Southend United welcome Maidenhead to Roots Hall on Tuesday night, hoping to get their second win in as many games after beating Altrincham 2-1 last time out.
We’ve picked out five talking points ahead of the game.
Fresh legs or loss of momentum?
After Yeovil Town’s progression in The FA Cup, Blues were given an extended, and perhaps unwanted, break on Saturday. After gaining the first away win since the opening day of the season against Altrincham, head coach Kevin Maher might have wanted the games to come thick and fast, but alas it wasn’t to be. With tonight’s game being rescheduled from two weeks ago after a case of Covid-19 in the Magpies' squad, Blues will know a win can open up a gap between themselves and the relegation zone.
When Alan Devonshire brings his Magpies to Essex, the squad will be filled with a few familiar faces. Former academy prospect Emile Acquah joined the club in the summer after he left Blues. The striker recently netted a brace, in a 7-4 defeat to Halifax. Prolific winger Sam Barratt will also be in the side after he left Blues in 2020. The winger will be looking to prove a point after a horrific injury hampered his time at the club. The last familiar face in Devonshire’s squad is Kane Ferdinand. A bright prospect in 2012, Ferdinand left the Blues for Peterborough before dropping into non-league in 2016 with East Thurrock United. He’ll be hoping to get on the score sheet, as he gets his career back on track.
41 goals conceded
Goals have been hard to come by for Maher’s side this season, with Blues scoring just 13 times in the Vanarama National League, the least of any side. The best chance to change that record might come on Tuesday night, with Maidenhead conceding 41 goals in 18 games this season in all competitions - including 18 goals in the last four games. The Magpies have kept just two clean sheets this season.
Most would probably say December is too soon to refer to games as ‘six-pointers’, but with Tuesday night’s game being the last at Roots Hall in the league before Christmas, Maher and his side will know the importance of a win against Maidenhead. The Magpies and Blues are level on points and separated by just three goals, which means a win for Maidenhead will see Blues drop into the relegation zone. If Blues were to win, however, Maher would see his side rise to 18th, with an extra game in hand on those around them.
Tuesday’s game will be the first time Southend United and Maidenhead have met. Both Maher and Devonshire will be hoping to lead their respective teams to the first win, and push either side up the Vanarama National League.