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Southend v York City: Roots manoeuvres leave Bullock cold
LOANED out York City midfielder Lee Bullock is backing his team-mates to provide a more memorable display at Southend United than the club’s last visit to Roots Hall in 2004.
Despite playing in that match for City as a makeshift striker alongside Jon Parkin, Bullock has no recollection of the game, which ended 0-0.
David Merris and Chris Smith, in his first spell with the Minstermen like Bullock, hit the crossbar during the January encounter but the visitors had to settle for a draw, which proved the only point won by Chris Brass’s side from a possible 21 in the middle of a grim seven-game run.
The match was also ultimately one of 20 without a win that would see the Bootham Crescent outfit plummet from the fringes of the play-offs to relegation from the Football League.
Current Premier League winger Michael Kightly came on as a substitute for the hosts in the second half but other notable moments were few and far between with Bullock, who has joined Gateshead on loan, admitting: “I can’t remember the game for the life of me so, hopefully, this match will be one for York fans to remember when people are looking back at it in another eight years’ time.
“The way the lads are playing, they certainly always look capable of scoring and I’m sure we will create chances again, as we did at Accrington on Tuesday night.”
Bullock, out of favour under current City chief Gary Mills, has had two more forgettable trips to Southend since that goal-less stalemate, going down 3-0 with Hartlepool and 4-0 as a Bradford player.
In fact, during six visits to the home of the Shrimpers, Bullock has suffered four defeats and only seen his side score once at the Essex ground when Parkin got the winning goal for the Minstermen more than ten years ago.
On the challenge presented by Southend on their own patch, the 31-year-old midfielder added: “It’s always been one of the better stadiums to go to at this level with a nice pitch and atmosphere. They’ve always been a half-decent team who normally play good football.
“They’ve been steady away this season as well, so it won’t be an easy match.”
While Bullock has been forced to go on loan for regular football, Smith’s return to Bootham Crescent has been more successful.
Stockton-born Bullock believes his 2004 team-mate now captains the team with distinction, saying: “He’s a completely different player to back then.
“He’s developed into a very composed centre-half with bags of experience and he is a leader, which he shows with his performances on the pitch. You could see he was a ball-playing centre-half during his first spell at York but the managers we had at that time, like Terry Dolan, did not really encourage defenders to play out from the back.”
How it was back then
City (v Southend on January 27, 2004): Ovendale, Edmondson, Smith, Hope, Merris, Walker (Fox), Brass, Ward, Dunning, Parkin (Nogan), Bullock (Yalcin).
Number One UK selling single at the time: All This Time (Michelle McManus).
It also happened on this day: The concluding film in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, The Return Of The King, receives 11 Oscar nominations.
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