Southend United v Forest Green Rovers – Sky Bet League Two – Tuesday 7pm – Preview
There’s a fine line between drama and calamity at Southend United these days.
Bottom of the league and look unlikely to venture upwards any time soon, Mark Molesley’s beleaguered troops headed to the Black Country last week – perhaps more in hope than expectation – survived a second-half penalty awarded to the host, then dramatically won it late on thanks to Emile Acquah’s strike – back on track? Apparently not!
A combination of Covid cases and injuries left the Blues desperately low on numbers culminating the late call-off of last Saturday’s clash with Cambridge United at Roots Hall. The U’s cried ‘foul’ – the footballing authorities left to study the evidence. Nevertheless, awkward publicity at a time when Southend United Football Club can least afford it.
But with Tuesday’s Sky Bet League Two clash with play-off contenders, Forest Green Rovers going ahead, Molesley will be relieved that the focus – however briefly – is returning to football.
“It’s going to be a tough challenge. I’ve got the utmost respect for Forest Green,” the Blues boss explained.
“They play a lovely brand of football. A very good side in possession so we’ve got to be at our very best, as we have to every week.
“There’s some big challenges but we should be in confident mood that we showed a good performance and got a win and clean sheet in our last game. There’s something to build on for ourselves.”
Of course, the postponement was always going to be on the agenda, particularly with the EFL investigation impending: “They will investigate every game that is called off,” Molesley added.
“We definitely didn’t want the game off. We’ve got doctors notes, surgeons notes, players long-term injured, positive test results from Covid as well as others needing to self-isolate.
“We’ve got nothing to hide, we desperately wanted the game on but unfortunately our numbers dipped below a level that you could safely put the game on.”
Jeevesie’s prediction: Southend United 1-3 Forest Green Rovers
(Quotes courtesy of Southend United FC)