Southend United v Dorking Wanderers…
Southend United take to the Roots Hall pitch on Saturday in their first ever involvement in the Buildbase FA Trophy, Dorking Wanderers the visitors in the Third Round of the competition.
The matchday is dedicated as our JE3 Day to raise awareness of The Justin Edinburgh 3 Foundation on what would have been his 52nd birthday.
As well as it being Blues’ first match in the trophy, it’ll be the first time that the two sides have played eachother.
Dorking, currently fighting well in the National League South, have already overcome Worthing to reach this stage, a comfortable 2-0 victory to add to the positive momentum they have built in the opening months of the 21/22 season.
The term ‘banana skin’ is often used when talking about the FA Trophy, and upsets are rife as sides of so many different levels compete.
So, Kevin Maher will be keen for his side to get the job done on Saturday, against a strong side in the division below.
Wanderers’ exploits are well documented on YouTube series ‘Dorking Uncovered,’ and their story, as a club, is quite remarkable.
Marc White both chairs the club and manages the first team, he is also co-founder of the club, which was born in 1999; White oversaw 11 promotions in 19 years with the club.
And yet Wanderers are still hungry to progress further.
White’s side reached the National League South play-offs in the 2019/20 campaign, but narrowly lost out to Mark Molesley’s Weymouth in a 3-2 defeat.
But that didn’t deter them from starting the next season in strong fashion, Dorking found themselves five points clear at the top of the sixth-tier standings before the season was abandoned.
Again, off the back of that disappointment, White’s team have picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and worked their way into a strong league position.
Wanderers currently sit seventh in the National League South standings, just four points from top side Oxford City, who they beat on Tuesday evening.
The visitors will come to Roots Hall brimming with confidence after their 4-2 victory against the table toppers in the week, forward Alfie Rutherford in particular, who netted a hat-trick in the impressive triumph.
And Wanderers’ high league position is largely down to their form in recent weeks.
After a sluggish start to the current campaign, White’s side have won 10 of their last 16 matches in all competitions.
Their recent performances have seen plenty of goals coming their way, Rutherford and James McShane responsible for much of the good work going forward, and they have scored 16 goals between them in the league this season.
In opposition, Blues have won just one of their last six matches in all competitions, a 2-1 victory away at Altrincham.
But Maher’s side have only lost one home match in their last four in league and cup, they’ll be eager to extend that run as Dorking visit.
From The Boss:
"It’s a tough game and we know that,” said Maher.
"They beat top of the league on Tuesday.
"We want to take it seriously, it’s a cup competition that, like the LDV when I was here before, the further you get in the tournament, the more interested people get.
"But you have to come through these rounds, starting Saturday against a decent side and a team that like to play good football.
"We’re at home, we just want to rack up as many wins as possible and we haven’t had enough recently and over a period of time.
"It’s a good game for us, I’m sure it’s one they’ll be looking at and thinking they can come and make an upset.
"But we’ll be ready for that and I think it’ll be a decent game of football.
"We always treat our opponents with respect and we’ll be ready for them."
Blues’ Team News:
Harry Seaden or Collin Andeng Ndi will start in goal for Maher’s side, as Steve Arnold is out after suffering concussion at Notts County last weekend.
Abu Ogogo is set for a month out as he recovers from a heart issue.
Kacper Lopata is still out as Blues wait to learn the full extent of his knee problem.
But Harry Phillips is back for Blues after missing out last weekend.
Robert Massey-Ellis will be calling the shots as the Blues clash with Dorking.
In the nine National League fixtures he has officiated this season, he has issued 41 yellow cards, but has yet to show red.
Massey-Ellis has yet to referee Blues, but he was due to officiate the league fixture against Maidenhead United which was later postponed.
Jonathon Block and James Hurst will be assistants with Alexander Kyriacou as fourth official.
Tickets are on sale for the game from the Blues Box Office online, on the phone (0344 477 0077) or in person.
Tickets cost £10 for adults, £5 for concessions and £1 for under 16’s.
There will be no price increase on the day of the game.
Key fixtures elsewhere in the FA Trophy:
AFC Fylde v Solihull Moors
Aldershot Town v Kingstonian
Bradford Park Avenue v FC Halifax
Chesterfield v Guiseley
Maidenhead United v Maidstone United
Stockport County v Grimsby Town
Tonbridge Angels v Torquay United
Wrexham v Gloucester City
Yeovil Town v Woking
Notts County v Altrincham
Truro City v Dagenham and Redbridge
How to Follow:
Blues fans unable to attend Roots Hall 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.
The matchday programme ‘Roots Review’ will be available to buy outside the stadium from the programme hut for £1.50.
The programme hut is based at the bottom of the main car park off Victoria Avenue, which along with a dedicated programme only window at the west stand ticket office, will be the two main points for supporters to buy a programme.
Reduced quantities will be available from some bars and kiosks also.
A digital matchday programme costing 99p can be bought via MatchDay Digital and will be available in due course and updated once live on the website.