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Match Discussion: Game 20 - The Shrimpers (H)


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Game 20 - The Shrimpers (H)

Team: Southend United

Date: 11/12/2021

Where: Meadow Lane

What line-up should Ian Burchnall opt for? What will be the key areas for the Magpies to get a victory? What do you think the final score will be?

Have your say below, join in with the Pride of Nottingham match discussion.

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Southend are not in a good place on or off the pitch. They are under a transfer embargo because they owe money to the tax man. They drew 1-1 at home to Maidenhead last night. They would have been expected to win that. They are in the relegation zone on goal difference at the moment. Notts are strong at home. 20 points from 27. Southend are not good away from home. 7 points from 27 points is pretty poor. It's hard to see anything but a Notts win. 2-0 to Notts I reckon. 

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I think the signing of Richardson earlier in the week shows we are committing to playing a 3-5-2 formation now (at least as our ‘plan a’ anyway). I expect he’ll start and with him and Joel in the wing-back positions, that’s about as strong as you can get at this level.

Southend are in free fall at the moment, they could well be on for 3 successive relegations. As Dover are as good as relegated that leaves two relegation spots, that’ll help but it’s still not looking good for them.

We come into the game refreshed and with everyone raring to go and I think if we get an early goal Southend could be in for a bit of punishing chasing shadows kind of game. Looking at the table you’d think this game has home win written all over it, but you can never be sure with Notts!

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Knowing Notts, Southend are exactly the type of team that will make it difficult.

I can see frustrations becoming a problem, I have this feeling its going to happen. 1-0 up, then fall to pieces in the second half. I hope not, as I dislike Southend fans attitude towards the National League, its as if they're too good for this league. Yeah, right!

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I felt like "here we go", for the first 20 minutes.

Notts didn't pass the ball well at all, in fact, Southend asserted more pressure after the first 10 minutes when they realised we looked nervous. We might be playing at a low level, but our players are able to pass, that's a basic thing in football and if this hasn't improved like it did - Southend would've enjoyed a lot more time as nobody seemed to want the ball in our kit.

Aside from the free kick which Rube Rodrigues took, we didn't trouble them much at all.

The moment Matt Palmer passed the ball to an unmarked Alex Lacey, who tried to control the ball but instead allowed it to go out for a corner is the most frustrating thing I have seen from Notts (much more than any part of our League Two relegation season).

Defensively, Notts had their heads in the clouds (I could be harsher with the word clouds). 🥺

Thankfully, we started to improve but Southend's pressing in the first half did prove to be a difficult point to overcome. I would like to add, a lot of the issues in the first 45 minutes can only be blamed on us, but they did press very well once they knew Notts wasn't as comfortable as they should've been.

When Cal Roberts scored, it did give us a boost and, I do think it restored some confidence, but it still looked like a game which would ultimately end in a draw.

In the second half, Notts came out with a high-pressing attack and started how we should've been playing in the first.

Southend struggled with our passing and, I am surprised they didn't start trying to kick lumps out of our players more so than the few times they did. Due to Southend wanting to play football, it allowed us to be a lot more creative and free - flowing with the distribution.

I felt a bit disappointed when Joel Taylor came off, although Connor Pearsons did quite well. I just felt Taylor looked to be our main outlet on the flanks, yet in hindsight, it allowed Jayden Richardson a lot more ball time and, he alone took the game in a more direct way to Southend. The moment he started taking on the opposition's defence, pulling behind the last defender at the right time - just opened up so much space.

Southend simply couldn't deal with the class we showed on the right-hand side, which made the game a lot more open.

Notts did attack with a lot of purpose, yet I think it's only fair to credit Richardson for finding the space which change things.

Frank Vincent did a lot of smart play, with his direct running and passing. Matt Palmer calmed things down and with Cal Roberts and Ruben Rodrigues the passing at times was a real joy to watch - although albeit frustrating when one or two of said players went for glory instead of being a team player.

The performanc was fantastic overall, topped off with Kyle Cameron's goal.

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