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Match Previews

BIG PREVIEW: WOKING VS SOUTHEND UNITED

11 February 2022

Woking v Southend United…

Overview:

Southend United head to Surrey to take on Woking this Saturday, a fourth consecutive victory firmly in their sights as Kevin Maher’s resurgent side look to impress in front of the BT Sport cameras.

A midweek 2-0 triumph over promotion contenders Bromley meant that Blues haven’t lost at home since mid-November, said defeat being at the hands of this Saturday’s opponents.

And Maher’s side will be keen to put right their previous showing against the Cards, a strong showing from Alan Dowson’s outfit saw them emerge 2-0 victors at Roots Hall.

With over 1,000 travelling fans, Blues will be keen to keep their unbeaten run intact, and could extend their impressive sequence of results to nine matches if they avoid defeat at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

The Opposition:

The Cards have struggled since their victorious visit to Roots Hall in November, but have managed to retain a solid mid-table spot.

A fast start to the season saw them as potential dark horses for a top-seven finish, but they have won just three matches since their triumph over Blues in mid-November, all of which coming against sides placed 18th and below.

Further hampering their chances of a push up the table, Dowson’s side have been made to deal without star man Tahvon Campbell, as the striker moved on to pastures new at Rochdale in the January transfer window.

Suffering a mid-season slump, the top-seven may now be out of realistic reach for the Cards, but they will still be keen to ensure a strong finish, and could leapfrog Blues on goal difference if victorious on Saturday.

Form:

Blues’ impressive victory against fourth-placed Bromley on Tuesday night meant that Maher’s side have picked up 19 points from their last 21 available, that record is only bettered by current leaders Stockport County.

Moreover, Southend have won their last three on the trot, while the in-form Matt Dennis has scored three times in his last two outings.

Despite their upturn, Blues have only scored nine goals away from home this season, and it’s an issue Head Coach Maher will be keen to resolve.

Woking’s recent struggles have seen them lose grip on a top-half spot, they’ve picked up just two victories in their last 11 matches.

The Cards have accumulated four points from their last possible 15; their last performance started in strong fashion, taking a two-goal lead before letting it slip in the second half to eventually draw 2-2 with Altrincham.

Dowson will be eager to lead his side to their second victory of 2022, and a repeat of their previous dominant performance at Roots Hall.

From The Boss:

"We were really pleased with Tuesday but that’s gone now,” said Maher. "We’re looking forward to Saturday.”

"We want to continue hitting the standards we’ve hit recently.

"It’s a tough game but hopefully it will be for Woking too.

"We have to be ready for it because they’re a decent side who cause you problems.

"You look back at that game (last time against Woking) and where the club was at that stage, we had an idea where we wanted to get to.

"Did we think we’d be this far ahead with where we are? Maybe not.

"But things can happen when people pull in the right direction."

Blues’ Team News:

Maher is pleased with the competition for places in the squad, and may opt for an unchanged side with no fresh injury concerns from Tuesday’s Bromley encounter.

Jack Bridge continues to recover from a long-term knee injury, which was exacerbated by going down with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Rhys Murphy, Simeon Akinola and Abu Ogogo remain unavailable.

Ref Watch:

Elliott Swallow will be the man holding the cards on Saturday evening.

He has refereed seven matches in the National League so far this season, 32 yellow cards in the process and no reds.

Swallow has yet to officiate a match involving Blues.

He will be assisted by Gary Jerden and Christopher Myatt, with Jack Packman as fourth official.

Elsewhere in the National League:

Barnet v Wealdstone

Dover Athletic v Torquay United

Eastleigh v Yeovil Town

Grimsby Town v Aldershot Town

King’s Lynn Town v Altrincham

Weymouth v Chesterfield

How to Follow:

Blues fans unable to attend the Laithwaite Community 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.


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