Saturday 31st December 2011 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
Free-falling AFC Wimbledon entertain former League Two leaders Southend United at their Cherry Red Records Fans Stadium on Saturday afternoon as they look to stop the rot and avoid a fifth successive league defeat.
The Wombles now sit in 17th place after a promising start to their football league career and whilst they are not in immediate relegation danger, manager Terry Brown will be keen to avoid their current plight turning into something more sinister. The recent losses have come against Burton Albion, Accrington Stanley, Rotherham United and Oxford United.
Their home record stands at 3-3-6 18/25 and whilst their attacking prowess has never been in doubt, their naivety in defence at this level has found them out on numerous occasions. Only Hereford United (25 goals) match them in terms of goals conceded at home in this division. Up front though they have former Oxford United hitman Jack Midson (9 goals, 3 assists) and midfielder Chris Jolley (6 goals, 4 assists), along with midfielders Sam Hatton and Lee Minshell (3 assists each) feeding the front men with ammunition.
Southend will be hoping to return to winning ways following back-to-back defeats to Cheltenham Town and Bradford City and will be itching to get back into the action following Boxing Day’s suspended match at Aldershot Town. They would have preferred the match to have been played out in full as suspended defender Peter Gilbert and midfielder Mohsni Bilel now have to complete their bans against AFC Wimbledon now along with leading scorer Liam Dickinson who also sits out for one match.
Despite all this, I believe Southend still have the necessary personnel to effect a result with midfielder Ryan Hall (5 goals, 9 assists), scoring defenders Kane Ferdinand (6 goals) and Mark Phillips (5 goals) along with former Millwall forward Neil Harris (4 goals, 4 assists) in the squad along with Michael Timlin (2 goals, 3 assists) in midfield.
Wimbledon’s current dip in form may be enough for Southend to get at least a draw here, but I’ll stick my neck out here and back Southend for an away win to kick-start their promotion ambitions; 2-1 to Southend United.
Pick: Southend United straight win @ 2.20 William Hill