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9 July 2022

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Blues boss Kevin Maher was pleased to round off the first 10 days of pre-season with a 4-0 win in Southend’s first friendly of the campaign against Kings Langley at the Orbital Fasteners Stadium.

In hot conditions in Hertfordshire, Blues went into the break 1-0 up after Sam Dalby opened the scoring, putting the finishing touches on a move started by former Langley player Jack Wood.

All 11 players were changed at the break, and Southend ran wild as Jon Benton, Dan Mooney and Callum Powell all got on the scoresheet in impressive fashion to give Blues a comfortable win.

“We’ve had a really tough 10 days for the players so they’re naturally going to be leggy for the first football game. We’re delighted with everyone to come through it, 45 minutes for everyone,” said Maher when asked for his thoughts on the game against the Southern League side.

The boss continued, saying: “I’m pleased with how it went. It’s a lovely day and I’m pleased for the fans as well that have come down in good numbers.

“Football is back to enjoy on a Saturday afternoon.”

Mooney was one of five new signings on show this afternoon with the former Altrincham man coming on for the second half alongside Gus Scott-Morriss, Louis Lomas and Cavaghn Miley.

The fifth summer signing, Harry Taylor, put in an assured performance in the first half, but it was Mooney that caught the eye after getting on the scoresheet with a superbly taken free-kick.

When asked about Mooney’s performance, Maher said: “he's a good footballer, we saw that last year with Altrincham.

“Especially with set-pieces he’s going to be important, he’ll have good quality on them. I’m pleased for him to get off the mark.

“I thought Jon Benton took his goal ever so well, Powell too.

“Really pleased all round, and they’ll be pleased the ones that made their first appearance for the club that they’ve got on the pitch and have kicked a ball for the club for the first time, that’s pleasing for them.”

Blues’ pre-season preparations continue on Tuesday night as Maher’s side travel to face Canvey Island for their second friendly of the campaign.

The Isthmian Premier side, who won promotion via the play-offs last term, will provide another good test for Southend with Maher looking to increase the minutes his players get in.

“There’s a plan of how we’ll build their minutes up. I have to say Kings Langley have been brilliant as well today. The condition they’ve got the pitch in is first-class and they’ve looked after us, so thanks to them.

“There’s a possibility of increasing the minutes Tuesday and Saturday [against Kettering] as well. In pre-season we’ve got eight games, so it’ll be a gradual build-up for everyone and hopefully, they’ll all be in a good place come August 6th.

“The attitude and application has been first-class and the new boys are mixing in well with the players that are already here.

“It’s early days, there’s a lot of work to go on behind the scenes. We’re still working and still building the club and that’s going to take time. Pleased for everyone involved today.”

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