Southend United host Dagenham & Redbridge on tonight as they look to climb the National League table.
Let’s set the scene for another important Vanarama National League clash under the Roots Hall lights.
Here’s five talking points…
Sam Dalby will be feeling on top of the world at the moment after his match winner last week saw the striker get his third goal in as many games. Not only that, but the goal also made it two penalties in two games. What was special about his Grimsby penalty, though, was the technique needed to slot past Max Crocombe in goal. With a stop, hop and a kick, Dalby managed to send the New Zealander the wrong way, channelling his inner Jorginho to keep the three points in Essex. Dalby said afterwards he’s been working on his penalty technique, and it paid dividends last week to claim the three points for Blues.
Kevin Maher will be hoping his side can get one over the Daggers tonight as they come into the game with a poor track record against the East London side this season. Blues have fell foul to 3-0 and 2-0 defeats at the Chigwell Construction Stadium in the league and FA Trophy respectively. With John Still making the switch down the A13 to join Blues’ Football Department and Blues a much-changed outfit now since that league game in particular, Southend will be hoping his knowledge and expertise can give Maher’s men the edge as they look to close the gap between the two sides to just two points.
Blues matched their 13-game unbeaten run from 2016/17 last Tuesday night in seeing off Grimsby Town. The record books don’t go too far back for those who like to reminisce, with Blues’ next longest unbeaten run being 14 games in all competitions in 2012/13 which saw Blues progress to Round Three of the FA Cup, the Quarter Final of the EFL Trophy, and gain 22 points in the League. It was after a 3-0 win away at, you guess it, Dagenham & Redbridge that the run ended and Blues suffered defeat. That all won’t mean much to Kevin Maher or his players, though, and they’ll be looking no further than the next game against Daryl McMahon’s side.
Tuesday Night Football (Again!)
Blues return to Roots Hall this evening for yet another game under the lights. Whilst Southend may not break many records on the pitch this season, they may break the record for most midweek games in a season, with tonight’s being Blues’ 13th floodlit game, with seven of them coming since the turn of the year. The late kick-off times don’t seem to be hampering them though, with Maher’s men picking up 24 points out of a possible 36 in midweek fixtures.
Tonight’s opponents have had a mixed season thus far. The Daggers started life in brilliant form, picking up 16 points from their first six games which saw McMahon’s side climb to the summit of the table. Since then, however, mixed form has seen the Irishman’s side drop to 10th in the league, six points from the play-offs. After Saturday’s 8-7 penalty shootout defeat to York City in the FA Trophy, Dagenham fans will be hoping their side can kick on and claim that all-important last play-off spot to avoid another year missing out.