Southend United host Bromley on Tuesday evening as they look to make it eight games unbeaten in the Vanarama National League.
We’ve taken a look at five talking points ahead of the fixture.
Blues have been backed tremendously by their loyal supporters this season and tonight’s game looks set to see the Southend faithful take it one step further. With tickets being priced at just £5 for adults, Kevin Maher and his side will be backed by over 7,800 fans at Roots Hall. The last time Blues saw an attendance over 7,000 was in League One in February 2020 where 7,278 saw Sol Campbell’s side fall to a 2-0 defeat to eventual champions Coventry City.
There’s no place like Home
For Blues fans it must seem like forever since Roots Hall was the fortress it once was, however thanks to the upturn in form in recent weeks, it seems maybe the fort is being built once more. Blues have won their last four home games in all competitions, and haven’t been beaten at home since 13th November, a 2-0 defeat to Woking. In fact, in Southend’s seven midweek home games this season, they have picked up 16 points out of a possible 21! Kevin Maher will be determined to build on this record as he looks to lead Southend further up the table.
The Sky is the Limit
When Kevin Maher and his backroom staff joined Blues in October, their message was clear: survival and stability. However, since Maher, Benno and DC have come in some fans have even suggested a late play-off push! Should Southend win tonight they will rise to 13th, just one point off the top half the table- something that seemed unimaginable two months ago. Not only this but with just 13 points separating the play-offs and Blues should they win, it’ll be an exciting few months if Maher’s men can keep up their terrific form. Since 2014/15, the seventh side in the National League has gained an average of 74 points- this with one extra game than this season. Should Blues win tonight they would have to gain 39 points from a possible 54 points to reach that total. A tough task no doubt- but with Blues’ current form, the sky is the limit.
After Saturday’s game to Boreham Wood was postponed due to Wood’s progression in the FA Cup, Southend have been given a full week’s rest. Due to this, it has enabled Harry Cardwell to return to full fitness after a blow to the head saw him substituted in Blues’ 1-0 win at Dover. Not only this, but influential midfielder Jack Bridge has stepped up his recovery from both a knee injury and Covid-19 as he comes back into the fray after another full week’s training. Maher insisted pre-match that this could be his toughest team selection yet and his selection headache will also consist of Harrison Neal, after the Sheffield United loanee returned from a two-match suspension.
If Blues are to win their third game in a row this evening they will have to be at their best against a side who have been in tremendous form this season. Andy Woodman’s Bromley sit fourth in the table, four points from the summit, and if they beat Blues will rise to second. The Ravens have won five in a row in all competitions, having lost just once since Southend visited Hayes Lane on Boxing Day. In fact, Bromley have impressed so much, that Woodman, who played for Blues in 2000, attracted the interest of League One side Gillingham recently, although he opted against the move to Priestfield.