Southend v Fleetwood preview

Ajax moved three points clear at the top of the Eredivisie table

with a 4-1 win over NEC Nijmegen at the Amsterdam Arena.

Viktor Fischer scored in each half to pave the way for a win

that increased the gap on PSV Eindhoven after they could only draw

2-2 at relegation-threatened Roda JC.

Fischer opened the scoring on 21 minutes before a Rens Van

Eijden own goal gave Ajax full control. Fischer’s second on 77

minutes was quickly nullified by a Nick Van der Velden goal but

substitute Ryan Babel scored nine minutes from the end to ensure a

wide-margin win.

Ajax’s success was made even more important when PSV Eindhoven

conceded an 87th-minute Sanharib Malki equaliser at Roda JC.

Roda led through Frank Demouge on 14 minutes but PSV fired ahead

before half-time thanks to an Ola Toivonen double. But Roda, who

remain inside the relegation play-off places, snatched a point

through Malki.

PSV’s slip allowed Vitesse Arnhem to draw level in second place

as they extended their winning run to six games with a 2-1 win over

PEC Zwolle.

Wilfried Bony and Mike Havenaar fired them 2-0 by the break with

Zwolle’s sole reply coming via Arsenio Valpoort with 12 minutes

left.

RKC Waalwijk thumped ADO Den Haag 4-0 to edge away from the

relegation places.

Mart Lieder got the ball rolling on 10 minutes before a Vito

Wormgoor own goal and Robert Braber’s goal just before half-time

all but settled the match. Henrico Drost completed the rout on 88

minutes.

AZ Alkmaar grabbed a much-needed win 2-1 at Heracles Almelo

despite playing with 10 men for almost an hour.

Markus Henriksen’s 22nd-minute opener was followed by a Mike te

Wierik own goal two minutes later to give AZ a 2-0 lead.

Thomas Lam saw red on the hour but Heracles were only able to

pull a single goal back when Te Wierik made up for his earlier

blunder with a 43rd-minute goal.

Sammy Moore could return to the Dons squad after he missed

Friday’s 1-0 defeat at Rotherham through illness but the hosts are

hopeful he will be fit.

However, fellow midfielder Peter Sweeney will miss out again as

he recovers from a broken metatarsal.

Full-back Jim Fenlon remains sidelined by a back problem but

boss Neal Ardley has no new injury worries following Friday’s

trip.

Wingers Kevin Sainte-Luce and Jesse Darko could be in the

starting line-up if Ardley freshens things up, having both come on

as substitutes against the Millers.

Defender Curtis Osano has shaken off his recent calf injury and

midfielder Huw Johnson is fit after a groin problem.

The visitors will be without Kyle De Silva and Barry Fuller

through suspension.

On-loan Crystal Palace striker De Silva was sent off two minutes

from the end of Friday’s goalless draw against Dagenham, while

defender Fuller was shown a red card after the final whistle.

Winger Keanu Marsh-Brown could be added to the squad having

joined as a free agent last week after leaving Yeovil.

Veteran goalkeeper Michel Kuipers, who also signed on Thursday,

should be on the bench with Sam Cowler and Liam O’Brien out

injured.

Steve Kabba remains sidelined by a knee problem and fellow

striker Ricky Holmes is out for the rest of the season due to a

foot injury.

The hosts are set to be without Francis Jeffers and Nicky Hunt

as they look to continue their recent resurgence.

Former Everton and Arsenal striker Jeffers missed Stanley’s

last-gasp Good Friday triumph over Wycombe due to a hamstring

injury picked up in their previous outing against league leaders

Gillingham.

He remains a major doubt for boss Leam Richardson, while

defender Hunt will stay on the sidelines with a similar

complaint.

Padraig Amond is in contention after the forward came back from

an abductor problem as a substitute at Adams Park.

Ex-Blackburn midfielder Amine Linganzi has made himself

available for selection despite a recent family bereavement.

The Reds lie four points above the relegation zone with five

games of the season remaining.

Albion manager Gary Rowett could bring Calvin Zola back into the

fold for the Easter Monday trip.

The striker missed Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Chesterfield with a

hamstring injury, but is expected to be ready in time to

travel.

On-loan Doncaster midfielder Lee Fowler is in contention to make

his first appearance for the Brewers following his arrival at the

club on Thursday.

Defender Aaron Webster could be included after recovering from

his hamstring issue while Nathan Stanton (knee) is also now

available for selection.

Michael Symes is likely to start in attack once again after

playing for 67 minutes against Chesterfield.

The centre-forward missed the draw at Dagenham a fortnight ago

with a groin injury but came through Saturday’s test unscathed and

looks set to keep his place in the side.

Shrimpers boss Phil Brown will check on Ben Reeves and Luke

Prosser as he prepares to take charge at Roots Hall for the first

time.

The former Hull City manager will be looking to bounce back from

the disappointment of seeing his new side throw away a two-goal

lead at Bradford on Friday as he took the reins following Paul

Sturrock’s departure.

Brown could be without midfielder Reeves and defender Prosser as

the hosts look to leapfrog their opponents in the table.

Reeves came off at half-time on Friday after picking up a calf

problem while Prosser suffered a knock.

Defender Chris Barker (Achilles), midfielder Michael Timlin

(broken leg) and striker Neil Harris (knee) are definitely out

while Mark Phillips (broken toe) is unlikely to feature despite

returning to training.

The Cod Army could unleash top scorer Jon Parkin for the Easter

Monday encounter.

Parkin came on for the last half hour of Saturday’s entertaining

2-2 draw against league leaders Gillingham, with bench duty a

possible precaution taken by boss Graham Alexander amid the hectic

fixture schedule as persistent hamstring injuries have plagued the

well-travelled striker this term.

Alexander must weigh up the enticing prospect of pairing Parkin

with record signing Jamille Matt in attack.

Matt initially struggled to adapt to life at league level

following a January move from Kidderminster but continued his

transition with both goals against the Gills.

Andy Mangan provides another forward option and will hope for

further game time from the bench after a late weekend cameo ended

his six-month knee injury absence.

Defenders Rob Atkinson and David Howell are set to miss out once

more due to respective groin and leg problems, while forward Steven

Gillespie (hamstring) is back in training but is expected to be

absent again.

Veteran midfielder Paul McKenna provides an option should

Alexander wish to shuffle his pack after returning from suspension

to be an unused substitute on Saturday.