Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Steve Harris previews the game at Plainmoor
TORQUAY UNITED VS SOUTHEND UNITED
Date: Saturday 25th February 2023
Torquay: W, D, L, L, W, L
Southend: W, W, L, W, W, L
Torquay: Aaron Jarvis (11)
Southend: Jack Bridge (8)
HEAD TO HEAD
Year founded: 1906
Nickname: The Shrimpers
Last season’s league finish: 13th in National League
Division Three/Division Two/League One:
Division Four/Division Three/League Two:
MANAGER: KEVIN MAHER
Former Southend midfielder Kevin Maher returned to Roots Hall in October 2021, as the successor to Phil Brown and has helped to steer the Blues away from the foot of the National League table since his arrival.
A former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international, Maher spent a decade with Southend between 1998 and 2008, after joining on a free transfer from Tottenham Hotspur. During this time, he captained the Blues to back-to-back promotion from League Two to the Championship in 2004-05 and 2005-06.
Spells with Oldham Athletic, Gillingham and Dagenham & Redbridge followed before he began his coaching career with Chelmsford City in 2015. He then returned to Roots Hall to coach the Blues’ Under-21 and youth sides before he was appointed as Under-21 manager.
In 2019, he joined Bristol Rovers as first team coach and had two spells as caretaker manager of the Pirates prior to his appointment as Brown’s successor at Roots Hall.
PLAYER TO WATCH: JACK BRIDGE
Currently in his second spell with the Shrimpers, Jack Bridge is Southend’s top scorer for the 2022-23 campaign with eight goals.
After progressing through the Shrimpers youth ranks, Bridge signed his first professional contract in 2014, when Phil Brown was in charge as manager.
In 2018, he joined Northampton Town for an undisclosed fee and later had spells with Carlisle United, Concord Rangers and Bromley before he re-joined Southend in the summer of 2021.
Position: Midfield/Wing Back
Date of Birth: 21st September 1995 (27 years old)
Former Clubs: Soham Rangers, Chelmsford, Northampton, Carlisle, Concord, Bromley
NL Stats 22-23: Played 28, Goals 8, Yellows 1, Red 0
Southend: Rhys Murphy
Southend United 1-2 Torquay United
Saturday 3rd September 2022
Torquay United came away from Southend United’s Roots Hall with their first away win over the Shrimpers since May 8, 2004.
Midfielder Ryan Hanson in the fourth minute and on-loan striker Will Goodwin in the 61st gave Gary Johnson’s men a 2-0 lead despite a far-from-convincing display.
But Southend substitute Chris Wreh grabbed a lifeline for his side with four minutes, plus five of stoppage-time, to go.
The visitors made an excellent start when Hanson, signed in the summer from Dover, headed in from close range after Corie Andrews had nodded Ben Wyatt’s cross back across goal in the fourth minute.
After Callum Powell had put an effort wide and Dan Mooney fired his shot at goalkeeper Rhys Lovett for the hosts.
Torquay then doubled their lead just past the hour mark when Goodwin’s strike took a deflection on its way past Southend goalkeeper Collin Andeng-Ndi.
Lovett made a fine stop to prevent Powell from pulling a goal back for the home side.
But he was beaten by Wreh late on, although it proved a consolation as Southend suffered a second defeat in three games.
Torquay United (4-4-2):
Shaun Donnellan – Ross Marshall – Nico Lawrence – Dean Moxey
Dillon De Silva – Tom Lapslie – Brett McGavin – Ben Wyatt
Tope Fadahunsi – Aaron Jarvis
Southend United (5-2-2-1):
Blondy Nna Noukeu
Gus Scott-Morriss – Shaun Hobson – Ollie Kensdale – Louis Lomas – Jack Bridge
Harry Taylor – Cav Miley
Noor Husin – Wes Fonguck