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02 March 2021 Venue Jonny-Rocks Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Southend United

2 March 2021

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A Southend United side who have taken points from four of their last five League Two games are the visitors to the Jonny-Rocks Stadium on Tuesday (kick-off: 7pm).

Struggling at the foot of the table for much of the season, Southend are showing really positive signs as they look to haul themselves away from relegation trouble.

In February alone they earned wins on their travels at Forest Green and Newport County AFC, while they also held top of the table Cambridge United and Salford City to goalless draws.

The game is all set to be a much tougher contest than the one Cheltenham encountered back in October, but after back-to-back away victories Michael Duff's charges will go into the game full of confidence.

Watch all of the action by purchasing a match pass on iFollow.

Team news

Having come through training there's a possibility midfielder Liam Sercombe could be back involved in the squad.

Missing though will be Alex Addai, Will Boyle, Ellis Chapman and Chris Clements - they are all carrying injuries.

Check out assistant manager Russell Milton's pre-match press conference previewing the game.

Opposition

Dropping down into League Two for the first time since 2015, Southend have again plummeted to the lower reaches of their league campaign, but the Shrimpers fans will be encouraged by the positive progress they're gradually making.

They endured a miserable start to the season and had to wait until mid-November for their first win. Since then though they've managed to drag themselves out of the bottom two and in February alone they showed, with their January additions, that they are more than capable of securing their place in League Two again.

In February they recorded wins over Newport County AFC and Forest Green, with draws also achieved against Cambridge United and Salford City. The only loss they suffered was against momentum building Bolton Wanderers.

Their goalkeeping situation ahead of Tuesday is an interesting one. Mark Oxley is out injured so they brought in Alex Bass on loan from Portsmouth on an emergency seven day loan for Saturday's draw with Salford. However he went off at half time due to an issue with a previous injury, so academy graduate Harry Seaden featured in the second half and he may be forced to start at the Jonny-Rocks.

Southend's defensive options include summer 2020 signing from AFC Bournemouth Shaun Hobson, Uganda international full back Elvis Bwomono, academy product Tom Clifford and the highly experienced John White.

Their midfield includes Frenchman Timothée Dieng, ex-Crawley Town man Ashley Nathaniel-George and AFC Bournemouth loanee Kyle Taylor who has been on loan from the Championship club since September. Experienced wide man Ricky Holmes joined towards the end of February and brings lots of Football League knowhow.

At the top of the pitch a January loan signing in the shape of Reeco Hackett-Fairchild could feature. Nigerian born Simeon Akinola has been given the opportunity in League Two this season after several goal scoring seasons in the National League.

The manager: Mark Molesley

Having led Weymouth to consecutive promotions from the Southern Premier to the National League, Mark Moseley made the jump into the Football League by being appointed as the Southend manager last summer.

The 39-year-old is steadily improving his team after a difficult start having agreed a three-year contract when he became boss.

As well as his success with Weymouth, he also managed the AFC Bournemouth under-21s side alongside this having spent a part of his playing career on the south coast.

A midfielder in his playing days, he also represented Aldershot Town, Exeter City, Grays Athletic, Stevenage, Hayes and Cambridge City, as well as a loan stint at Plymouth Argyle.

He is assisted by former Bashley and Forest Green Rovers Ladies manager Tom Prodomo.

One to watch: Nathan Ferguson

Nathan Ferguson's stunning strike in Southend's recent win at Forest Green understandably gained huge viewing figures online.

The 25-year-old midfielder made the switch to Roots Hall in January and already he has found the back of the net twice for his new employers.

He joined on an 18-month deal from fellow League Two side Crawley Town.

Earlier on in his career he's featured in the Football League at Burton Albion and Port Vale, but has mostly experienced life in non-league circles with spells at Dulwich Hamlet, Grays Athletic and Billericay Town adding to his experience.

Match programme

As always there's a print and digital copy of the match programme on sale on the club's online shop.

The 24 page print copy is priced at £2.50 and you can down download the digital version for £2.

Inside the programme there's a big interview with captain Ben Tozer plus other interviews with young pair George Lloyd and Callum Wright.

You can also read the latest thoughts from Michael Duff, find out about the night's opposition and check out the latest from around the club.

