 2-6 Southend United (AET)
Palmer 55’, 68’; Cox 17’, 92’, Bunn 31’, White 97’, Mantom 106’, McLaughlin 114’
Southend progressed to the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup in style after defeating Crawley after extra time the last time these two sides met.
A brace from Ollie Palmer cancelled out goals from Simon Cox and Harry Bunn before Blues ran riot in extra time with goals from Cox, John White, Sam Mantom and Stephen McLaughlin.
From The Boss
"We've got to continue working hard and I'm sure if we carry on with that same belief in our processes, we'll see the fruits from our labour sooner rather than later," said Molesley.
"We’re on a journey and we’re looking for that constant self-improvement all the time.
"We’re brutal with ourselves, we analyse everything, and we look for every angle that we can improve.
"We’re a very young team out there at the moment and they’re giving their all. We’re learning on the job and we’ve got to learn those lessons quickly.
On Crawley, Molesley said: "Since John Yems has gone in there with Lee Bradbury they’ve been on an upward curve.
"They turned results around last season and they’ve carried that form on. A really tough challenge awaits us up against an experienced management team and some very good players."
Blues Team News
Mark Molesley could have to shuffle the pack again as injury problems continue to mount for the Blues boss.
Simeon Akinola is yet to make his Blues bow as he continues to build up his fitness, while another recent signing Alan McCormack looks set to miss out with a calf strain which sidelined him against Morecambe.
There was more positive news where Timothee Dieng is concerned. He upped his rehabilitation this week and returned to training. Molesley expects John White to be not not too far behind him.
Striker Tom Nichols looks to be in fine form coming into this weekend, making him the one to look out for on Saturday afternoon.
One of a number of new arrivals in the summer, Nichols joined Crawley from Bristol Rovers and has settled in brilliantly at his new club, scoring twice in his first three appearances.
His strikes against Oldham last weekend and Scunthorpe the weekend prior were both match-winners also, so he’ll be brimming with confidence ahead of Southend’s visit.
Brett Huxtable will be the man in charge this weekend, being assisted by Nicholas Cooper and Marc Wilson, with Michael Chard sitting in between the dugouts as the fourth official.
Huxtable has been involved in four matches so far this campaign, issuing 19 yellow cards and no reds, and was most recently in charge of Walsall’s EFL Trophy tie against Chelsea u21s in midweek.
The last time Huxtable officiated a game involving Blues was in March 2019 when he oversaw a 1-0 defeat for Southend at Roots Hall against AFC Wimbledon.
With fans still unable to attend matches in person, Blues fans can watch tomorrow’s clash with Crawley Town by picking up a Match Pass for iFollow Blues for £10.
Overseas supporters can pick up a pass for just £7 with the pass allowing you to catch the game on your laptop, computer, tablet or mobile device.
For more information on how you can get your Match Pass and ensure you miss none of the action down in West Sussex on iFollow Blues, click here.