Scunthorpe United vs Southend United...
Southend United are back on the road this weekend as they travel to take on Scunthorpe United at the Sands Venue Stadium in search of a vital and historic three points.
Blues have not won away at Scunthorpe since a 6-1 hammering of The Iron in 1983 and they have yet to taste victory at the ground better known as Glanford Park since the club moved in 1988.
There is always a first time for everything though and there’s no time like the present for Mark Molesley’s side who are in desperate need of a huge three points.
Blues go into this weekend without a win in their last five with defeats against Cheltenham Town and Tranmere wedged between draws with Salford, Oldham and Stevenage.
Southend have made themselves a much tougher side to beat but have struggled in front of goal with their last goals coming in their last win against Forest Green a little under a month ago.
Scunthorpe have picked up the same points as Southend from their last six games but are without a win in four following draws against Salford, Leyton Orient and Oldham, and a defeat to Exeter.
Last League Meeting
Saturday 12th December 2020
Southend United 1-0 Scunthorpe United
James Olayinka’s first goal at Roots Hall secured Blues a vital 1-0 win against Scunthorpe in front of 2,000 returning Southend United fans when the two sides last met in December.
In an even game, Olayinka popped up with 10 minutes remaining to convert a Jason Demetriou cross, firing low and hard passed Mark Howard to help Blues to their first home win of the season.
From The Boss
“We all know it’s a big week," said Mark Molesley. "We have to keep a level head, keep a clear head.
“There’s a lot of emotion around and rightly so as well, but we have to keep a clear head and execute what we need to execute.
“You can’t hide from the facts. We know where we are and what we need to do and we have to be fully focussed on doing that. Working hard, training hard to achieve that.
“They’ve [Scunthorpe] shown that they’ve got enough results to keep their nose out of trouble. All we can concentrate on is what we do. Whether it be Scunthorpe or Cheltenham, we need to win that football game. What everyone else does is irrelevant to us and out of our control.
“We’re fully focussed on winning this next football match and that is all that will take our attention.”
Blues Team News
Mark Oxley continues his rehabilitation from a groin injury but with uncertainty around whether he will declare himself fit to start, James Montgomery has continued to train with the squad this week. The emergency loanee has started the past four games, keeping two clean sheets.
James Olayinka isn’t likely to feature, despite getting through 45 minutes of a behind-closed-doors game in midweek. The winger has been out with ankle and groin injuries since January 16 against Grimsby Town.
Terrell Egbri is pushing for a recall after taking part in an U23s game last week and the behind-closed-doors game on Monday. The winger has been out since December with a hamstring problem.
Harry Lennon, Nile Ranger, Nathan Ralph and Lewis Gard are all long term absentees.
The Iron’s leading marksman, Ryan Loft, is likely to be Scunthorpe’s biggest dangerman tomorrow afternoon with his goals and assists proving invaluable to Neil Cox’s side.
Loft has struck nine times this season, with five of those coming in his last nine games. He’s also chipped in with six assists which is twice as many as any other Iron player so far this season.
And even out of possession, his work-rate and endeavour have seen him earn praise from his and opposition managers alike, so he’ll be one to look out for tomorrow.
Robert Lewis will be the man in the middle of tomorrow’s clash with Scunthorpe, being assisted by Barry Gordon and Alistair Nelson, with Darren Drysdale the fourth official.
Saturday will be Lewis’ 25th game of the campaign. In his previous 24, Lewis has shown 66 yellows and three reds, with his last game being the 0-0 draw between Grimsby and Tranmere.
The last time Lewis took charge of Blues was back in October 2018 when he oversaw a 3-0 defeat away at Sunderland, with his last visit to Scunthorpe coming in September 2019 against Bradford.
With fans unable to attend matches in person, Blues fans can watch tomorrow’s clash with Scunthorpe United by picking up a Match Pass for iFollow Blues for £10.
Overseas supporters can pick up a pass for just £7 with the pass allowing you to catch the game on your laptop, computer, tablet or mobile device.
For more information on how you can get your Match Pass for iFollow Blues and ensure you miss none of the action at the Sands Venue Stadium, click here.
Please note, due to current BBC guidelines relating to travel during the national lockdown, the BBC Essex commentary team will not be able to provide match commentary for the game. Instead, you will have a choice of listening to ambient stadium noise or you can switch to Scunthorpe’s commentary via the settings cog.