Tomorrow never knows…

Brian Jeeves

Oldham Athletic v Southend United – Vanarama National League – Boundary Park – Saturday (3pm) – Preview

Having predicted a Southend United victory for the first time in, well, some time, you can imagine what was going through my mind when Chris Conn-Clarke bagged his seventeenth goal of the season to give out-of-sorts Altrincham a fifth-minute advantage at Roots Hall Stadium on Tuesday evening.

But after questioning whether it was me, Southend made short work of that early setback to earn a priceless three points thanks to goals from Harry Cardwell and Wes Fonguck before the interval.

The performance and result showed resilience and provided further evidence that the new faces are beginning to not only find their feet but make an impact at this level, admittedly, greater and quicker than I for one expected.

Blues boss, Kevin Maher, was naturally pleased with what he had seen, as were the vast majority among another 6,100-plus audience at Roots Hall: “The whole performance was very good and I think we deserved the result,” Maher enthused. 

“We obviously had the setback early in the first half, but staying patient and getting the goals was the least we deserved.

“Conn-Clarke’s a top player and finished the goal ever so well, but I was delighted with how patient the players stayed and we kept moving them about and waited for the openings to open up.

“It could’ve been four or five before half-time. We’ve had a number of set pieces going in there. While it’s 2-1 they always have a chance, but overall, we more than deserved the victory.”

The victory moved the Blues five points clear of teh dropzone and did more than suggest that we should now be looking up the table as opposed to nervously over our shoulders. Nevertheless, there have already been one or two ‘we can’t, can we,” posts on social media. I guess there was no point in arguing the toss with those fans in the past, and that probably still stands. I think letting the manager and the team simply get on with it relieves the pressure and allows them to shape something for the near future. As far as I’m concerned. Survival as a football club was, and still is one thing. Success on the pitch is another. If Southend United finish in the top half of the table after everything that has gone before, then I’d see that as a successful campaign.

Of course, we are still somewhat ‘hanging’ as to what is going on off the pitch. The November, February and May – formality scenario regarding finalising the takeover is wearing thin with some supporters, including me. Again, I’d like to see some clarity. Again, I think that is currently unlikely.

In the meantime, Southend head to play-off contenders Oldham Athletic on Saturday. 

The Latics currently occupy sixth place in the National League, although recent form has been somewhat patchy, with a win, draw and a defeat coming from their last three outings.

Similarly to Southend, expectation is high, perhaps too high, on a swift return to the EFL. The two clubs have been through the proverbial mill, but both eying up a bright, more secure future. We weren’t the first, and alarming news filtering out of Reading, Rochdale and Torquay United confirms that we will not be the last. As fans, our priority going forward is to keep that in the back of our collective minds and ensure it never happens to Southend United Football Club again!

Jeevesie’s prediction: Oldham Athletic 1-1 Southend United

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk