Football – England – League Two
Tuesday 12th February 2013 – Kickoff: 1945hrs
7th placed Southend United take on 5th placed Cheltenham Town in the pick of the League Two fixtures on Tuesday night at Roots Hall as the hosts look to extend their unbeaten run to four matches and record back-to-back home wins.
Southend grabbed a point at lowly Accrington Stanley at the weekend but they now return to familiar surroundings where they have a pretty good record of 6-4-4 18/12 and where they’ve lost just once in their last seven league matches which incidentally was to second placed Gillingham 0-1 a couple of weeks ago.
Recent wins over Rochdale 3-1, Chesterfield 3-0 and Oxford United 1-0 along with points against York City, Port Vale and Bradford City have maintained Southend’s play-off challenge but they will be mindful of teams like Fleetwood Town and Rotherham United who are just behind them on the league ladder.
The Shrimpers also have numerous attacking options in leading scorer Assombalonga (11 goals, 3 assists), Hurst (4 goals, 13 assists) and Clohessy (4 assists) as they look to press home their advantage over a poor travelling Cheltenham side.
The visitors, Cheltenham Town, are well-known for their solid home form where they’ve lost just twice all season at Whaddon Road but away from home there are definite chinks in their armour; the Robins lost again on the road at the weekend this time at Dagenham & Redbridge 0-1 which makes it now four matches without a win on their travels and they’ve picked up just one point from the last twelve following losses at Rochdale 1-4, Oxford United 0-1 and Dagenham, with a point at Morecambe their meagre return.
In fact it’s just one win from their last nine which was a 3-2 win at Northampton Town back in early December and this poor away form has almost certainly cost them a comfortable automatic promotion berth. As it is, they are only one point behind Burton Albion in third place anyway, but are 11 points adrift of league leaders Port Vale.
Southend have been pretty consistent at home in recent weeks and I’ll take a chance on them tonight with the handicap against a Cheltenham side who have really struggled away from home all season; take Southend United to win 2-1.
Pick: Southend United AH-0.25 @ 1.90 Pinnacle