No points, no goals and no clean sheets – apart from that, it’s been a triffic start to the new season. Two matches in and still we’re scratching our heads, not yet sure what our best XI is. And, at the same time, trying to cope without at least a couple of lads who you’d expect to be at the front of the gaffer’s thoughts. But, already, it’s time for a break from the league as Sarfend roll into town for the first round of the Carabao Cup.
At the very least, it could be a useful free pass; a game that has nothing much riding on it. Do we stick with what we’ve gone with before – or twist and try something a little different?
Stevenage v Southend United: The Preview…
Who are Southend United?
If you count the Checkatrade Trophy as a “proper” tournament, you won’t have to go back more than three years for our last encounter with the Shrimpers. If not, then it’s more than four years since Sarfend got the better of us in the League Two playoffs. Obvs, they went on to go up that season. And that’ll be why it’s been a while since we’ve crossed paths. It isn’t a brilliant record we have against them, however, so maybe that’s been for the best?
Our Record vs Southend United: P 8 — W 2 — D 2 — L 4 — F 12 — A 14 — Pts 4
Last time out: Stevenage 4-0 Southend United, 08 November 2016
What’s their current form?
Like us, Sarfend have made a slow start to the season. Like us, Sarfend have lost two out of two. But, unlike us, they have at least found the back of the net. That was a 75th-minute consolation against a 10-man Blackpool side at the weekend. So, one of us will be getting our season up and running with this cup tie. At least we’ve let in fewer goals up ’til this one – hardly makes it advantage us, but it could be anybody’s game.
Got a fun Southend United fact?
Southend’s player of the year for the 1992-3 season was Stan Collymore. With the club in dire straits and facing relegation to what is now League One where they are anyway, Stan turned in 18 goals in 33 games during the second half of the campaign to keep them up.
Why do you build me up buttercup?
Just to let you down, really. Thought you knew that?
What are the bookies saying?
Our guests are slight favourites with the bookies, which isn’t much of a shock given they’re a division above us. As we speak to you from the palace, the best price you’d find on them is 8/5. To compare, 19/10 is the best price we’ve seen for a home win. It’s more likely you’ll get something like 7/4 on us, however. You pay your money, you takes your choice.
Who is Southend United’s danger mouse?
It wasn’t just us casting our net in the non-league sea for a striking prodigy this summer. In Brandon Goodship, Southend got a lad who banged ’em in for fun at Weymouth; nearly 80 goals in two seasons, if you’re asking. Yet to get started for his new club, though…
Who is reffing this?
Christopher Sarginson. It’s his first outing of the season. On his watch, it’s seven matches since we last won. But it’s also seven matches since he last reffed at the Lamex.
Our Record: P 17 — W 4 — D 7 — L 6 — F 14 — A 24
Last time out: Oldham Athletic 1-1 Stevenage, 02 March 2019
And finally, what do you reckon?
Think of all those classic football matches you’ve ever watched. Yeah, this ain’t gonna be up there with ’em. Here we have two sides scratching around for some early season form and hoping to take that back into the league at the weekend. Is home advantage going to be the difference – or is it going to be Sarfend’s higher place in the ladder? Oof. Tough.
Stevenage v Southend United prediction: 0-0 – an inglorious cup tie that goes right up to the final whistle with neither defence breached, before someone takes it on pelanties.