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Match Previews

BIG PREVIEW: SOUTHEND VS SOLIHULL MOORS

25 February 2022

Southend United v Solihull Moors…

Overview:

Southend United’s progress will be truly put to the test on Saturday, as a buoyant Solihull Moors side make the trip to Roots Hall, two of the National League’s in-form sides going toe-to-toe.

While the top seven remains a hopeful yet unlikely goal for Blues, it is a realistic expectation for the Moors, who sit in a lofty fourth place, 13 points above Kevin Maher’s side.

But the new-look Southend side will have every confidence that they can take the game to the visitors, Blues bidding to extend their unbeaten run to 11 matches having not lost in the league since early December.

The tough-looking tie offers the Essex side a chance for revenge, after the Moors eased to victory in their previous meeting back in October.

Just three of the starting 11 on the day featured for Blues in their most recent outing, away at Eastleigh, and as such will be a far different proposition to the side who lost 2-0 in the West Midlands.

The Opposition:

Consistency is a key component for sides eyeing up promotion and it’s something that Neal Ardley’s Moors have displayed this season.

Whether at home or away, the high-flyers have continued to pick up results, hitting the back of the net on plenty of occasions in the process.

Ardley has created a harmonious, well-oiled squad, synonymous with attractive, attacking football and one that will prove to be a big test for Blues to overcome this weekend.

At the helm, the Moors have a manager with a wealth of experience at this level, and those above.

Ardley led Notts County to a third placed finish in the fifth tier two years ago, and looks set to achieve a similar accomplishment with his new club, as recent form has shown that his Moors side are one of the strongest sides in the division at present.

Form:

Both sides are flying high in the form guide going into this weekend’s clash.

Despite facing tough opposition, Blues will go into the game high in confidence after extending their unbeaten run to 10 matches in the week, after coming from a goal behind to draw 1-1 away at Eastleigh.

Noor Husin’s 60th minute strike meant that Blues have scored in every game they’ve played since mid-November, while picking up 24 points from their last 30 on offer.

Meanwhile, the Moors have enjoyed a similarly impressive run.

Ardley’s outfit have won seven of their last eight matches in all competitions, including two 5-0 triumphs over Dover Athletic and Altrincham.

Peculiarly, their last four league matches has seen a total of five red cards distributed, a statistic indicative of the entertaining nature of the Moors’ games.  

From The Boss:

"They’re in good form and they’re a good side who have scored a lot of goals,” said Maher.

"Winning when down to 10 men in the week shows where they’re at in terms of desire to win matches so it will be a good game.

"We’re in good form and we’re back in front of our crowd again.

"We will be prepared for it, but Neal [Ardley] has done an excellent job there, he’s an excellent manager and he’s proven that throughout the years.

"You don’t stay in the game for as long as he has without being good at your job so this is a tough one for us, but we’ll be ready."

Blues’ Team News:

Blues do not yet know the full extent of Tom Clifford’s ankle injury.

After being forced off at half-time on Tuesday evening, Maher admitted that they will ‘assess where he is’ on Friday.

Blues’ Head Coach conceded that Rhys Murphy’s injury is worse than first thought, but are without a timescale for his return.

Simeon Akinola and Abu Ogogo remain out.

Ref Watch:

Jacob Miles will be calling the shots as the two in-form sides clash at Roots Hall.

Miles has refereed 12 National League fixtures so far this campaign, showing 29 yellow cards in the process, alongside two reds.

His last involvement in a Southend match came in mid-November, as Blues were beaten 1-0 by Grimsby Town at Blundell Park; he issued three yellow cards on the night.

Miles will be assisted by Thomas Cooke and Luke Scott, with Stephen Parkinson 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 £18 for adults, £13 for concessions, £8 for juniors (9-16) and £3 for a child (8 and under) - tickets inrease by £2 on the matchday.

Elsewhere in the National League:

Altrincham v Dagenham and Redbridge

Boreham Wood v Eastleigh

Dover Athletic v Grimsby Town

FC Halifax Town v Barnet

King’s Lynn Town v Maidenhead United

Stockport County v Weymouth

Wealdstone v Torquay United

Woking v Notts County

Wrexham v Aldershot Town

Chesterfield 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 from programme sellers outside the stadium at the programme hut and the West Stand entrance.

The programme hut is based at the bottom of the main car park off Victoria Avenue.

Tom Clifford features heavily inside tonight's edition of the matchday magazine as he reflects on his return to the side since midway through December.

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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