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Match Previews

BIG PREVIEW: SOUTHEND UNITED VS BROMLEY

8 February 2022

Southend United v Bromley…

Overview:

Two of the National League’s form sides go head-to-head in front of a packed Roots Hall this evening, Southend United hosting Bromley as Blues look to extend their unbeaten run to eight matches.

Kevin Maher’s side enjoyed a near-flawless January picking up four wins and a draw, and started February in perfect fashion, earning a further victory to propel themselves 15 points clear of relegation danger.

And now, under the lights on Southend’s ‘Football for a fiver’ evening, Blues will be eager to continue their positive momentum, with the opportunity to take themselves within just a point of the top half of the fifth-tier standings, if victorious against the high-flying Ravens.

It wasn’t long ago that the two sides last met, Maher’s side’s positive run began at Hayes Lane on Boxing Day as Blues displayed a brilliant performance against Bromley.

Left to rue missed chances somewhat, Blues were made to take a share of the spoils on the day with a 1-1 draw that, on another day, could easily have seen the visitors come away with all three points. 

The Opposition:

Since holding Blues to a 1-1 draw over the festive period, Bromley have gone on to form a similarly impressive run of results.

Barring a slight hiccup in the shape of a 1-0 defeat against Maidenhead United, the Ravens have won all their other matches, including against fellow promotion hopefuls Notts County.

Going into their Roots Hall visit, Andy Woodman’s side sit fourth, just four points from the summit of the table and could leapfrog FC Halifax Town in third if victorious in Essex tonight.

Possessing the oldest squad in the division, Bromley boss Woodman has proven that experience can gain results; shrewd acquisitions, and a blend of vast experience with some youth and athleticism has put the Ravens in good stead for a promotion push in the second half of the season.

And they will be looking to put right their previous performance against Maher’s side, which the Ravens boss described as ‘probably the worst’ they had played.

Form:

Both sides reside high in the form charts going into this evening’s match.

Southend have picked up 16 points from their last available 18, dropping points only to Aldershot Town.

Blues go into this evening off the back of two consecutive victories.

And Head Coach Maher will be keen to see in-form forward Matt Dennis continue his scoring run, his double last time out against Barnet took his tally to six goals in his last eight matches.

In opposition, the Ravens have won all their last five matches in all competitions.

Similarly to Blues, many of their triumphs have been by one-goal margins, neither side scoring more than two goals in their recent runs of form.

Woodman’s side have accumulated 13 points from their last 18 available.

From The Boss:

"A little break might have come at the right time because the players have put a lot of effort into the run we’ve had but we’ll be ready for what is another very tough game,” said Maher.

"The run of form they’re on is very good and they’re up towards the top of the table.

"They’ll be coming into the game with a lot of confidence but so are we so hopefully we can look forward to a good game in front of a big crowd.

"Knowing Woody and how they set up they go and try and win games.

"We’re the same and it has the makings of a good game.

"We will have to be on it from the very first whistle, they will ask questions of us and hopefully we can impose ourselves on the game as well.

"To see the number of tickets being sold is a real credit to the fans. They’re behind us and they’ve been brilliant lately.

"It makes a massive difference on the pitch and you can see that with the late goals we’ve got, when the crowd stays with you like that it can make a big difference.

"There are a lot of good signs but we’re still a work in progress."

Blues’ Team News:

Harry Cardwell will be back available for selection after being forced to miss Blues’ last outing with a head injury.

Also back in contention is Harrison Neal, he was forced to miss the last two matches due to suspension.

Jack Bridge is nearing a return and may be included in the squad this evening, a knee problem has kept him on the side lines since November.

Elsewhere, Rhys Murphy, Abu Ogogo and Simeon Akinola remain out.

Ref Watch:

Paul Johnson will be the man in the middle for the big clash at Roots Hall tonight.

He earned a mid-season promotion to referee step one matches in early January, and took charge of his first National League fixture as Maidenhead United hosted FC Halifax Town just over two weeks ago.

Johnson brandished one yellow card on the day, and is in line to officiate his second National League fixture this evening.

By his side will be Marc Meeten and Mark Pond as assistants, with Nathan Oakes 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 £5 for adults and £1 for under-16’s (with full paying adult).

Elsewhere in the National League:

Grimsby Town v King’s Lynn Town

Notts County v Barnet

Stockport County v Chesterfield

Wealdstone v Yeovil 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.

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 seller on the west stand side of the ground, 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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