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Match Previews

BIG PREVIEW: CHESTERFIELD VS SOUTHED

5 March 2022

Chesterfield v Southend United…

Overview:

For the third time this season, Southend United and Chesterfield go toe-to-toe, Kevin Maher’s side travelling to Derbyshire looking to achieve their first victory over the Spireites of the current campaign, to stretch their unbeaten run to 12 matches.

Paul Cook’s side are hot on the heels of league leaders Stockport County, just three points from the division’s summit of which they could draw level if victorious against the in-form Blues.

But Maher’s outfit will be a vastly different proposition to that which twice suffered defeat to the Spireites earlier in the season.

The first setback was resounding, a 4-0 defeat which saw the end of Phil Brown’s second tenure at the club, while Blues’ second encounter against Chesterfield came soon after Maher’s arrival.

With a side yet to gel and low on confidence, Blues lost 3-1 in the FA Cup first round at the Technique Stadium, but they’ll be confident of turning the tide of their recent record against the promotion-chasers come Saturday.

The Opposition:

The last few months have been a bumpy ride for Spireites fans, with wholesale change and an extensive injury list.

Previous manager James Rowe was removed from his post for disciplinary issues, opening an opportunity for the return of current boss Cook.

The 55-year-old, who was managing Wigan Athletic in the Championship just two years ago, returned to the Derbyshire club with the legacy of a promotion campaign as manager for the Spireites in the 13/14 campaign.

A coup for the National League high-flyers, but they’ve been made to deal with a severely reduced squad due to an injury crisis.

Luke Croll, Gavin Gunning, George Carline, Jack Clarke, Manny Oyeleke, and Kabongo Tshimanga all face spells on the side-lines, after each playing some part in their strong start to the season.

Form:

Despite Chesterfield’s lofty league positioning, it is Blues who lead the form guide between the two sides.

Maher’s side’s 1-1 draw against Solihull Moors last time out extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches, having picked up 25 points from their last 33 available.

It has been just shy of three months since Blues last tasted defeat in the league.

Meanwhile, the Spireites have been steady but unspectacular.

Cook’s side have won their last two matches, their most recent a 3-1 victory over play-off chasing Notts County.

In their last six matches, the Derbyshire based team have won two, drawn two and lost two.

From The Boss:

"We’re in a different place as a club now but they’ve [Chesterfield] had changes as well,” said Maher.

"It will make for a different game, but it will be equally as tough.

"They’ve got a manager in there who they’ve done unbelievably well to get in.

"They will be in a better place for having him and it will be tough but we’re in good form too.

"It doesn’t get much tougher than this and it’s one we need to be ready for."

Blues’ Team News:

Question marks still hang over the availability of Harry Cardwell, Tom Clifford and Kacper Lopata. They all face late fitness checks regarding their inclusion in the squad for the trip to Chesterfield.

The trio were forced to miss last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Solihull Moors.

Rhys Murphy, Abu Ogogo and Simeon Akinola all remain out.

Ref Watch:

Aaron Jackson will be calling the shots as Blues head to the Technique Stadium.

Jackson has taken charge of eight National League fixtures so far this campaign, issuing 23 yellow cards and one red.

His solitary sending off came in controversial fashion as Blues saw Abu Ogogo given his marching orders away at Boreham Wood, the midfielder was yellow carded twice in the same passage of play.

He will be joined by Michael D’Aguilar and Jacob Lehane, who will be assistants, while Jack Forder will be fourth official.

Elsewhere in the National League:

Barnet v Dover Athletic

Eastleigh v Wealdstone

Grimsby Town v Woking

Maidenhead United v Altrincham

Notts County v Yeovil Town

Solihull Moors v King’s Lynn Town

Torquay United v Bromley

Weymouth v FC Halifax Town

Aldershot Town v Stockport County

How to Follow:

Blues fans unable to attend the Technique Stadium will still be able to follow all the live action by subscribing to Blues TV where you’ll get live match commentary from the BBC Essex team from all first-team matches this season.

Blues TV costs £4.49 per month or a one-off cost of £45 for the season, with your subscription not only giving you match commentary, but also exclusive access to extended match highlights, full pre-match press conferences, interviews, features and more.

You can also follow live minute-by-minute updates on social media via the club’s official Twitter account by following @SUFCRootsHall on Twitter, which will ensure you get all the latest news and more throughout the 2021/22 season.


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