Get your print version online or download a digital copy from the shop.

Watch the match on iFollow

The whole match is available to watch live on iFollow with live commentary from BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

To watch the game, buy a match pass online before kick-off and subscribe to the full match coverage at a cost of £10.

Coverage

Give @CTFCofficial a follow on Twitter for all of the team news, in-game match photos, live updates and more. You can also check out the club's Facebook page and Instagram account for the latest score.

After the match read John Townley's match report on the club website, and see reaction from the post-match press conference with Michael Duff.

You'll be able to watch extended highlights on iFollow post-match too.

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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Robins 1-0 Southend United

2 March 2021

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Cheltenham Town have moved to the League Two summit after beating Southend United 1-0 at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Conor Thomas’ second-half penalty proved the difference between the two sides as Michael Duff’s Robins top the League Two standings having put together a three-match winning run in recent weeks.

After taking maximum points on the road in successive away ties against Scunthorpe United and Cambridge United last time out, Cheltenham were looking to kick-start a run of home form to cement an automatic promotion place as the business end of the League Two campaign approaches.

Cheltenham had taken nine fewer points at home compared to the points total accumulated on away trips this season, before entertaining Southend at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium. After winning successive away games for the third time this League Two campaign last week- a fete the Robins failed to manage throughout the whole of last season - the hosts knew that dropping points on home turf would dent their promotion chances come May.

Before entertaining Mark Molesley’s Southend, the Robins had in fact failed to win more games at home than not, with only six wins taken in 14 this term, and so the hosts started slowly against the league’s 22nd placed side.

With a lack of attacking impetus from Cheltenham in the opening exchanges, the first half went by without a meaningful attempt on goal from either side.

Southend, despite their lowly league position before travelling to Cheltenham, had taken points of the Robins’ fellow-promotion chasers Newport County and Forest Green Rovers in recent weeks.

Those two wins for The Shrimpers had come in a run of ten games that saw Molesley’s side lose five and draw three. Eight points from a possible 15 isn’t however a bad accumulation of away points considering their hosts on the night, Cheltenham had only won one home game in eight, since the start of December.

Southend were poised to make an assault on Cheltenham’s home territory early on, but after a succession of long throw-ins from Greg Halford failed to produce anything in the way of goal-scoring chances for the visitors, Cheltenham’s defence remained untested through the first 45 minutes.

Goals have been few and far between for Southend this term, having found the net on fewer occasions than any other team in the division before travelling to the Jonny-Rocks - their defensive record too leaves a lot to be desired.

After conceding the second most goals in the division, Cheltenham were left frustrated not to have forced an advantage before the interval.

James Montgomery’s goal was hardly living a charmed life without the immediate danger of Alfie May’s clever movement nor the creativity of Callum Wright coming to fruition in the first period, but the Leicester loanee would shortly make his influence count.

As Wright progressed into the box at a wide angle, he won a penalty on the 51st minute after being fouled under a challenge from Shaun Hobson. Conor Thomas duly dispatched to add a second goal to his tally for the season, but more importantly, opened the scoring against what was proving to be a resolute Southend defence.

While Cheltenham goalkeeper Josh Griffiths went in search of his 15th clean sheet for the league campaign, his defence stood strong in the face of Southend’s late scramble for an equaliser.

Cheltenham will return to the Jonny-Rocks Stadium on Saturday to host Port Vale (kick off 15:00) in search of their first successive home League Two wins of the season.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): J Griffiths (GK); C Raglan, B Tozer, S Long; M Blair, C Hussey, F Azaz; C Thomas, C Wright (L Sercombe ’74); A May (A Williams ’74), S Smith. Subs not used: S Flinders (GK), L Freestone, G Horton, T Chamberlain, I Vassilev.

SOUTHEND UNITED (4-5-1): J Montgomery (GK); S Hobson, J White, T Cordner, T Clifford; J Demetriou (S Akinola ’60), T Dieng; G Halford (K Taylor ’78), A Nathaniel-George, R Holmes (N Ferguson ’60); E Acquah (R Hackett-Farchild ’60). Subs not used: H Seadon (GK), A McCormack.

REFEREE: Will Finnie. Assistants: Kevin Howick, Mike Desborough. Fourth Official: Carl Brook.

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