AFC Wimbledon vs Southend United...
Southend United open their 2020 with another huge fixture at the bottom of League One as they travel to fellow strugglers AFC Wimbledon tomorrow afternoon.
Blues’ league position is far worse than the Dons at present with Southend currently 13 points adrift of safety, but Wimbledon are far from out of trouble as they sit just two points above the drop zone.
The two sides have already exchanged wins against each other this season, though Wimbledon picked up the more important of the two by winning the league encounter back in October.
Blues’ draw against MK Dons on Boxing Day was their third draw in their last five matches and extended their run without a win in the league to 14 games.
In the last six, Southend have picked up three points from a possible 18 with draws against MK Dons, Burton Albion and Rotherham falling between defeats to Bolton, Bristol Rovers and Oxford.
Wimbledon currently sit sixth in the League One form guide after three wins and a draw from their last six, although they come into New Year’s Day off the back of a 2-1 defeat at home to Oxford.
Wednesday 13th November 2019
Southend United 3-1 AFC Wimbledon
Ralph 25’, Hamilton 45’, Hopper 80’; Wood 35’
Blues earned their first win under boss Sol Campbell in a 3-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon which ended the visitor’s hopes of making the knockout rounds of the Leasing.com Trophy.
Nathan Ralph and Ethan Hamilton scored their first goals for Blues either side of Tommy Wood’s strike. Tom Hopper then came on and scored within six minutes of his introduction to seal the win.
Blues Team News
Southend reported no fresh injury concerns following the Boxing Day draw with MK Dons, giving Sol Campbell the chance to field a similar line-up on New Year's Day at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
Mark Oxley looks set to retain his place in goal following praise from the Blues boss, while Campbell has a number of options available to him upfront should he wish to tinker with his front line as Charlie Kelman returned from a long lay-off last time out.
There are still a few long-term absentees unavailable, most notably Nathan Ralph and Harry Lennon, who are recovering from a dislocated shoulder and broken leg respectively.
Wimbledon Danger Man
Brentford loanee Marcus Forss has been a cut above the rest of the Wimbledon squad this season in terms of goals scored, making him a force to be reckoned with come tomorrow afternoon.
The 20-year-old has scored 11 goals in 16 league appearances, including four in his last five, with a brace against Bolton being followed by strikes against Doncaster and Bristol Rovers.
And Southend are more than aware of Forss’ prowess in front of goal after the Finnish striker grabbed himself a hat-trick at Roots Hall back in October.
Craig Hicks will be the man in the middle of Southend’s opening game of 2020, being assisted by Andrew Aylott and Mike Desborough with Louis Marks in as the fourth official.
It’ll be the second time Hicks has taken charge of Blues this season having taken charge of Southend’s opening fixture of the campaign at St. Andrew’s against Coventry City.
Hicks has shown 56 yellows and four reds across his 19 matches so far this season and last time out took charge of a goalless draw between Ipswich and Gillingham on Boxing Day.
Away Fans Guide
The Cherry Red Records Stadium is a modest ground which features two single-tiered, seated stands along with two terraces and has been home to AFC Wimbledon since they reformed in 2002.
With a capacity of 4,850, it’s the smallest ground in the division and those travelling tomorrow will, predominantly, find themselves in the RyGas ‘East’ Stand.
For more information on the ground, including info on travel directions, where to park and where to go for a pre-match drink, check out awaygames.co.uk’s guide by clicking here.
Pre-sale tickets came off sale yesterday (Monday 30th December) with those who have yet to collect their tickets able to collect them at the ground on matchday.
Those looking to purchase tickets on the day will be able to do so via the turnstile for the away terrace, however, please be aware that these will be CASH ONLY and there is no price increase.