Blues take tentative steps up the mountain of truth?

Brian Jeeves
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Southend United v Exeter City – Sky Bet League Two – Roots Hall Stadium – Saturday 3pm – Preview

One point from a possible twelve on offer might not be where Mark Molesley, his inexperience Southend United side and the Roots Hall faithful either wanted or expected to be after their opening four Sky Bet League Two fixtures.

Nevertheless, a battling point from a trip to Crawley last weekend has lifted spirits and provided a platform, however small, for the Blues chief and his rookie charges to build on.

But Molesley will be aware that you are only as good as your next game. Southend host an Exeter City side left disappointed in last seasons play-offs and off the back of two successive victories, putting down a marker that they fully intend to get it right this time.

“They’re a very experienced team at this level and were in the play-offs last season,” the former Weymouth boss explained.

“Matt Taylor has got them organised, very well-drilled and, like I say, they’re experienced and always fighting for promotion so another tough challenge awaits us.

“They have a rich history of producing very good players, most-notably of late Ollie Watkins who has banged the goals in at Aston Villa. Ampadu is another one but we’re also very proud of what we do here at this football club.

“They are an experienced team and they set the standard because they’ve been up the top end of this league in the last few years.
“We have to stick to our processes and present a really strong challenge to them.”

A mixture of joy and relief received Nathan Ralph’s point-saver in Sussex. However, with Southend still in a dire situation, it’s bluntly obvious the improvement has to gather momentum – and quickly!

“The boys showed the right character because a lot is being thrown at us but they didn’t give up, they kept believing,” Molesley added.
“We can feel we’re getting strong and better.

“The lads’ belief and attitude to come back was spot on and last week showed we can mix it and we’re getting better.

“You can see the difference that JD [Jason Demetriou] has made, Harry Lennon last week. You saw the difference in our first game against Gillingham when we had John White and Tim Dieng in the team.

“We’ve got a fantastic young team but we need a couple of them older players to stabilise them young players who are learning on the job at the moment.

“We’ve got quite a few to come back as well so we feel like we’re getting stronger.”

Potential is a term constantly thrown towards Molesley’s youthful group from various quarters. However, the genuine truth is that potential is ultimately measured on results, which remain thin on the ground just now. Unless that commodity is fulfilled in abundance, Southend could well find the downward spiral sucking them further and further towards the spectre of non-league football for the first time in a century.

Jeevesie’s prediction: Southend United 1-3 Exeter City

(Quotes courtesy of


Brian Jeeves