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Checkatrade Trophy

Trophy Southern Area Final preview

20 February 2013

Southend United hold the slenderest of advantages over Leyton Orient ahead of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Southern Area Final second leg, meaning it's all to play for at Roots Hall on Wednesday night.

Ryan Leonard's goal gave the Blues a 1-0 lead in the first leg and they will be confident of making the Final for the third time in their history, particularly as the second leg is in front of their own supporters.

The Essex outfit lost both of their previous Finals - 2-0 to Blackpool in 2004 and 2-0 to Wrexham in 2005 - so the Southend fans will be hoping they can make it third time lucky this time around.

Paul Sturrock's men have failed to win since that first leg Trophy victory, though, most recently losing 2-1 to Northampton Town in npower League 2.

The 56-year-old manager could be without nine of his first-team players but insists they will do their utmost to advance.

He told "We know it's a very big test. Both sides know that a Wembley Final beckons so I can guarantee the team will give it absolutely everything they have got.

"I want to get to Wembley, I'm greedy I guess. Every manager wants success and I want to get to the Final, I know the lads are all desperate to be there, too."

Leyton Orient, meanwhile, have won once and lost once in npower League 1 since the first leg at the Matchroom Stadium.

If the O's are to appear in the Final on April 7th against either Coventry City or Crewe Alexandra, who also meet on Wednesday, they will need to beat Southend, which is a feat they haven't achieved since a 4-2 win at Roots Hall in 2008.

Despite this, manager Russell Slade is relishing the challenge ahead.

"We're really looking forward to it," the 52-year-old commented on

"We can put the league programme to one side for one night and hopefully have a really good crack at Southend and possibly get ourselves a place at Wembley.

"We know it's going to be hard, but that's our job and that's what we are going to set out to achieve.

"It doesn't suit me to be 1-0 down and certainly the advantage is with Southend, to win the game in 90 minutes, we have to score at least two and that makes our job that little bit harder and we're away from home.

"What we do have is a great following of fans going there and it promises to be an exciting night and we just need to make sure we come out of it on top."

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