Providing the official Red Devil supporters transport to away games
Status of away travel
As soon as we have been informed by the club about the re-start of away matches we will then put up all the details of the start of away matches for the new season.
NEXT MATCH FOR THE RED DEVILS – LEAGUE 2 – Tuesday 23rd FEBRUARY 2021
GRIMSBY TOWN – AWAY 7.00pm KICK OFF – Available to watch on iFollow via the clubs website.
WELCOME 3 POINTS ON SATURDAY – NOW FOLLOW UP WITH ANOTHER 3 AT GRIMSBY ON TUESDAY EVENING
I think we all can breathe a sigh of relief as we managed to eke out a win on Saturday even though it was in the last few minutes of added time, James Tilley placing the ball into the net from the edge of the penalty area after a great cut back from Tom Nichols. The relief felt was immense for both players and supporters as we came away with the 3 points and climbed back up the table to 12, still only 6 points away from the playoffs.
We can all agree it wasn’t the best of games with both teams struggling to find any form, Colchester’s was worse than Crawley’s having not won in 11 matches, now 12 – their supporters were not happy with the team or management after the game on social media.
There were very few chances created though out the game, with Glenn Morris probably being the busier of the two keepers, but if you don’t put the ball in the net you don’t win matches. Crawley could have taken the lead in the first half with a well worked free kick that saw Jack Powell’s effort just go the wrong side of the post, then Colchester should have scored when the same player was caught with the ball and presented the visiting striker Oteh with a one on one with Glenn Morris who brilliantly came to Crawley’s rescue once again.
John Yems selection was more positive, playing with two strikers, Tom Nichols and Ashley Nadesan and recalling Jake Hesketh into midfield after a long injury absence. The Red Devils played with more energy and managed to get the ball down and out wide to the wingers. It was a much improved performance from the previous matches – but we are missing chances, which is the worrying aspect of the play at the moment – we need either someone to fill the missing Watters goals – or the midfield have to score more and create for each other – it doesn’t matter who scores as long as the ball is going into the net on a regular basis from the team. With Yems sitting in the stand serving his second touchline ban he would have got a change of view of the game sitting higher up – whether that was the case for changing the two wide players we don’t know but when James Tilley and Sam Mathews came onto the pitch for Jake Hesketh and Jordan Maguire-Drew the team got back into some flowing football again which lead to the late winner. The Red Devils were hampered early on, losing Tom Dallsion through injury from a bad tackle by Frank Nouble in the first 10 minutes, then again Nouble took out Tony Craig in the final five minutes and Crawley were reduced to 10 from then on as they couldn’t bring on another sub as they had already made their 3 allowed changes. Let’s hope that the two injuries are not that serious and that they will be available on Tuesday evening at Grimsby.
It was good to see Jake Hesketh back in the squad, but what has happened to Nick Tsaroulla who was the star man against Leeds and only featured for a few minutes at Bournemouth, also David Sesay, who also inspired when coming on against Bournemouth – there again young striker Davide Rodari, none of these have appeared in the match day squads recently. I know it’s the manager’s selection for the match day squads and we go along with them but sometime you have to wonder why we haven’t seen these players.
The quality of refereeing is so indifferent in League 2, one referee books 9 players in our game against Stevenage which wasn’t physical and then on Saturday which was a physical game referee Nield only brandished 3 yellow cards and the one for Jordan Tunnicliffe was a brilliant tackle as shown on the replay. Frank Nouble’s two bad tackles were both unpunished. You can understand John Yems frustration with the men in the middle.
Also if you haven’t watched the latest edition of Talk of the Town, then please do – it’s on YouTube, and listen to John Yems interview, it puts a lot of the fans criticism about the club and management into perspective. I must admit that I don’t think that it is the majority of supporters view – but as we know social media can be very destructive and many comments are made behind aliases so that these people can’t be identified – would they repeat these comments to the faces of the management directly.
Our next game is tomorrow evening the long trip, one of many coming up in the next few weeks, to Grimsby – not the best of places to visit on a Tuesday evening – but it’s another chance for 3 points as they languish at the bottom of the league – their game on Saturday was called off a few hours before kick-off at Exeter due to a waterlogged pitch, so they will have fresher legs than Crawley. The starting eleven is likely to have changes, possible due to the injuries to Tom Dallison and Tony Craig, but we do have good cover in those position so I don’t think that the team will be any weaker. James Tilley will be raring to go against his former club who released him in the last transfer window – and also Jake Hassenthaler was a former Grimsby player prior to signing for the Red Devils. We need to take the improvement from Saturday and go again trying to up the game to another level, do that and we will get a result and the 3 points.
FORTHCOMING FIXTURES – all League matches available on iFollow
Because of COVID and no fans attending at the moment all kick off times are subject to change.
Current schedule of matches
Our last game in February is this Saturday 27th February 2021 – Exeter City – Home – 1.00pm kick off
March Fixtures – again as you can see we have a very busy schedule coming in March with some long trips for the team and some difficult fixtures.
Tuesday 2nd Match 2021 – Morecambe – Away – 6.30pm kick off
Saturday 6th March 2021 – Tranmere Rovers – Away – 3.00pm kick off
Tuesday 9th March 2021 – Salford City – Home 7.00pm kick off.
