First Team
National League Tue 12 March Roots Hall
  • Scott-Morris (27')
  • Cardwell (85')
Dorking Wanderers

The Wanderers will be hoping to bounce back from a dejecting few days in which the elation of our 4-1 win over Chesterfield has been quickly sapped. Marc White described our most recent outing at Maidenhead United as “a woeful defensive performance.”

The 4-2 loss at York Road followed a frustrating evening in Altrincham nearly a week ago. Despite the two games being very different circumstantially, Dorking were punished for lacklustre defending in the early stages in both encounters.

With no training session between Saturday and Tuesday, the boys will travel with a relatively fresh taste of defeat. Post-Maidenhead, White stated that he’d do his “utmost to get the boys back on an even keel” before tomorrow’s game. The boss may take some solace in the fact that we have beaten The Shrimpers in each of our last two meetings.

We face a Shrimpers side who are unbeaten in their last seven outings, with their last three all finishing 1-1. The TNT Sports cameras joined them for their most recent clash against Dagenham & Redbridge, where Danny Waldron’s equaliser early in the second half earned them a point.

Perched comfortably in mid-table, Southend have recorded 16 wins, 9 draws and 12 losses this campaign, following their 10 point deduction back in August.

Team News

Seb Bowerman made his return to a Wanderers match day squad at the weekend for the first time in over a month, bringing some needed additional cover in the wide areas following Matt Briggs’ hamstring injury, which is set to rule him out for the rest of the campaign.

In his update, filmed earlier today, White revealed that Joe Cook is unavailable for tomorrow night, Barry Fuller is still struggling with a dead leg and George Francomb is still playing through discomfort caused by tendonitis. The boss also stated that Charlie Carter (whiplash) is touch and go for tomorrow.

Josh Taylor will serve the second of his two match ban after picking up his tenth yellow card of the season at Altrincham a week ago.

Dan Gallagher and James McShane remain unavailable, leaving White a little short in midfield.

Opposition Focus – The Shrimpers

Southend boss Kevin Maher stated that the disappointment which has accompanied three successive draws for The Shrimpers “shows how far we’ve come and where the standards are at this football club now.”

Maher’s side endured a tricky first half against The Daggers at the weekend, but an improved second half performance ought to give the Essex-based side some confidence ahead of our visit.

Such is the nature of the National League, only six points separate Southend and Dorking, with a substantial 10 places between them.

The trio of Harry Taylor, Ollie Kensdale and Callum Powell remain unavailable for Southend, as they continue to recover from their respective injuries.

With 5 goals and 12 assists this campaign, Jack Bridge stands as one of Southend’s most influential and productive players. Harry Cardwell is Southend’s top scorer with 14 goals in 30 appearances.

Speaking ahead of our visit, Maher stated:

“I expect a huge test tomorrow night, as with any time we play Dorking. They’re not inferior to anyone else in this league and they’ve got real experience and good quality in the team.”

Last Time We Met

Two first-half goals from Jack Bridge and Shaun Hobson, in front of a 6,400+ crowd, made it eleven games unbeaten for Southend in our last visit to Roots Hall.

Bridge netted a penalty in the ninth minute after Barry Fuller was adjudged to have fouled Wes Fonguck, before Hobson nodded a fine header beyond Slav Huk in the Wanderers net to make it two on the half hour mark.

The win, way back in November 2022, pushed Southend up into 5th, whilst we sat in mid table nearing the midway point of our maiden season in the division.