Southend United host Dorking Wanderers on Saturday in their first competitive match-up.
Kevin Maher will be hoping his side can return to winning ways before Christmas but knows his side will have to be at their best against a Dorking side in good form.
The Wanderers currently find themselves seventh in the Vanarama National South, after Tuesday’s 4-2 win over top of the league Oxford City.
We've picked out some storylines ahead of the game...
Southend United could be faced with a dilemma when it comes to selecting the man between the sticks. After Steve Arnold’s concussion against Notts County, and with concussion rules stating a return from a head injury is six days minimum, if symptom-free, it looks like Blues’ number one will be out of action. With Harry Seaden, who has made two appearances so far this season, also battling to come back from his own injury issue, it could pave the way for 18-year-old Collin Andeng-Ndi to make his debut, but Blues' head coach said on Thursday Seaden is close to a return so there is still a decision to make where the goalkeeper is concerned.
Road to Wembley
Southend United will be featuring in the FA Trophy for the first time ever when Dorking Wanderers travel to Roots Hall on Saturday. The Trophy was founded in 1969 for non-league teams who paid their players as an alternative to the infamous FA Amateur Cup. Blues are entering in Round Three, which is the last 64 stage of the competition, hoping for another Wembley Stadium appearance if they were to go all the way. To do that though Blues would have to win five games, starting with Saturday.
The Winner Takes it All
Should Saturday’s game end in a draw between Southend United and Dorking Wanderers, there wouldn’t be a replay or any extra time. The game will go straight to penalties, which may or may not be a good thing. The last time Southend were in a penalty shoot-out was in November 2020, when Boreham Wood won 4-3 to progress in the FA Cup.
Bunch of Amateurs
Now Blues fans could be forgiven for not knowing much about Saturday’s opponents, however the younger fans may know Dorking from their successful YouTube channel ‘Bunch of Amateurs'. With 30,000 subscribers, their channel takes behind the scenes look at the club’s matchdays and goings on.
Dorking Wanderers have a different set-up to the rest of the Vanarama leagues, and that is because their manager is also their owner! 48-year-old Marc White founded the club in 1999, after the team he supported Wimbledon FC went through turmoil at the time. With 11 promotions in 20 years, Dorking see themselves in the Vanarama National South, 11 positions behind Blues in the football pyramid.