Southend United make the trip to Maidenhead tonight looking to widen the gap between themselves and the bottom half of the table.
We’ve taken a look at five talking points ahead of the game.
Back on Track
Kevin Maher’s side responded in the best possible fashion on Saturday after the defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge. Goals from Nathan Ralph and Matt Dennis, as well as a clean sheet at the other end, meant Blues had a trouble-free afternoon in front of another big Roots Hall crowd. The visitors almost took the lead early on when Matty Kosylo’s effort hit both posts in the 10th minute. From then on it was all Blues and Ralph bundled the ball in from a corner to get his first goal since October’s 4-1 win over Chertsey Town in the FA Cup. Dennis was back to his best and was on the scoresheet once again just before the half time interval to double Blues’ lead. Can they continue in the same vein tonight?
Level with the Gulls
Blues’ win saw them move to level on points with Torquay in 11th after the Gulls were beaten 2-0 by FC Halifax Town. The result meant Gary Johnson’s side have now won just once in seven games, although it was also their first defeat in nine. The Gulls also play tonight, they host Mark Molesley’s Aldershot Town who will want to ease their relegation concerns and move further from the bottom three. With a goal difference of seven separating Southend from Torquay, Maher and his men will need to keep picking up three points to keep the pressure on those above if they are to climb the table once more.
We’ve got Husin! (Just not this week)
Influential midfielder Noor Husin has been a revelation in midfield since signing from Dartford, but Blues fans will have to wait to see him cross that white line once more. The 25-year-old is currently away with the Afghanistan national side as they look to build on their preparations for the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers in June. Anoush Dastgir’s side will face Madagascar on Wednesday before Husin returns ahead of Notts County’s visit to Roots Hall next Saturday. It creates space and an opportunity in the starting line-up for somebody else against Maidenhead and Yeovil on Saturday.
Double Game Week
Southend and their fans will have a lot of travelling to do this week as they look to carry on their run, which has seen them lose just once in 2022. Blues, as we know, face Maidenhead tonight who have failed to score in their last five games, with a 0-0 draw against Altrincham their only point this month. The Magpies aren’t awful at home; 25 of their 35 points have been picked up at York Road. After tonight, preparations will quickly turn towards Saturday where Maher’s men make the long trip to Huish Park to face Yeovil Town, who are just five points behind Blues in the National League table as things stand.
Alan Devonshire has a number of familiar faces for Southend fans that he will be hoping can break their goalscoring duck to keep the three points in SL6. Kane Ferdinand, Sam Barratt, Emile Acquah and Shawn McCoulsky all had spells at Blues in the past, racking up a combined 151 appearances for Southend. Former fan favourite Sam Barratt won’t be involved though, the winger is recovering from a long-term injury.