Tuesday night football returns as Blues welcome Grimsby Town to Roots Hall tonight - 7.45pm KO.
We’ve taken a look at five talking points ahead of the Vanarama National League fixture.
The Run Continues!
Blues’ spirited performance on Saturday earned them a deserved point in a 2-2 draw at Chesterfield, who have lost just twice at home all season. The game, in which Blues came from behind both times, showed the exact character and resilience demanded by Kevin Maher and his backroom staff as it meant Southend remain undefeated in 2022, totalling 12 games. Should Blues avoid defeat to Grimsby, it will lead to Blues matching their 13-game unbeaten run in 2016/17 when Phil Brown’s side finished seventh in League One.
For Club and Country!
Defender Nathan Ralph has been given his just rewards for the form he’s shown this season. The defender has had a torrid couple of years with two long-term injuries keeping him out of action. A dislocated shoulder in his first year was then followed last season by a cruciate ligament injury sustained away at Salford City, both times cutting his season well short. Like all dark tunnels though there’s a considerable light shining on Nathan Ralph as he was deservedly named in Paul Fairclough’s England C squad to face Wales at the end of March. The squad, which is made up entirely of those from the National League level, will travel to Caernarfon Town on 30th March. The defender will not miss any Southend games. Many congratulations, Nathan!
Young forward Sam Dalby has been having a season to remember since joining Blues in the summer. Not only has his hold-up play and ability to bring others into attacks been a crucial part of Maher’s tactical system, but the striker has finally seen himself get his rewards with two goals in two games. That sort of confidence has been welcome for Sam as he moves onto nine goals for the season, putting him level with Rhys Murphy at the top of the scoring charts.
Tuesday is the new Saturday
For Blues fans, midweek football at Roots Hall has become the norm this season, and after the postponement of the original fixture thanks to Storm Eunice, we will be playing our seventh Tuesday night home game of the season. But having lost just once in a midweek home fixture - against Aldershot in September - Maher will be hoping the roar of the Blues fans will cheer Southend on as they look to climb into the top 10.
It’s a phrase often used in football but if Blues want to keep their unbeaten streak going they’ll have to be at their absolute best against a Grimsby side who are still vying for a place in the play-offs. The Mariners have won five of their last six games, drawing the other 0-0 against King’s Lynn last month. After Emmanuel Dieseruvwe’s 94th minute match winner against Woking on Saturday, Town now sit one point and one place behind Notts County who occupy the last play-off spot.