Southend United vs Leyton Orient...
Blues welcome Leyton Orient to Roots Hall tomorrow afternoon for their penultimate home game of the season knowing that anything less than a win will spell the end of their survival hopes.
Defeat in midweek to neighbours Colchester left Phil Brown’s side eight points adrift of safety with just nine points left to play for, leaving Southend with no more room to manoeuvre.
It’s a scenario Orient are familiar with having been relegated from the Football League in 2017, but sympathy will be in short supply from the O’s who still harbour hopes of sneaking into the play-offs.
Tuesday night’s reversal by Colchester ended Southend’s three-game unbeaten run which has seen them pick up draws against Exeter, Crawley and Morecambe.
In their last six, Blues have won one, drawn three and lost twice with their only win coming four weeks ago away at Harrogate Town.
Orient too lost in midweek, suffering a 4-2 defeat to high-flying Cambridge. The O’s have lost two, drawn two and won two of their six, with their last win coming last weekend against Barrow.
Tuesday 29th December 2020
Leyton Orient 2-0 Southend United
McAnuff 53’, Wilkinson 78’
Orient ended Blues’ five-game unbeaten run thanks to a comfortable 2-0 victory in East London with second-half goals from Jobi McAnuff and Conor Wilkinson securing the victory.
The O’s now interim manager put the home side in front with a well-taken free-kick shortly after the interval before turning provider for Wilkinson who lifted the ball over Mark Oxley to seal the win.
From The Boss
"We’ve got three games that we’ve got to win, and we’ve got to keep our fingers crossed and pray to the football gods that we can catch somebody, and the only one we can catch is Barrow.
"I’ve go to be going into three battles, three fights, three scraps for survival and if we can win all three of them you can say job done to a certain extent but whether that keeps us in the division is another question.
"We need that spirit that we showed on the training ground but we don’t need it on a Thursday or Friday, we need it on a Saturday against Orient."
Blues Team News
Jason Demetriou’s red card against Colchester on Tuesday night means he will miss the final three games of the season through suspension.
Alan McCormack is another who won’t be seen again this season with the experienced midfielder’s persistent calf problems once again ruling him out.
Timothee Dieng (hamstring) is pushing for a recall though, so long as he is able to feature in training on Friday, having missed the last two matches.
Tom Clifford (thigh) is expected to miss out again after limping off in the warm-up at Exeter.
While Danny Johnson has been taking a lot of the plaudits this season, we’re going to focus on another Dan as Orient’s dangerman tomorrow, and that’s midfielder Dan Kemp.
The 22-year-old has been in fine form as of late, with his performances in March in particular where he pitched in with one goal and three assists earning him Orient’s player of the month award.
And the former West Ham youngster has carried that momentum into April with two goals in his last two games, so he’ll be one Blues will need to keep an eye on for sure on Saturday.
Trevor Kettle will be taking charge of proceedings tomorrow afternoon, being assisted by Justin Amey and Robert Dabbs, while Leigh Crowhurst sits in as the fourth official.
Kettle has officiated 31 games and shown 86 yellows and five reds this season, although his notebook wasn’t required in his last outing at Stevenage for their game with Cheltenham.
The Rutland referee will be making his second visit of the year to Roots Hall having previously officiated Blues’ 3-1 defeat to Bradford back in January.
With fans not able to attend Roots Hall in person, Blues supporters can watch tomorrow’s game with Leyton Orient 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.