So he did it, Blues boss Paul Sturrock went for the big gamble and played Bilel Mohsni up front instead of the top scorer Barry Corr, the striker not being fully fit and started on the bench.
In the other change, keeper Glenn Morris reported ill before the game meaning promotion for Rhys Evans, allowing youth keeper Daniel Bentley to be named as a sub.
This was always a good evening to play Macclesfield after their recent traumas but with the Blues recent home record nothing could be taken for granted.
However, they opened brightly, and a good cross from Sean Clohessy was met by Ryan Hall but the three time in a row S24 M-O-M's eight yard volley was well saved by Silkmen shot stopper Jose Veiga.
Hall was back in the action when his free-kick from the left was headed over the bar by Graham Coughlan, and soon after the busy Hall's centre was nearly put into his own net by Nat Brown.
It was all Southend and quite rightly on Burns Night Blair Sturrock just failed to reach another dangerous cross from Clohessy before Mohsni, probably bored he hadn't had much to do, saw his header from yet another Hall assist go wide.
And this was all in the first 15 minutes! And on the 17th Bilel Mohsni, having warned us all he fancied staying upfront, decided enough was enough and was there to stab home a superb inswinging cross from, who else, Ryan Hall.
What do we know, well done Luggy!
Evans did his best to banish memories of his last appearance in the first team, a couple of errors leading to goals in the first five minutes, saving a 25 yard free-kick from Town's Colin Daniel.
Still, any nerves the Shrimpers faithful may have had after three long months without seeing their side win at home were turned into cheers when a route one special saw Hall, after a nice flick-on from Sturrock, who had a magnificent match and edges out Ryan as the top man tonight, strike a beauty from 20 yards that gave Veiga no chance.
Now it got silly, and the Cheshire side had a decent away record before this evening, as on 39 minutes, after a cross by, yes, Hall, found the French Tunisian Mohsni who struck a left footed special from 16 yards that found the bottom right corner.
Now in all honesty that would keep the most cynical Shrimpers fan a happy bunny, even those who had missed out on a wee dram before the game, but not tonight when the Essex boys put themselves firmly in the play-off race.
Two minues from the break, Mohsni's left foot effort deflected of a Silkmen defender and their was capain Craig Easton, and a Scotsman to boot, to touch the ball home from close range.
There was no way the second half could live up to that, the points were won, and the biggest applause of the night was when Mohnsi came off on the hour for Barry Corr.
Mark Phillips was also seen again after his injury problems to replace Graham Coughlan at centre-back.
Hall though was to keep up his excellent run of form when way out wide left his first time effort was pushed to safety by Veiga, just.
There was time for Macclesfield to score a consolation with 11 minutes left on the clock, the busy Colin Daniel shooting past Evans from 18 yards.
Yet the night was Southend's, the night was Bilel's, and the long suffering faithful could look forward to Saturday, and the short trip to Barnet.
Southend Player Markings: Evans -7, Clohessy - 7, Coughlan - 7 (Phillips 66 - 6), Barker - 7, Gilbert - 6, Ferdinand - 7, Easton - 7, Grant - 6 (Sawyer - 72 - 6), Hall - 8, Sturrock - 9, Mohsni - 8 (Corr 59 - 6).
Referee: Mr. M. Russell - 7.
|Npower League Two, Tuesday, 25th January 2011 @ 19:45|
|Bilel 17, 39|
|Southend Utd. Cards|