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Match preview: Southend United v York City
SOUTHEND United are hoping to hand a debut to Millwall midfielder Tamika Mkandawire during tomorrow’s home match with York City.
The 29-year-old former West Brom trainee is poised to join Southend on loan with Lions manager Kenny Jackett keen for the Malawian to gain match fitness following knee surgery earlier this year.
Mkandawire is set to take ex-Burnley and Doncaster performer John Spicer’s place in the team with Shrimpers boss Paul Sturrock keen to bolster a midfield already depleted by injuries to Michael Timlin (ankle) and Ryan Leonard (hamstring).
Southend will also be without centre-back Mark Phillips, who suffered a recurrence of his recent groin injury during Tuesday night’s 2-1 home defeat against Aldershot – the struggling visitors’ first win in eight matches.
With Phillips out and Luke Prosser unavailable too due to a buttock injury, Chris Barker will switch to the middle of defence with Anthony Straker recalled at left-back.
Wales international Freddie Eastwood, who once commanded million-pounds transfer fees following moves to Wolves and Coventry, is expected to be named on the bench again after coming on as a substitute only to have a penalty saved against the Shots.
Former Yeovil and Dagenham striker Gavin Tomlin is expected instead to partner top scorer Britt Assombalonga – the 19-year-old Watford forward who has netted nine times since his summer loan switch from Vicarage Road.
Assombalonga will be bidding to avoid going three games without scoring for the first time since joining the Roots Hall club.
Fellow frontman Barry Corr is also expected to return to the bench after recovering from a groin injury.
Sturrock’s team have lost their last two matches, having gone down 1-0 at Morecambe last weekend.
The Shrimpers have also taken just one point from a possible nine at home, having drawn 2-2 with Barnet and lost 1-0 against Burton prior to the Aldershot game.
Only top three Gillingham (ten), Port Vale (14) and Fleetwood (13), however, have conceded fewer times in League Two than 12th-placed Southend, who have let in 17 goals.
Southend (probable): Smith, Clohessy, Cresswell, Barker, Straker, Hurst, Woodyard, Mkandawire, Martin, Assombalonga, Tomlin.
City’s last Football League visit to Roots Hall was on January 27, 2004 when they drew 0-0 in the Third Division (League Two) with the following line-up: Ovendale, Smith, Brass, Hope, Edmondson, Walker (Fox), Ward, Dunning, Merris, Bullock (Yalcin), Parkin (Nogan).
In total, 19 League trips have been made to Southend. City have won four with six draws.
Their last victory on this ground was in 2001/2 when Jon Parkin netted the only goal of the game. The other victories were all in the 1960s – 3-2 in 1965/6, 1-0 in 1967/8 and 2-1 in 1968/9 2-1.
Players who have represented both clubs include Barry Conlon, Mark Tinkler, Gordon Connelly, Neil Tolson, Nigel Pepper and Martin Carruthers with Alan Little providing the managerial link.
It happened on October 27
1951: A 6-1 home win over Accrington Stanley with Billy Fenton hitting a hat-trick. The other scorers were Gordon Brown, Steve Griffiths and Alf Patrick. The crowd for this Division Three North match was 7,538.
1956: Norman Wilkinson scored both goals in a 2-0 Northern Section victory at Bradford Park Avenue watched by 9,206.
1973: City were third in Division Three (League One) and extended their unbeaten League run to 11 games when they defeated Tranmere Rovers 2-0 at Bootham Crescent with Barry Swallow and Jimmy Seal on the scoresheet. The crowd was 4,650.
2001: Michael Proctor, below, was the scorer in a 1-0 home win over Macclesfield Town in the Third Division (League Two) watched by 2,253.
2007: Sub Craig Farrell scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 win in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round against Rushall Olympic at Bootham Crescent watched by 1,630. Also on target were Onome Sodje (2) and Nicky Wroe.
Compiled by Dave Batters
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