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Continuing our look back on the 21/22 campaign…

10 June 2022

Three games into the season and with just one defeat from those, Blues were determined to kick on as they headed into September looking to really find their feet in the fifth tier.

However, anybody who felt the season would be a breeze were quickly taught some tough lessons as Blues struggled to keep up that consistency that the manager would have had hoped for.

The first of four tough games saw Wrexham visit Roots Hall as Phil Parkinson’s resilient side made the trip from North Wales…

All square at the Hall

Blues started the month with a strong performance against promotion favourites Wrexham at Roots Hall, however the Shrimpers would’ve been disappointed not to have taken all three points.

In the opening half hour, a lovely move by the home side enabled Harry Phillips to cut inside from the left flank and deliver a pinpoint cross into the on-running Sam Dalby, who headed below Rob Lainton and into the back of the net for his second goal of the season. In the second half, Blues doubled their lead thanks to Rhys Murphy, who slotted home for his first goal in a Blues shirt.

However, any hopes of returning to winning ways, following the goalless draw with Wealdstone, were delayed as a quickfire second half double from the Red Dragons through Jamie Reckord and Dior Angus gave Wrexham a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw.

A Reality Check?

Ask most Blues fans their predictions for the 2021/22 season in August and the majority probably would’ve said a top half finish. However, a strong performance from Pete Wild’s FC Halifax Town saw Southend brushed aside at The Shay, as it was yet more points dropped for Phil Brown’s side.

Jordan Slew’s tap-in six minutes from the interval put the home side in front before Slew turned provider for Billy Waters to head in a second shortly after the restart. Niall Maher then wrapped up the victory on an afternoon to forget for Phil Brown’s side as he headed in Martin Wood’s free-kick.

Blues did manage to grab a late consolation goal as Jack Bridge picked out Rhys Murphy for his second goal in as many games, but the damage had been done as Southend suffered defeat.

Consecutive Defeats

Blues’ worrying start to life in the National League continued at Roots Hall as they fell to their second defeat in three days, losing 3-2 to Aldershot Town.

A crowd of over 5,000 saw Rhys Murphy score yet another goal in the 17th minute, as it seemed to be the perfect response from the defeat in Yorkshire. However, the evening deteriorated from then on, as Jason Demetriou scored an own goal to restore parity at half time. Six minutes into the second half, Mo Bettamer put the visitors ahead after some neat play by Corie Andrews before Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong added a third.

Despite a late consolation from Demetriou, Southend were beaten 3-2 at Roots Hall as the Shots picked up their first win and first points of the season against Phil Brown's side.

A trip down South

Blues had a chance to end the month positively when they made the gruelling trip down to Torquay at the end of September. However, an agonisingly late goal from Connor Lemonheigh-Evans doomed Blues to a winless month, as Brown’s side dropped to 16th in the National League.

In a largely forgettable first half, Southend did end the first 45 the stronger of the two sides at Plainmoor and went close to breaking the deadlock when a Jack Bridge corner was headed just wide by Ogogo.

With a goalless draw looking likely and Blues happy to settle for the point they were holding onto as play entered the final few seconds, the hosts had other ideas they capitalised to steal a huge three points for the home side.

The ball fell kindly to Dean Moxey wide on the left who played a first-time ball across the face of goal that was duly dispatched at the far post by Lemonheigh-Evans to secure Torquay their first home win of the season and condemn Blues to a third straight defeat.

There was no time for Blues to keep their heads down though, as a crucial six fixtures were to come in October.

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