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Match Previews

BIG PREVIEW: NOTTS COUNTY VS SOUTHEND UNITED

10 December 2021

Notts County v Southend United…

Overview:

In their last league outing before Christmas, Southend United head to Meadow Lane for a tough challenge against Notts County on Saturday.

The Nottinghamshire club are perhaps one of the more famous in the division, and they’ll be a tough test for Blues who hope to extend their unbeaten run to three matches for the first time this season.

Kevin Maher’s side drew 1-1 with Maidenhead United last time out, their first share of the spoils since early September.

And now the Blues boss will be eyeing up a full three points against Ian Burchnall’s well-drilled and well-backed outfit, who have only lost once on home soil this season.

It’ll be the first time the two sides have met since 2005, the last meeting culminating in a 0-0 draw at Roots Hall in League Two.   

The Opposition:

Formed in 1862, County are the oldest professional football club in England.

And so it was a hugely significant event when they suffered relegation from the Football League in 2019.

The Magpies have been fighting at the right end of the fifth-tier standings ever since, but are sufferers of the difficult circumstances regarding promotion from the National League, in which only two teams go up.

Burchnall succeeded Neal Ardley in the dug-out last season in a bid to freshen up their approach.

Burchnall, a young innovative coach, had been plying his trade in the Swedish leagues.

The 38-year-old has taken well to the challenges that come in the top-flight of the English non-league scene since his appointment, and currently has his side fighting just four points from the top of the table.

Form:

Whilst Blues still struggle to put daylight between themselves and the relegation zone, they’ve picked up seven points from their last five matches, a vast improvement on early season form.

Maher’s side have also scored seven goals in that time, half of their tally for the season.

Away from home, Blues will be boosted by their victory at Altrincham two weeks ago and will be looking to replicate their performance at Meadow Lane on Saturday.

County have lost, drawn and won in all of their last three matches.

But their resilience has been a profound characteristic for them this season, they’ve only lost two of their last 12 matches in all competitions.

They achieved a 2-1 victory against Dagenham and Redbridge last time out.

From The Boss:

"If I look at when I first walked in the building to where it is now, there’s a massive improvement," said Maher.

"We want more results, we really do, but the players are giving everything they’ve got.

"They [Notts County] are a real good club, a good fanbase and they’re a good side as well, they like to play some good football.

"It’s a good test for us, off the back of picking up four points hopefully we go there with some confidence, and we should do.

"But we have to express ourselves in the right way and play, we had a good away result last time out so we’re looking for something similar.

"They (the fans) have been incredible everywhere we’ve been.

"The numbers they’ve travelled in is a credit to them."

Blues’ Team News:

John White will be available for selection after having an injection for an ongoing back problem.

Abu Ogogo will also be back, after training this week following a leg issue.

Tom Clifford completed 70 minutes for Blues’ under 23s last night as he builds up fitness after suffering ligament damage in pre-season.

Josh Coulson, Simeon Akinola and Jack Bridge remain out.

Ref Watch:

Garreth Rhodes will be the man in the middle at Meadow Lane on Saturday.

He has taken charge of six National League matches this season, issuing 24 yellow cards and three reds in that time.

Rhodes’ most recent involvement in a Blues fixture was in December 2019, as a Southend side led by Sol Campbell lost 3-2 away against Bolton Wanderers, Rhodes was fourth official on the day.

He will be assisted by Michael D’Aguilar and Reece Davies, Ben Robinson will be fourth official.

Elsewhere in the National League:

Altrincham v Bromley

Eastleigh v Aldershot Town

Grimsby Town v Chesterfield

King’s Lynn Town v Dover Athletic

Maidenhead United v Solihull Moors

Torquay United v Stockport County

Wealdstone v FC Halifax

Woking v Boreham Wood

Yeovil Town v Barnet

Wrexham v Weymouth

How to Follow:

Blues fans unable to attend Meadow Lane 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.


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