You hum it and I’ll play it…

Brian Jeeves

AFC Fylde v Southend United – Vanarama National League – Mill Farm – Saturday (3pm) – Preview

While momentum continues to build on the pitch, uncertainly off it remains at a critical stage.

Tuesday’s win at Wealdstone extended the Blues’ unbeaten Vanarama National League sequence to fourteen matches, although the play-offs remain out of reach. Nevertheless, optimism of a robust challenge next season continues to grow among supporters, despite a hazy picture just over the horizon of how the club’s future might pan out.

Let’s start with the football. Goals from Nathan Ralph and Cav Miley – the latter bagging his first of the season, and in some style, turned the game Southend’s way after Manny Duku had given struggling Wealdstone the lead at Grosvenor Vale.

Boss, Kevin Maher, was satisfied with his charges toil: “We had to dig deep,” he explained.

“I thought we played ever so well in the first half, moved the ball about and had a couple of chances. We had plenty of the ball but got done on a set piece. We responded well to that I have to say.

“They’re fighting. They’ve changed their manager unfortunately for him and there was a bit of atmosphere around the place, so we had to cope with that.

 “We had a period in the season where we were really tired, but we’re mentally strong and the players keep going, even going behind. Wealdstone needed to win or get a result, so to come back and win the game was really pleasing.”

But as we head into the final weeks of the season, the takeover is yet to be completed, another winding-up order remains hanging over us, this despite an adjournment until mid-May, and no word of season ticket sale from the club, although I guess you can’t sell something to the public that you don’t yet own!

The law firm chasing the club has agreed to adjourn, in the understanding that the Blues will be under new ownership by early May. As reassuring as that is, this has all taken far too long. Supporters remain anxious. After all, recent history doesn’t exactly provide confidence in the selling party, leaving plenty of concern over a smooth conclusion to this mess.

In the meantime, Southend have two league fixtures remaining, starting at AFC Fylde on Saturday.

The ambitious North-West outfit doesn’t appear to be in any danger of relegation after Chris Beech – appointed initially in an interim role in October following the dismissal of Adam Murray – has transformed the Caster’s fortunes and lifted them from the foot of the table.

Of course, off the back of a lengthy unbeaten sequence with an improving group of players, Blues fans should be looking forward to next season with optimism and renewed hope. But while even the slightest cloud hangs menacingly over Southend United Football Club, caution reigns largely supreme. 

No doubt, I will get the usual accusation of negativity from certain quarters. But the nature of the beast suggests we are well within our rites to be cautious. Good or bad, it’s not over until the fat lady sings. But it’s worth remembering that we’ve listened to more than the odd ‘bum note’ amidst the proverbial Southend United power ballad

Jeevesie’s prediction: AFC Fylde 1-1 Southend United


Brian Jeeves