It's all a numbers gameUNHAPPY HUNTING GROUND
Southend, in particular their supporters, must hate coming to Kenilworth Road. Unless of course they’ve never been; or they have and they are well over the age of 50. Why? Well, the Hatters’ 2-0 victory on Saturday extended the Shrimpers’ run without winning on Bedfordshire soil to 13 matches – a sequence spanning half a decade. Not since a victory in 1964 have the Shrimpers won at Kenilworth Road, with the Town winning eight and drawing five of the matches that have followed since in all competitions. No wonder the Hatters fans were chanting “can we play you every week?” after Mark Cullen had made it 2-0 after 34 minutes.
Andy Drury was given licence to roam in a position just behind Cullen during Saturday’s 2-0 win, and the midfielder’s influence in the game was evident not just because he set-up Cullen’s goal, which doubled the Town’s lead. The former Ipswich man had more touches of the ball than any other Hatters player during the game with 89. And, as this graphic shows, the 30-year-old popped up all over the pitch. Drury also made more passes than any other Town player with 50.
The victory hoisted the Town to fourth in the League 2 table, the highest position the Hatters have held in the Football League since the end of the 2007/08 season when finishing bottom of League 1. The win also meant the Hatters now top the form table, having won five of their last six matches, taking 16 points from their last 18. The clean sheet was the Town’s sixth shut-out of the season. The eight goals conceded this season is the joint best defensive record in League 2 together with leaders Wycombe and Plymouth.
FOUR IN A ROW
Saturday win also made it four victories on the spin. The last time the Hatters last won four Football League matches in a row they were on their way to lifting the League 1 title towards the end of the 2004/05 campaign. That particular sequence saw the Town string six wins together between 28th March and 30th April, following wins against Torquay, Blackpool, Bournemouth, MK Dons, Wrexham and Brentford.
THROUGH THE GATE
Over 50,000 supporters have clicked through the Kenilworth Road turnstiles in league matches this term after a season’s best 9,238 witnessed Saturday’s win. The Hatters’ average gate of 8,498 so far this campaign is the 54th highest out of the 92 Premier League and Football League clubs. Eight sides in League 1 have averaged more, whilst only Portsmouth’s 15,545 average trumps the Town’s average in League 2.
ON THIS DAY
The Hatters' win on Saturday was their first recorded on 11th October in 11 years, since a 3-1 home win over Wycombe Wanderers at Kenilworth Road. Wycombe won 3-1 at Morecambe on Saturday and are now the new leaders of League 2.