Southend United vs Stockport County...
Southend United welcome Stockport County and, most importantly, the fans back to Roots Hall tomorrow afternoon in a game that will be broadcast live on BT Sport (5.20 pm Kick-Off).
For the first time this year, Blues fans will be in attendance for a home league game and they’ll be treated to an intriguing contest against one of the early favourites for promotion in Stockport.
Having got off to the best possible start last weekend against King’s Lynn, Phil Brown and his side will be looking to build some early-season momentum and make it a happy homecoming for the fans.
As mentioned, Stockport came into this campaign as one of the favourites for promotion with marquee signings like Scott Quigley, who’d been so instrumental at Barrow, a sign of their intent.
Another familiar name in their squad, one that no doubt haunts Southend fans, is Paddy Madden who joined the club towards the end of last season and scored seven goals in 15 appearances.
The Hatters fell out of the Football League in 2011 and dropped as far down as the sixth tier at one point, but they’ve continued to show improvement year on year, finishing last season in third.
Stockport though suffered the heartbreak of losing out at the semi-final stage of the play-offs to eventual winners Hartlepool, so they’ll be aiming to go one better this campaign.
Blues come into the weekend off the back of an opening day victory on the road at King’s Lynn as Southend won 1-0 against the Linnets at The Walks Stadium.
Sam Dalby’s eighth-minute strike, prodding in from close range, was enough for Phil Brown’s side to get off to the perfect start.
Stockport though suffered defeat in their opening game of the campaign, losing 3-1 at home to Dagenham & Redbridge.
Despite John Rooney putting Stockport in front after just 10 minutes, goals from Will Wright, Josh Walker and Matt Robinson ensured it was a losing start for the Hatters.
From The Boss:
"Your home form is going to be what gets you towards the business end of the division and the top end.
"It’s going to be a tough game on Saturday but so is every game.
"I noticed the lad [Scott] Quigley was missing for them last weekend which could be a big plus for us. If he’s playing on Saturday then he can cause you problems, as he did do for Barrow towards the end of last season.
"There’s certain things that could go in your favour when you play Stockport but one thing that has to go in our favour is our attitude, application and mentality.
"If we get them three things right then we’ll be ok."
Blues Team News:
Will Atkinson became Blues’ tenth summer signing as he returned to the club for a second spell, and he’s fit and available for selection on Saturday against Stockport.
The midfielder could make his second debut for Southend potentially alongside fellow midfielder James Dunne who faces a late fitness check having missed out against King’s Lynn.
Tom Clifford is the only certain absentee from the squad as he continues to recover from an ankle injury picked up in pre-season against Ebbsfleet United.
Saturday’s late-afternoon kick-off will see Lewis Smith taking charge of proceedings in what will be his first visit to Roots Hall.
Smith is embarking on his third season as a National League referee, and he started this season by overseeing Woking’s 2-1 win at Wealdstone last weekend.
Last term, Smith officiated 16 games – including the play-off quarter-final between Hartlepool and Bromley – issuing a total of 55 yellow cards (3.4 per game) and just three reds.
Elsewhere in the National League:
Boreham Wood vs Aldershot Town
Chesterfield vs Wealdstone
Dagenham & Redbridge vs Bromley
Eastleigh vs Wrexham
Grimsby Town vs Weymouth
Maidenhead United vs Dover Athletic
Notts County vs Torquay United
Solihull Moors vs Barnet
Woking vs FC Halifax Town
Yeovil Town vs King’s Lynn Town
How to Follow:
Blues fans that aren’t able to attend tomorrow or catch the action on BT Sport 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, interviews, features and more.
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.