Wrexham v Southend United…
Southend United face their final away match of the 21/22 season on Saturday, as they make the trip to north Wales in their clash with second-placed Wrexham.
Plenty of eyes have been cast on Phil Parkinson’s side in their first season under the ownership of Hollywood duo Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, but they’ve responded well to the pressure and sit four points below league leaders Stockport County going into Saturday’s clash.
Blues, buoyed by their run of three straight victories, head into the tie with little other than their top half status to contest for, but Kevin Maher’s side will be keen to put on a good display to come into next season’s reckoning.
The game promises to be a tough challenge for the visitors, but if it pans out in a similar fashion to the two teams’ previous meeting, the spectators will be in for an entertaining afternoon.
Blues found themselves 2-0 up against the Dragons at Roots Hall back in September, courtesy of goals by Sam Dalby and Rhys Murphy.
However, two goals in quick succession drew the away side level in a frantic yet enjoyable afternoon earlier in the campaign.
Parkinson is an experienced manager in the Wrexham dugout and has achieved plenty of success at various levels in the EFL, and the Dragons’ faith in the 54-year-old has been repaid with some truly dominant performances in recent months.
Of course, copious investment has landed the club in the fortuitous position of pushing for the league’s top spot, but the spending has been placed in the correct areas to yield instant results, and that’s landed the Welsh club in the promotion chase, and in the final of the FA Trophy.
Saturday’s hosts have dangermen all over the pitch, many accustomed to Football League standard and their quality has been prevalent in Wrexham’s endeavours throughout the campaign.
The Dragons were relegated to the National League in 2008, it seems like only a matter of time until the Welsh club work their way out of the non-league scene with the positive ongoings and consistently eye-catching recruitment.
Maher’s outfit have succeeded in overhauling the negativity that followed their previous run of five straight defeats, by launching themselves on a three-match winning run.
Blues’ 1-0 victory over Boreham Wood in the week ensured back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this year.
But they face a Wrexham side also on a good run, though they did lose their 15-match unbeaten run last weekend against Woking.
Parkinson’s men have won 14 of their last 17 matches, including an FA Trophy semi-final victory against league leaders Stockport County, and they’ve scored 44 goals in their last 15 outings.
The Dragons have accumulated 10 points from their last five games, while Maher’s men have picked up nine.
From The Boss:
"We go there with confidence winning our last three but knowing how tough it is," said Maher.
"They’ll have a great crowd and they’re a top team, we know we’re going to have to suffer a little bit but that’s part and parcel.
"They’re right in the mix for a reason.
"But the players will be ready and looking forward to what will be a good game.
"It’ll be a tough afternoon but it’s one that hopefully we can go and enjoy and make sure we put a performance on."
Blues’ Team News:
Will Atkinson returned to training on Thursday after sitting out of Tuesday’s win with a hamstring issue.
Kenny Clark and Noor Husin remain doubtful for the trip to north Wales.
Tom Clifford has yet to train and will be out for Saturday’s match.
Nathan Ralph, Rhys Murphy, Abu Ogogo and Simeon Akinola will all miss out.
Matthew Dicicco will be the man in the middle at the Racecourse Stadium this weekend.
He has yet to officiate a Blues match this season.
Dicicco has taken charge of 11 National League matches this campaign, brandishing 44 yellow cards and one red.
He will be joined by Steven Lennon and Sean Rothwell, with Andrew Hobbs as fourth official.
Tickets will come off sale from the Blues Box Office at 2pm on Friday. Tickets are not on sale on the day of the game and all tickets must be collected from Roots Hall in advance.
For prices and more information click here.
Elsewhere in the National League:
Aldershot Town v Notts County
Barnet v Grimsby Town
Bromley v Chesterfield
Dover Athletic v Altrincham
FC Halifax Town v Yeovil Town
King’s Lynn Town v Eastleigh
Torquay United v Maidenhead United
Wealdstone v Dagenham and Redbridge
Weymouth v Solihull Moors
Stockport County v Boreham Wood
How to Follow:
Blues fans unable to attend The Racecourse Stadium 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.