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Scunthorpe United v Southend United – Sky Bet League Two – Glanford Park – Saturday 3pm – Preview
“I am in tears now – They do not know how much we care?”
Not my words, the words from a supporter of more than 50-years who contacted me, distraught at what his beloved Southend United has become.
Let’s get on with it – Damage report…
Southend United 0-0 Stevenage
Match: 34 Won: 7 Drawn: 9 Lost: 19 Points: 30 Position: 23rd Nils: 20
A point gained? Absolutely not!
Damage compounded during the week by Barrow winning their third game on the bounce, back-to-back draws for Colchester a welcome point for Walsall, oh and three points for Port Vale. To top it all off, even Grimsby snatched a share of the spoils, edging them closer to the Blues who sit just above them but five points from safety.
Nothing has actually changed. Southend was in deep trouble then and are in deep trouble now. Indeed, it is open to debate just how long the club has been in trouble. A season? Three seasons? Twenty-two years?
It’s difficult to know where to start, but on a football front, let’s go with what the evidence from the weekend
Sure, Southend started brightly. Simeon Akinola missed a glorious chance which a recognised goalscorer would have snapped up, while Nathan Ferguson was denied by a wonderful save from Stevenage stopper, Jamie Cumming. But what happened after that? Very little to be honest.
Mark Molesley finally went with two in attack but with little or no quality service, it made no difference.
As I said, Blues had a couple of decent chances – just as they did recently against Salford and Oldham, but a twentieth ‘nil’ of the season was duly confirmed by a lack of creativity and firepower unmeasured by any Blues team I’ve seen either from the terraces, stand or pressbox over the past five decades.
The truth is, the football Southend United are serving up is dull, boring and negative. After the first twenty-minutes against Stevenage, Southend ran out of ideas and from what I could see, the manager seemingly didn’t know how to change that (the social media meltdown from the fans suggested I’m not the only one who held those thoughts).
In fairness, the personnel at his disposal isn’t up to the task. But we’ve been over this before – Scouting – Signings – Contracts – we can all speculate who is to blame – the supporters aren’t stupid!
Blues have scored three goals in their last eight outings – all in one match at Forest Green Rovers. “I think it went really well. We were asking questions, knocking on the door and we were causing problems,” Molesley suggested after Saturday’s stalemate. But whether you look at it as five in a row, seven out of eight or twenty this season without a goal – Blues are clearly not capable of knocking hard enough.
Ricky Holmes missed another great opportunity with literally the last kick, but in between, it was Stevenage who looked the brighter in an otherwise insipid contest.
I said before Saturday’s game that I don’t believe Southend will avoid relegation. Once again, the fans angry reaction following Tuesday’s action elsewhere confirms that is the consensus from the majority.
I doubt the supporters would receive any communication from the hierarchy particularly well. Nevertheless, those at the helm remain horrifically silent as the ship continues to take on water at an alarming rate.
Southend are now left probably needing to win six of their remaining eleven games to stand any chance of avoiding the unthinkable. That simply isn’t going to happen – what further evidence do you need?
The first of those eleven matches is against a Scunthorpe United side who can albut secure their league status with a win over the Blues.
Boss, Neil Cox recruited well during the last transfer window, while Ryan Loft netted his ninth goal of the season in the recent draw with Leyton Orient – the 23-year-old, who started with Tottenham – enjoying his best season in front of goal.
While the Blues head to Glanford Park, I’ll be covering proceedings at the JobServe Community Stadium where Colchester and Port Vale go head-to-head. Already, several Southend supporters have messaged me, asking which way Blues need this one to go? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It simply doesn’t matter what happens anywhere else if Southend can’t win their games.
What does matter is the lasting damage the Roots Hall club are inflicting upon their loyal supporters. Online disagreements are now more common than ever – supporters groups accusing each other of either not doing enough or worrying about nothing. It’s almost as if some kind of ‘divide and conquer’ spell hangs over the club?
Remember that life-long supporter whose downhearted feelings opened this preview? I’ll leave the final words to him.
“I put too many years and energy into Southend United to accept this end.
“I fought for our club and gave everything. Now, these people are taking it all away. Killing it. I could cry and certainly will cry. It has meant so much.
“They will never understand.”
Jeevesie’s prediction: Scunthorpe United 1-0 Southend United