A Christmas Carol…

Brian Jeeves
Latest posts by Brian Jeeves (see all)

Bromley v Southend United – Vanarama National League – Hayes Lane – Sunday, December 26 (5:20pm)

Southend United v Barnet – Vanarama National League – Tuesday, December 28 (3pm)

Southend United v Bromley – Vanarama National League – Sunday, January 2 (3pm)

Tis the season of goodwill to all men…

Unfortunately, from a supporters’ perspective that doesn’t appear to apply to Ron Martin, the beleaguered chairman of Southend United Football Club…

Anyway, in a packed preview of ghosts, past, present and future… if we have one… where do I start?

A positive! Blues are through to the fourth round stage of the Buildbase FA Trophy following a narrow victory over Dorking Wanderers at Roots Hall Stadium.

I’m sure my peers in the Roots Hall pressbox would agree, it was smashing to provide a feel-good summarization of the match, with debutant goalkeeper, Collin Andeng Ndi taking the plaudits with a terrific performance capped with a penalty save.

Collin appeared genuinely stunned by grabbing the attention but took it all in his stride. Kevin Maher rightly heaped praise on the young stopper as well as his keeping coach, Reece Otley. The 18-year-old was commanding and competent. A huge plus for the club at a time where plusses come at a premium.

Memorable debut; Collin Andeng Ndi (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

It would be unfair not to mention substitute, Matt Dennis whose spectacular strike settled the tie. Once again, Blues find themselves reliant on what they have within the squad. Hopefully, the goal with give the Norwich loanee the confidence to push on and give the manager something to think about, although ultimately the urgent need for several decent recruitments wasn’t papered over by the overall dispaly or for that matter the result.

I’m afraid it doesn’t get any better than that. Ebenezer Scrooge – As yet, an unpaid tax bill – the proverbial ghost of the present… although he has already made unwelcome appearances several times in the past.

I left this article as late as I possibly could, allowing the club to settle their business with HMRC before it was published. At the time of going live, they haven’t.

Maher confirmed he is unable to add to his squad as a result. John Still must be wondering exactly what it is he’s signed up for?

But as much as frustrating the manager and head of football, I can’t imagine HMRC are too thrilled at the prospect of dealing with the club for the umpteenth time. On top of that, I’d wager that patience amongst National League’s hierarchy is running thin. Sanctions and even expulsion remain huge concerns amongst the Roots Hall faithful. We are all wondering when and where this madness will all end? Personally, I believe we are close to the endgame, although I also suspect that the outcome doesn’t bear thinking about – The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come – A very scary prospect indeed!

Stan Collymore’s message posted on Shrimperzone suggests his frustration, no doubt shared by CEO Tom Lawrence. In the meantime, Blues fans intend to go ahead with their protest towards the Chairman ahead of the Barnet match at Roots Hall. Speaking as a journalist, I report the news, while as a Southend fan, I don’t see that they’ve been left with any other option.

Back to football. On the player front, talk of a return for the defender, Elvis Bwomono disappeared as swiftly as it came about. I reiterate my opinions of the player. Labelled an attacking fullback – Elvis struggled defensively and rarely provided anything going forward. I doubt very much he would have racked up more than one hundred EFL appearances in a team of any substance. Seemingly, this is backed up by the fact nobody has come in for the player since his exit. In my view, move on, don’t go back over old ground, look elsewhere… if and when we are able to!

Humbug! Unfortunately, I don’t see too much joy coming from the festive programme. Two matches with a Bromley side that are flying provide very little solace, while Barnet, although closer to Southend in the table, possess a stronger group. Again it is difficult to see the Blues coming out of this one with anything.

I want to wish my fellow Shrimpers fans a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, but unfortunately, I fear the situation is going to get worse before, and I reiterate if, it gets any better.

Jeevesie’s predictions;
Bromley 2-0 Southend United
Southend United 1-2 Barnet
Southend United 0-1 Bromley


Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk