With City’s FA Cup dreams over in mid-November as usual, Paul Tisdale’s side is looking to get back to winning ways with the visit of a Southend side in decent form. Danny Butterfield is thought to be close to a return, while Pat Baldwin was withdrawn late on in the Peterborough defeat in order to protect his ongoing injury. One name definitely missing on Saturday will be Tom Doherty, the combative midfielder unsurprisingly having picked up five bookings already. Matt Gill started at Peterborough for the first time since he returned to the club, and will expect to keep his place in the absence of Doherty. Alan Gow may also return to the side having sat out the FA Cup tie.
Southend, under the colourful (well, bright orange) managership of ex-Hull boss Phil Brown, have belied their critics who forecast a season of struggle to go with their regular financial battles with HMRC, and currently sit in 9th place, although a win on Saturday would catapult them above City. Their league form has followed a very up and down pattern – they won their first three, then lost their next four, and so on. Their last two matches, at home in the league against Mansfield and away to Morecambe in the FA Cup, yielded 3-0 victories so they journey to Devon in buoyant mood. One familiar face in the Shrimpers’ line-up will be Barry Corr. Corr spent his season at City in 2009/10 largely watching from the stands having missed a total of 12 matches through three red card suspensions, but he also demonstrated clear ability in front of goal during that time so City’s defence will need to pay him close attention.
Southend hold the distinction of having been City’s most frequent Football League opponents, the two sides squaring up on Saturday for what will be the 115th time. Southend just hold the edge, with 41 wins to City’s 39, 34 matches ending up in draws. Last season, somewhat out of keeping with City’s general form, it was the home sides who emerged victorious. Southend were a goal down (Scot Bennett) with 12 minutes to go at Roots Hall, but that man Corr and Freddy Eastwood turned things round dramatically. However, City gained revenge with a 3-0 thumping in January, O’Flynn (2) and Bennett again the scorers. City will be looking to extend an unbeaten home record against Southend that dates back to November 1999.
Tommy Doherty missing: http://www.exeweb.com/2013/11/11/tommy-doc-suspended-for-southend-visit/
St James Park Ground Guide for Southend Utd fans: the-things-you-need-to-know-st-james-park-exeter