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Match Previews

BIG PREVIEW: SOUTHEND UNITED VS BARNET

1 February 2022

Southend United v Barnet…

Overview:

Once regulars in the Football League, Southend United go toe-to-toe with Barnet under the Roots Hall lights this evening in their first ever National League meeting.

Blues will certainly have a spring in their step, their 1-0 victory away at Dover Athletic on Saturday made it six league matches unbeaten for Kevin Maher’s side.

And they will be keen to put further distance between themselves and Barnet, who they leapfrogged with the three points they acquired on Saturday.

Blues could see themselves up the 13th in the fifth-tier standings if victorious against the Bees, who themselves suffered a 5-0 defeat against Stockport County at the weekend.

Clashes between the two sides over the years often ended with Southend joy, but Blues will be keen to avoid a repeat of their last meeting, in which a side led by Paul Sturrock fell to a 2-0 defeat; player-manager of the Bees and iconic Juventus star Edgar Davids scored Barnet’s second to seal a comfortable victory on the day.

The Opposition:

Founded in 1888, Barnet have a rich history in the EFL, which was ended in 2018 with a crushing relegation on goal difference.

The Bees have suffered a real stop-start season.

Their campaign begun with dismal defeats and dreadful form seeing them slump near the bottom of the standings, then-manager Harry Kewell was dismissed, and Head of Football Dean Brennan was installed as temporary manager.

And he has remained in the dug-out since, but their initial excellent form under his leadership has petered out in recent weeks.

Southend’s Assistant Head Coach Darren Currie had a spell as manager at The Hive, he succeeded Blues’ Head of Football John Still on the side-lines, but both worked together as assistant and manager respectively.  

Form:

Maher’s side are riding the crest of a fantastic run which has seen them pick up 14 points from their last available 18.

Furthermore, Blues have lost just once in their last eight matches in all competitions.

They haven’t been defeated at home since mid-November, after earning three wins and one draw from their outings at Roots Hall since.

Barnet, on the other hand, haven’t tasted victory in any of their last six matches in all competitions.

They are yet to win in 2022, but just before the turn of the year did enjoy a run of five wins from six matches.

But the Bees have endured a tough run of matches, conceding nine goals in their last two outings against Chesterfield and Barnet. 

From The Boss:

"I’m not going to get carried away," said Maher.

"In football if you get ahead of yourself you can come unstuck.

"We will be looking no further than the next game and that’s what we’ve done throughout January.

"At the end of the season we will see where we end up, but if you take your eye off the ball then you’ll be in trouble in this league.

"I know the manager [Dean Brennan] quite well and I’m sure he will have them up for it.

"They have some dangerous attacking players but we’re at home and we’ll look to get on the front foot.

"We’ll try to take the game to them, but it will be tough, like all games in this league."

Blues’ Team News:

Harry Cardwell is a doubt for Blues after suffering a whack to the eye against Dover Athletic on Saturday.

Harrison Neal will sit out the final game of his two-match suspension after picking up his 10th yellow card of the season.

Jack Bridge has stepped up his recovery from injury and Covid-19, Maher saying the winger has ‘come into the thinking,’ but insists that he will be eased back into action.

Rhys Murphy, Simeon Akinola and Abu Ogogo remain out.

Ref Watch:

Sunny Gill will be the man in the middle under the lights at Roots Hall this evening.

He has refereed 11 matches in the National League this season, issuing 45 yellow cards and one red in the process.

Gill has yet to take charge of the Blues game this season.

He will have Thomas Holden and Alan Cresswell in assistance, with George Laflin as fourth official.

Tickets:

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).

Elsewhere in the National League:

Yeovil Town v Weymouth

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.

Matchday programme:

The matchday programme ‘Roots Review’ will be available to buy outside the stadium from the programme hut and the West Stand ticket office.

The programme hut is based at the bottom of the main car park off Victoria Avenue, which along with a dedicated programme only window at the west stand ticket office, will be the two main points for supporters to buy a programme.

Reduced quantities will be available from some bars and kiosks also.

A digital matchday programme can be bought via MatchDay Digital.

Apple users can download the app here, while Android users can download a copy via the Google Play store here.


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