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Club News

TALKING POINTS: CHESTERFIELD

4 March 2022

Southend United head the Technique Stadium on Saturday as they face high-flying Chesterfield.

We’ve taken a look at five talking points ahead of the fixture.

The sweetest song that we could sing!

Sam Dalby’s 31st minute goal against Solihull last Saturday would’ve come as a welcome relief for the striker. The 22-year-old hadn’t found the back of the net in his previous six games and it just his second goal in 12 games. Dalbs will be hoping the goal has come at the perfect time, as he heads back to Chesterfield, the scene of a 90th minute penalty miss in the FA Cup First Round in November. Dalby now has seven goals for the season, just one behind top goalscorer Rhys Murphy, but his link-up play is vital to Maher's system. He provides a great touch and hold-up play for his teammates. If he can quickly make it into double figures for goals it will be just rewards for his tireless work.

Avengers?

Kevin Maher will want his side to banish their demons when they head to the Technique Stadium on Saturday. Maher’s men were knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup First Round in November at the hands of the Spireites. Blues took an early lead in the game when birthday-boy Rhys Murphy fired past Melvin Minter in the fourth minute. However, what seemed to be a dream start was cut short when Saidou Khan equalised just two minutes later for the hosts. Chesterfield then extended their lead through Luke Croll before Kabongo Tshimanga wrapped things up for Chesterfield. Interestingly though, just three of the side that started that afternoon were named in the team to start against Solihull Moors last weekend. A change in personnel and confidence could bring about a better result...

Back to winning ways?

Maher’s side will want to return to winning ways having drawn their last two games. In fact, Blues have been in such good form recently that the last time they went three without a win was back in November, when they fell to defeats to Chesterfield, Woking and Grimsby respectively. But with Blues sat just three points behind Torquay with a game in hand, they’ll be looking to close the gap and move into the top ten before the end of the season.

The unbeaten run

After a dominating performance last week against promotion chasing Solihull Moors, Blues extended their unbeaten run to 11 games. It’s now two months without defeat but tough tests lie in wait as sides currently in the top 10 make up their next three opponents. Blues are on their longest unbeaten streak since 2016/17 when Phil Brown’s side sustained a 13-match unbeaten run in League One games. Coincidentally, that began in October 2016 with a 1-0 victory at Roots Hall against Chesterfield!

Cooking up a storm

Chesterfield announced the return of Paul Cook as manager last month after the departure of James Rowe. Cook is highly regarded amongst the Spireites’ fanbase having guided them to the League Two title and League One play-offs in his previous spell as manager. Since returning to Derbyshire, Cook has managed one draw, two defeats and two wins. A big blow was losing the league’s top goalscorer, Tshimanga, to a nasty looking fractured leg and dislocated ankle in his first game in charge.


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