Southend United v Wealdstone…
Two sides struggling for form meet on Good Friday as Southend United go toe-to-toe with Wealdstone at Roots Hall.
Kevin Maher’s Blues were dealt their heaviest defeat of the season last time out, a 5-0 setback which stretched their run of consecutive losses to four matches.
And they face a Stones side also stumbling, Stuart Maynard’s 18th placed outfit seemingly safe from relegation but winless in five outings.
The current campaign is the first that the two side’s have spent in the same division, and their 0-0 stalemate at Grosnevor Vale earlier in the season was the first time Blues and the Stones had met in their history.
Looking likely to retain their National League status for another season, Wealdstone have comfortably floated above the drop zone throughout the campaign as they look to establish themselves as a regular feature in the fifth tier.
Stones boss Maynard has navigated his side through a difficult season, with plenty of clubs across the division spending big, while working with smaller resources comparatively.
The 41-year-old has assembled a squad blending EFL experience with non-league nous, a competitive outfit in the division with plenty of their matches tightly contested.
The Stones’ visit to Roots Hall will likely see former Blues midfielder Nathan Ferguson take to the field, the 26-year-old departed Maher’s side in February to join Wealdstone’s ranks, and he has featured in every game since.
The form guide doesn’t view favourably for either side entering the tie, Southend on a run of four straight defeats, while the Stones haven’t won in their last five outings.
Blues have struggled to match the intensity of their previous displays in recent weeks, and have conceded 10 goals in their last three games without reply.
Maher’s side have suffered five losses in their last six matches.
Meanwhile, the Stones have lost three times and drawn twice in their last five games.
Maynard’s side have won two of their last 11 matches, and match Southend’s accumulation of nine points from their last 30 on offer.
From The Boss:
"When you’ve been on a run and you lose games confidence can be affected but we have to build the players up again so they’re ready to go,” said Maher.
"Hopefully come Friday they will be ready.
"We’ll make sure they are well prepared for the game and we want to put a performance in.
"We’re back at home and it’s a chance to get back on track.
"It will be a tough one.
"We’ve watched them and they play good football so they will ask questions of us.
"But we’ll work on ourselves and work on what we’ve got to do to be better."
Blues’ Team News:
Steve Arnold, Shaun Hobson, and Leon Davies all returned to training having missed last weekend’s 5-0 defeat to the Hatters with illness.
Ollie Kensdale is also back in contention after making an appearance off the bench at Edgeley Park.
Nathan Ralph remains out for Blues as he continues to recover from a thigh issue.
Alongside him, Rhys Murphy, Abu Ogogo and Simeon Akinola remain side-lined.
Jacob Miles will officiate proceedings as Blues clash with the Stones.
Miles was in action at Roots Hall as recently as February, when Maher’s side fought to a 1-1 draw with Solihull Moors.
He also refereed Blues’ clash away against Grimsby Town in November.
Miles has officiated 15 National League ties this season, brandishing 39 yellow cards and two reds.
He will be joined by Alexander Bradley and Marc Meeten, with Joseph Gray 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 £20 for adults, £15 for concessions and £10 for juniors (9-16) and £5 for a child (8 and under) if bought in advance of matchday. Princes increase by £2 on the day of the game.
Elsewhere in the National League:
Altrincham v FC Halifax Town
Boreham Wood v Dover Athletic
Dagenham and Redbridge v Barnet
Eastleigh v Bromley
Grimsby Town v Stockport County
Maidenhead United v Weymouth
Notts County v King’s Lynn Town
Woking v Torquay United
Wrexham v Solihull Moors
Yeovil Town v Aldershot Town
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 from programme sellers outside the stadium at the programme hut, main gate off Victoria Avenue and the West Stand entrance.
Midfielder Harrison Neal features in this edition, along with all the usual content on the opposition, Academy, Community and a special feature on former Blues player Sammy McCrory.
Don’t miss out on picking up a copy of our junior pull-out, which available at no extra charge.
It features lots of fun quizzes and is ideal for all young supporters
includes the chance to win a mascot package and some fun content that our younger fans will love! Ask your nearest programme seller for one when purchasing a programme.