After a 10-point deduction earlier in the season, Southend find themselves back in National League credit.
In The Black
After pulling off an FA Cup upset at the expense of Portsmouth, Chesterfield’s season is seemingly going from strength to strength.
Continuing The Momentum
For Southend United to still be in operation must be considered a huge victory in itself, the Essex-based outfit have been in financial turmoil for quite some time and has been operating in a state of death by a thousand cuts.
To the point where many felt that they could not be cut anymore and even for all the campaigning and protesting that took place within their brow-beaten fan base, it was not enough for owner Ron Martin to pass on the reins.
While although those reins have not been completely passed on just yet, there is certainly a break in the gloomy clouds that have been sitting over Roots Hall and in the next few weeks, the Martin reign of terror will finally come to an end.
It will do so in a season where Southend have already been deducted 10 points for failing to clear an HM Revenue & Customs debt before a deadline imposed by the National League and a look at the current table would highlight just how expensive that deduction has been.
Not in a financial sense but in a competitive one and although Kevin Maher’s men sit 16th in the table at the time of writing, the points that they have actually accrued would see them positioned in sixth instead.
A feat all the more impressive when you consider how threadbare their squad has been this season and although their league placing is closer to the relegation zone, they are more than capable of mixing it with the division’s elite.
Which is exactly how you explain Saturday’s opposition and with Chesterfield not only flying high at the top but also in the second round of the FA Cup, Paul Cook’s side is not one that anybody wants to be facing right not.
A home win over Portsmouth in the greatest club knockout competition was quickly followed by victory over Barnet in the National League at the same venue – a win that also extends their lead over the Bees to five points.
Not only that, but Chesterfield have won each of their last five league outings and are unbeaten in each of their last 13. That number is usually considered unlucky, but luck has not been the reason behind the Spireites’ recent dominance.
But now it is time for the first of my two tips, and I think the only direction travel before Saturday is a Chesterfield victory. Although I am going to need to squeeze out a bit more value and therefore, I am going for the away win and both teams to score at odds of 5/2.
In addition to this, I am going to opt for a correct score and although Southend have only conceded six goals at home this season, they have not met Chesterfield at Roots Hall and therefore, I am backing a 3-1 defeat for the Shrimpers.