Southend United return to Roots Hall this evening as they play host to Yeovil Town, in a rearranged fixture.
We’ve taken a look at five talking points ahead of the game.
Match for Mind
Tonight’s fixture has been dedicated as a’ ‘Match for Mind’. A handful of supporters will be walking from Chelmsford to Roots Hall with the match ball as the game is geared around encouraging those struggling to speak out. The match involves two teams who have been hit hard by mental health in the past. On January 1st, 2020, we sadly lost former captain Chris Barker, while Yeovil also sadly lost captain Lee Collins after mental health struggles in March 2021. So far, almost £2,000 has been raised for South East and Central Essex Mind, and donations are being accepted here.
Tonight marks the first time Rhys Murphy will meet Yeovil Town since leaving them in the summer for Blues. At The Glovers Murphy netted 30 times in 63 matches, including 17 times in the 19/20 season. Since joining Blues, Murphy has continued his goalscoring form with eight goals in 20 games. Despite this good form, the striker has failed to score in the last four games and will be looking to return to the scoresheet against his former side.
Dennis the Menace
Cast your mind back to mid-December and Matty Dennis would not have been the first name on many Blues fans minds when it came to picking their starting line-up. However, out of nowhere, it seems, the Norwich City loanee has quickly shown Blues what they have been missing. After being named as the seventh substitute vs Dorking Wanderers in the FA Trophy and scoring the goal of the round, Dennis found himself starting against Bromley a week later after Rhys Murphy suffered from illness. With two goals in two, Dennis unsurprisingly found himself in the starting line-up against Weymouth at the weekend, and with just five minutes on the clock he charged down a loose ball and slotted past Ross Fitzsimmons to get his third goal in three games. The question remains whether Head Coach Kevin Maher will again reward Dennis with another start, and if he does, will he score?
Blues have picked up eight points at Roots Hall this season, and seven of those have come in a midweek fixture. After wins against Eastleigh and Dover Athletic, as well as a draw against Maidenhead United, Blues will be looking to add to their good record with a win against Yeovil. Kevin Maher and his side will be more confident than ever about doing as much after just one defeat in six games, and buoyed by a dominant performance against Weymouth on Saturday.
Paul Sturrock could probably be credited as the man who saved Southend United. Back in 2010, Sturrock built a team from scratch and guided Southend to a comfortable mid-table finish before strong finishes in the 11/12 and 12/13 seasons in Sky Bet League Two. After leaving Blues, Sturrock moved down south where he spent a brief spell at Torquay United as a Team Coordinator, before moving to Yeovil Town where he saw out his managerial career. Sturrock’s time as Yeovil boss was slightly less successful though, as he stood in the Huish Park dugout just 30 times before leaving his role in December 2015.