Southend United head to Silverlake Stadium on Tuesday evening in the Vanarama National League.
We’ve taken a look at some talking points ahead of the fixture.
Even the most optimistic of Southend fans would've been hard-pushed to predict the turnaround from their side in 2022 when they made their Christmas wishes. However, Kevin Maher’s team carried on their good run 10 days ago, as they avoided a second half scare to beat Woking 3-2. The win meant Blues are now nine unbeaten in the league, having won their last four consecutive games. After an unexpected weekend break thanks to Storm Eunice, Blues will be hoping to create their own storm and terrorise Eastleigh’s defence on Tuesday night.
As the lowest goal scorers in the top four divisions last season, it has been quite some improvement this season. After scoring three at Woking, Blues have now scored 30 league goals in 27 games. This has surpassed the 29 goals Southend managed to score throughout the entirety of their last campaign. In fact, Blues are currently on their best goal scoring streak, having scored in 12 straight league games for the first time since November 2011! That said, Blues have only managed to score more than one away from home in two games this season, and will be looking to add to that Eastleigh.
There will be yet more headaches for boss Kevin Maher as his squad continue to fight for every available position. Callum Powell will be hoping his goal and assist in the wake of Matthew Dennis’ injury will be enough to keep him in the side, whilst Jack Bridge continued his return, completing his first 90 minutes since his knee injury last Monday in a behind closed doors friendly against Premier League side Brentford. Bridge was joined in the team by other members of the first team squad such as Jack Wood, Leon Davies and Lewis Gard who topped up their minutes.
Eastleigh and Southend United will go head-to-head for just the second time following the meeting at Roots Hall earlier this season. Founded in 1946, The Spitfires were originally named Swaythling Athletic before changing to Swaythling, and then again to their current name in 1980. It wasn’t until 2005 that the club adopted the nickname ‘Spitfires’- a nod to the WW2 jet which was first flown from Eastleigh Aerodrome. They are managed by Jason Bristow following the recent departure of Ben Strevens.