Southend United vs Mansfield Town...
Blues are back at Roots Hall once again as they entertain Mansfield Town tomorrow afternoon in the second of three successive home games for Mark Molesley’s side.
After defeat in midweek, Southend will be hoping to bounce back against a resurgent Stags side who have started to show some form under boss Nigel Clough.
And with Blues knowing that a win on Saturday could see them climb out of the League Two relegation zone, it’s an opportunity that Southend can ill afford to miss.
Blues were unfortunate to see their four-game unbeaten run at home come to an end in midweek as Cambridge came from behind to beat Southend 2-1 and go top of the table.
Despite that defeat to the U’s, Mark Molesley’s side have been in good form as of late and have picked up two wins and two draws from their last six outings.
Mansfield come into the weekend unbeaten in five matches and have won all of their last four thanks to victories against Scunthorpe, Port Vale, Salford and Oldham.
Saturday 19th December 2020
Mansfield Town 1-1 Southend United
Bowery 79’; Olayinka 27’
The league’s draw specialists were at it again as Mansfield scored late on to grab a point against Southend in the two side’s last meeting just before Christmas.
James Olayinka scored a superb opener midway through the first-half, but after a prolonged spell of Mansfield pressure in the second-half, Jordan Bowery equalised to ensure the points were shared.
From The Boss
“They’ve [Mansfield] got a vastly experienced squad, some very good players, and the new management have really turned the club's fortunes around.
“It just shows you that if you can get a good run going you can get yourself clear, so we need to try and replicate what they’ve done.
“It’s going to be another tough game against an in-form team with plenty of threats to worry about, but we’ve shown that we’re up for the battle and challenge.
“We’ve got to show a quick reaction from the Cambridge game, we did just that after losing to Leyton Orient.
“There were plenty of positives from Tuesday’s game and of course things we need to improve on, but there were good things for us to build on and we can take a lot of confidence from that going into Saturday.”
Blues Team News
James Olayinka, whose loan from Arsenal is due to expire at the end of this month, looks to have played his final game for Blues after the midfielder picked up an ankle ligament injury at Grimsby.
Fellow midfielder Terrell Egbri has missed Blues’ last three games with a hamstring problem which is expected to keep him out of the side for a few more weeks yet.
Brandon Goodship, however, is back in training following a rib injury, but he isn’t expected to feature against Mansfield as he builds his fitness after some time out of the squad.
Striker Jordan Bowery looks set to be one of Mansfield’s biggest threats at the weekend with the 29-year-old finding himself in a rich vein of scoring form since his last clash with Blues.
After scoring the goal which cost Southend all three points in Nottinghamshire before Christmas, the former Aston Villa man went on to score in his next three matches.
That scoring run included a hat-trick in a 4-0 thumping of Port Vale, with the Stags frontman being the driving force behind the club’s recent good run of form.
Tomorrow’s meeting with Mansfield will be officiated by Benjamin Speedie, with Andy Bennett and Joseph Stokes the assistants and Louis Marks the fourth official.
Speedie has so far taken charge of 18 games across Leagues One and Two, and in cup competitions, showing a total of 50 yellow cards and three reds.
This will be Speedie’s first visit to Roots Hall and first Blues game having officiated in the National League last season, though he has taken charge of Mansfield once already this campaign.
With fans not able to attend Roots Hall in person, Blues supporters can watch tomorrow’s clash with Mansfield by picking up a Match Pass on iFollow Blues for £10.
A Match Pass will allow you to watch the game on your laptop, computer, tablet or mobile device with Season Ticket holders already having access to their pass via their iFollow account.
For more information on how you can get your Match Pass and ensure you miss none of the action at Roots Hall on iFollow Blues, click here.