FOOTBALL doesn’t seem to make much sense at times.

And things never seem to make much sense where Southend United are concerned.

On Saturday, the Shrimpers had just 13 players available for an incredibly tough test against table-topping Chesterfield.

The Spireites sit five points clear of second placed Barnet with a game in hand and arrived at Roots Hall unbeaten in their last 13 league games, 12 of which had been victories.

As such, Paul Cook’s side are currently on course to end the season on almost 114 points, average 2.5 goals per game against their opposition and boast incredible strength in depth all over the pitch.

In stark contrast, Blues could name just two substitutes against the Spireites and even requested for the game to be postponed due to their lack of options.

With all that in mind, there seemed to be only winner at the weekend especially when Will Grigg fired Chesterfield in front in the first half.

But this current Shrimpers side should never be written off and fighting back to bag a 2-1 victory perfectly encapsulated what this squad and staff are all about.

It is certainly not an over-exaggeration to suggest this group have overcome more difficulties and problems than any other club in the country.

Let’s not forget that a week before the season started it was still not confirmed Southend would be able to line up in the National League.

A transfer embargo has been in place since September 2022 while Blues were also deducted 10 points after failing to pay off their HMRC debt before a deadline set by the National League.

These seemingly knock out blows would have floored most football clubs, but not this Southend United squad.

The group have been galvanised by the ongoing chaos and are now right among my favourite Blues’ sides I have watched in more than 30 years of attending Roots Hall.

Saturday’s success was also one of the most memorable I have seen and again centred around an incredible work-ethic and will to win.

Given their issues, the Shrimpers could have been forgiven for almost accepting defeat after going behind.

But instead they rolled their sleeves up and battled their way back into the game with Jack Bridge on target from the penalty spot.

That was quickly followed by a bizarre Darren Oldaker own goal which somehow worked its way past goalkeeper Harry Tyrer.

You make your own luck as they say though and it was the hard-work of Wes Fonguck which ultimately led to the match-winning goal.

And it is definitely about time a break went Blues’ way!

Saturday was actually the first time the Shrimpers have come from a goal down to triumph this season.

But should the game have gone ahead?

The debate can be spoken about honestly now without sour grapes being mentioned but it does not seem quite right Blues went into a game of such magnitude with two substitutes.

I fully understand it is a difficult situation for the National League and that there are no rules surrounding a football club who have been in such a torrid situation for such a long period of time.

However, clubs in the EFL are allowed 23 players when under embargo so restricting the Shrimpers to just 16 does seem rather harsh.

Ultimately though, Ron Martin is the man to blame not those running the league and it is his financial mismanagement which continues to create such problems.

The League also has to be stern enough with its punishments to discourage clubs from wanting to take risks with their finances.

And clubs abiding by the rules and who are up to date with their payments will also be keeping a close eye on what is happening at Roots Hall.

Fingers crossed, these kind of issues will soon be coming to an end for the Shrimpers and Friday night’s EGM was another step in the right direction where the takeover is concerned.

Seeing more than 8,000 fans crammed inside Roots Hall again underlined the club’s potential as did the incredible atmosphere those supporters created.

Head coach Kevin Maher takes a lot of the credit for that feel good factor on a matchday and deserves all the accolades coming his way.

For me, the win at the weekend was the best of his memorable regime so far with Chesterfield an accurate opponent to gauge the progress made under his management.

Just before Maher’s appointment, Blues were brushed aside 4-0 by the Spireites at Roots Hall in what was arguably the lowest moment of the club’s history.

Fans stopped the game to protest against how the club was being run and boss Phil Brown was sacked after the final whistle.

There seemed no future whatsoever for the Shrimpers back then and a third successive relegation loomed large.

It was a toxic, painful place to be and football just was not fun anymore.

But Saturday was just as far away from that as possible.

Jeers have now been replaced by cheers.

And, with new owners close to being officially confirmed, you sense that at long, long last the club will finally stop having to overcome the most challenging of issues every single week and can finally have the freedom of focusing on just football.