Southend United vs Doncaster Rovers...
Southend United entertain Doncaster Rovers this evening at Roots Hall in the first of two huge home games for the Blues in the coming days.
Gary Waddock’s side welcome league leaders Ipswich Town on Saturday but first they must navigate a side who they haven’t beaten in the last nine meetings between the two sides.
September 2007 was the last time Southend got the better of Doncaster and they’ll be hoping the visitors won’t be able to make it a perfect 10 without defeat against Blues tonight.
Blues ended their run of four successive defeats in all competitions last time out with a 1-1 draw against Tranmere Rovers on a night where one point could so easily have been three.
Prior to that, Southend had lost to AFC Wimbledon, Gillingham and Accrington in the league with Gary Waddock’s side only managing to pick up a single point at home this season.
While Southend haven’t won yet at home this season, Doncaster haven’t won yet away, although Rovers did end a three-game losing run on Saturday thanks to a 2-0 home win over Bristol Rovers.
Tuesday 12th February 2019
Doncaster Rovers 3-0 Southend United
Marquis 14’, Wilks 55’, Kane 73’
Despite a bright start from the visitors, Rovers captain John Marquis nodded Doncaster in front after less than quarter of an hour when he was found by a James Coppinger cross.
Southend had chances to level only for Mallik Wilks’ low drive to beat Nathan Bishop. The home side then rounded off the win when Marquis broke forward, teeing up Herbie Kane for a tap in.
Blues Team News
Mark Oxley is available again for selection this evening having missed out on Friday night’s draw with Tranmere Rovers due to personal reasons.
Harry Lennon and Rob Kiernan were unused substitutes on Friday after Lennon picked up a knock against Wimbledon and Kiernan rolled his ankle in training, but both should be fully fit tonight.
Tom Hopper will look to build on his first start and first goal of the season against Tranmere, while Charlie Kelman, Sam Mantom and Luke Hyam are all still unavailable.
James Coppinger continues to be one of Doncaster’s biggest threats, despite the Rovers midfielder being a couple of months shy of his 39th birthday and into his 21st season as a professional.
Coppinger’s wizardry with a dead ball continues to cause teams all sorts of problems and he chips in with a few goals here or there too, scoring three times in the league so far this season.
The Doncaster legend has made over 600 appearances for Rovers and is showing no sign of slowing down any time soon and he’ll be one Blues need to keep close tabs on this evening.
Josh Smith will be in charge this evening at Roots Hall, being assisted by Carl Fitch-Jackson and Leigh Crowhurst while Stephen Finch stands in as fourth official.
Smith has officiated nine matches so far this season, issuing 32 yellow cards and two reds and was last in the middle for Friday night’s League One stalemate between Lincoln and Shrewsbury.
This will be Smith’s first time taking charge of Blues with this being his first season officiating in the Football League, having refereed 21 National League games last term.
Tickets are available to purchase from the Blues Box Office, online or by calling 08444 770077 and are available to purchase right up until kick-off.
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