Southend United vs Crawley Town...
Crawley Town are the visitors to Roots Hall this weekend as Southend United go in search of a vital home victory to keep their hopes of survival alive and kicking.
Having picked up another positive point in the midweek draw at promotion-chasing Morecambe, it is now about turning that away form into victories on home soil.
Blues haven’t won any of their last nine at Roots Hall and newly appointed Manager Phil Brown will be keen not to extend that number to 10, especially with games very quickly running out.
Brown re-joined the club on Friday morning, taking over from Mark Molesley, and he will take charge of the side against the Red Devils assisted by Ricky Duncan and Craig Fagan.
The 1-1 draw at the Mazuma Stadium on Tuesday was Blues’ sixth draw in their last 10 games having also recorded stalemates with Walsall, Scunthorpe, Stevenage, Oldham and Salford.
Only Grimsby (7) have recorded more draws than Southend across the last 10 matches, with Blues’ only victory during that run coming against Harrogate a fortnight ago.
After picking up three 1-0 wins in the space of a week in March, Crawley have since failed to win any of their last six, with their only points in that spell coming in draws against Scunthorpe and Walsall.
Saturday 3rd October 2020
Crawley Town 1-1 Southend United
Nadesan 21’; Ralph 84’
Nathan Ralph’s acrobatic equaliser earned Blues their first point of the season at Crawley as the full-back’s leveller cancelled out Ashley Nadesan’s earlier strike.
The home side took the lead midway through the first-half when Nadesan finished off a smart free-kick routine before Terrell Egbri picked out Ralph with six minutes left to volley in the equaliser.
From The Boss
“With the six games we’ve got it’s a great challenge,” said Phil Brown. “Every game is winnable, starting with Crawley Town tomorrow
“Crawley are a technical team that try to play football, that know they’ve got enough points now and know that they’re going to be in the second division [next season].
“At the same time, it’s always a challenge. It’s 11 vs 11, tactics vs tactics and John Yems will be looking along the touchline thinking he wasn’t going to be facing Phil Brown, and now all of a sudden he’s got a different challenge.
“What does that matter when it comes to 3 o’clock and the players cross the white line? It doesn’t really matter.
“At the same time, I’ve got to prepare my team as best as possible and hopefully the information that they’ve received today they will carry out accordingly in the two hours that follows.”
Blues Team News
Southend will be boosted by the return of Sam Hart who is available again having completed his three-game suspension for his red card against Walsall.
Blues could also be bolstered by the returns of James Olayinka (groin) and John White (elbow) who both returned to training this week, but late calls will be made on them.
Blues are also hopeful that Simeon Akinola (groin) can return to training today as he pushes for a quick return, though Alan McCormack (calf) and Jacob Mellis (knee) will again miss out.
Tom Nichols takes up the mantle of Crawley’s dangerman this weekend with the striker the club’s joint-top scorer with 15 goals this season.
After Max Watters departed for Cardiff in January, Nichols has picked up the baton and continued to provide the Red Devils with plenty of attacking threat.
But it’s his goals combined with his assists that make him one of the biggest dangers to Blues this weekend, with the frontman having also chipped in with 10 assists so far this campaign.
Saturday will see Charles Breakspear referee Crawley’s visit to Blues. He’ll be assisted by Joseph Stokes and Paul Kelly, while Paul Yates stands in as the fourth official.
The Surrey official has taken charge of 28 games so far this season, showing a total of 106 yellow cards and six reds, and it’ll be his second visit to Roots Hall this season.
Breakspear was last in South-East Essex for Southend’s 2-1 defeat to Morecambe in September, with his last match anywhere being Charlton’s 2-2 draw at AFC Wimbledon.
With fans not able to attend Roots Hall in person, Blues supporters can watch tomorrow’s game with Crawley by picking up a Match Pass on 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 you can get your Match Pass and ensure you miss none of the action at Roots Hall on iFollow Blues, click here.