Saturday 13th March 2021 – Mansfield Town – Home – 3.00pm kick off
Tuesday 16th March 2021 – Walsall – Home 7.00pm kick off
Saturday 20th March 2021 – Barrow – Away – 3.00pm kick off
Tuesday 23rd March – NO FIXTURE SCHEDULED
Saturday 27th March 2021 – Port Vale – Home – 3.00pm kick off
Tuesday 30th March 2021 – Carlisle United – Away – 7.00pm kick off
A Crawley under 23 side played at Southend last week, but from the Crawley website you would not have known – so I have put the Southend match report so you can read it – unfortunately it doesn’t name any Crawley player or our team selection – I did send an e mail to the club about this game only to be told it was a game played by one of the out of town academy’s and didn’t warrant a report – that is such a shame as being Crawley supporters we want to hear about all our teams playing.
Eren Kinali scored a brace of goals for the second consecutive week as Southend United U23s defeated Crawley Town 3-1 in a friendly at Garon Park on Wednesday afternoon.
The 20-year-old winger was on target either side of a close-range Matt Rush finish to help Blues overturn an early deficit handed to Crawley from the penalty spot as Craig Fagan’s side built on last Wednesday’s 3-0 victory away to Watford.
“We didn’t start well in the first half,” said Fagan. “It wasn’t good enough, and I let the lads know that, but in the second half we played like the team we are. There were two or three lads that are usually with the first team, and the rest are normally with me. Because it was much better in the second half, we then managed to get some U18s on.”
One youth team player who was named in the starting line-up was schoolboy shotstopper Finley Purcell. The gloveman made his U18s debut on Saturday and made a string of fine saves in a narrow 2-1 defeat to league winners Peterborough United, and he followed that with a mature performance than belied his tender years against the Red Devils.
Southend could have taken the lead in the 14th minute, but O’Shane Stewart’s shot was delivered at a comfortable height for the goalkeeper after he found himself in space in the Crawley penalty area. Nine minutes later, Miles Mitchell-Nelson – who scored against the Hornets – chipped a Harry Phillips corner over from 12 yards out.
In-between, the hosts had been on the back foot with skipper Rob Howard required to step in front of an attacker to charge down a shot after a quarter-of-an-hour and another forward smashing narrowly over on 18th minutes. Shortly afterwards Purcell made an excellent save low to his right-hand side to push out a fierce shot directed towards his near post.
However, Blues had seemed to be starting to link-up well when the visitors edged in front. Stewart had just skewed a Kinali knockdown wide on the half-volley when a Crawley attacker was pulled down at the opposite end and the referee awarded a penalty. Purcell correctly guessed the destination of the 27th-minute spot-kick, but he couldn’t prevent the ball from squirming underneath his body.
Despite seeing his side go behind, former Intersports youngster Kinali was becoming ever more influential in the game, and the Crawley goalkeeper did well to claim a hanging Eastwood cross above the flanker’s head before Kinali nodded a Mitchell-Nelson flick-on inches over following another Phillips corner.
On 38 minutes, he hauled Blues level. Kinali started the move with a neat pass out to Stewart, who was occupying his team-mate’s usual left-wing berth. The stylish midfielder touched the ball inside to Rush, who moved it on quickly to Kinali and he swept his shot past the goalkeeper and into the bottom left-hand corner of the net from ten yards out.
Kinali could have added to his tally before the break, but he drilled a shot into the gloves of the goalkeeper after controlling a flighted Phillips pass, but Southend would not have to wait long after the break to grab the go-ahead goal. Jon Benton broke into the penalty area and, when his shot was repelled by the goalkeeper, Rush was on hand to tab home the simple rebound five minutes into the second period.
From that moment on, Southend were not in any realistic danger of surrendering their advantage, although Reiss Chandler did well to track the run of a forward to tackle him inside the penalty area, and later substitute Tommy Davis blocked a shot at the end of a mazy run.
Instead, it was more likely that Blues would add to their lead with Eastwood curling into the side-netting after more good combination play from Benton and Rush, whilst the third-year scholar also dragged a shot wide from the ‘D’ on the hour mark.
Brave play from the Crawley goalkeeper stopped Rush from stabbing home a Howard centre seconds later, whilst a less convincing stop saw the custodian block a Phillips effort with his knees at the culmination of a short-corner routine midway through the second half.
As the game progressed, the visiting goalkeeper began to become overworked, and Rush sent an attempt into his gloves after good hold-up play by first-year scholar Tayo Adedoja, freshly introduced as a substitute. The third goal finally arrived on 74 minutes when Adedoja stepped over a Howard cross from the right wing and Kinali spun to fire home from 13 yards out.
Fagan made a series of changes in the final quarter-of-an-hour with goalkeeper Collin Andeng, Sam Brogan, Imaad Sankoh, Damary Anyadike, Oli Coker and Issa Mpenga brought on, but it was one of the remaining members of the starting eleven that came closest to netting a fourth, with two minutes remaining, when full-back Ide Osimeh clipped the crossbar after being found by Coker’s quick pass.
“We didn’t start well today, but it was a different test against a team in Crawley that are quite physical but can still handle the football,” said Fagan. “I try to play all different teams: non-League, Category One Academies, Category Two Academies; it’s good for the lads to get a different experience.
“This is the only thing we’ve got now. We can’t get any of the lads out on loan, which is disappointing, so I need to get more games for them to play in, and I’ll be trying to do that between now and the end of the season,” he added.
Southend United U23s: Finley Purcell (Collin Andeng, 80), Reiss Chandler (Tommy Davis, 68), Ide Osimeh, Harry Phillips (Sam Brogan, 80), Miles Mitchell-Nelson, Rob Howard, O’Shane Stewart (Imaad Sankoh, 80), Matt Rush (Oli Coker, 80), Jon Benton (Tayo Adedoja, 68), Eren Kinali (Issa Mpenga, 89), Freddy Eastwood (Damaray Anyadike, 75).
Goals: Kinali (38, 74), Rush (50).