South by Southend

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Dennis Taylor 1985

Dennis Taylor 1985

It’s ruddy nice to go to someone else’s place and mess up the furniture, especially when Ronnie Moore is involved. And that’s what we got with our Valentine’s Day delight up at Hartlepool United. It was probably appropriate – or maybe not – that 14 February was the day we (collectively) fell in love with a young Irishman and GW treated us to roses, chocolates and a brand new winger.

The boys are back in the New Town this weekend, with the Football League making us open doors and lay on cups of tea for a team described in no uncertain terms as “Southend United”. Formed in 1906 and with a 70-year jump on the Boro’, here we now are – side by side in League Two if you take those three places out of the equation, and us looking to drag out this unbeaten run to three games.

Formidable is a word, however, that you could use if talking about our guests this time out. From the beginning of the season to now, Southend United’s record on the road is bettered by just one other in the division and more than half of the 15 fixtures they’ve played away from Roots Hall have ended up with them travelling home hoarding the spoils. Mind you, we win six out of 10 home games…

Goals are a feature of Southend’s travels too – when the Blues rock up to your gaff, you see an average of two-and-a-half goals – or so it seems. And, weirdly, they average 1.27 goals in both the for and against columns on the road. We’re starting to think this one could be a nailed-on draw – just like our only other league game against them at our place.

And there’s no issue with a draw, surely, given our record is – broadly speaking – naff when it comes to Southend United.

For a change, we had a look at which herbert has been plucked from League ranks to oversee this match and it turns out to be Geoff Eltringham. We’ve craved his indulgence three times since we sacked off the Conference and all three finished all-square; a 2-2 draw at Port Vale most recent. Mr Eltringham has also sent a Boro’ lad for an early bath on the last two occasions our paths have crossed.

And in 25 games so far this season, the man in the middle has dealt out seven dismissals.

What odds an eighth at the Lamex? We can’t tell you that sadly, but we can tell you that o merciful bookmakers of Britain will serve up 6/4 (multiple) on the away win and 9/4 (Boylesports) on the home win. For us, the draw at 12/5 (BetVictor) is our chosen punt. A chance on Over 2.5 is 13/10 (Coral), while Bennedy is 7/2 anytime (Bet365). Or you can get 85/40 (StanJames) on Lee Barnard…

Putting this one onto the FIFA 15 presser, we had a strangely comfortable time. No Dave Martin for now, so Tom Pett got the nod – otherwise it was a team that you’d have recognised-ish from Partleyhool. Dean Parrett opened the scoring, Beardo made it two by half time and Ben Kennedy went close. But we naffed up the goal vids and only have this tackle by Roarasaurus to show you:

Now that some of our absentees are starting to return, we can hopefully say bonjour to the worst of our injury crisis – downgrade it even, to dilemma or something. Dean Parrett’s return is a huge plus as far as our creativity is concerned, while Dave Martin looks a steal on a freebie. On the flip side, Southend’s defeat against Accrington ended a long unbeaten run and we hope their luck is still out.

Southend United have a profile on BoroGuide and it can be visited here between 9am and 5pm here. And at other times too.

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