Burton Albion v Southend
TEAM NEWS: Brewers boss Gary Rowett named an unchanged starting line-up for the visit of Southend United following the 3-2 Pirelli Stadium victory over Rochdale.
Nathan Stanton retained his place in the heart of the defence with Marcus Holness still ruled out by injury, while Jack Dyer kept his spot on the right of midfield, with Billy Kee and Calvin Zola, who between them scored all the goals against Dale, were once again partnered up front.
Southend were without 12-goal striker Britt Assombalonga because of an ankle injury picked up on Boxing Day.
BREWERS (4-4-2): Lyness; O’Connor, Diamond (capt), Stanton, McCrory; Dyer, Weir, Bell, Maghoma; Zola, Kee; subs: Atkins (gk), Corbett, Webster, McGrath, Taylor, C Palmer, Paterson.
SHRIMPERS (4-4-2): Smith; Clohessy, Cresswell, Prosser, Barker (capt); Hurst, Mkandawire, Laird, Timlin; Corr, Tomlin; subs: Straker, Eastwood, Martin, Donnelly, Phillips, Bentley.
HALF-TIME: After a quiet opening eight minutes, the hosts were close to breaking the deadlock.
Zola held the ball up well before laying it off to Dyer, who picked out the run of Robbie Weir but, sliding in, the midfielder could not get enough power on the effort and goalkeeper Paul Smith saved comfortably.
Six minutes later, Dyer whipped over a free-kick from the right after being fouled himself, but Zola planted a header wide of the near post.
Albion did break the deadlock on 16 minutes.
Lee Bell whipped in a great cross from the right to the near post and there was Zola to slide it home having got in front of Shrimpers centre-back Ryan Cresswell.
Four minutes later, right-back Anthony O’Connor played a ball back into the area and Kee fired in a shot on the turn which Smith had to push away.
The visitors’ first real chance came on 27 minutes when Michael Timlin played a quick free-kick to striker Gavin Tomlin, whose shot on the turn was tipped round his near post by goalkeeper Dean Lyness.
The Shrimpers went close again five minutes later.
Tomlin held the ball up well on the edge of the area before laying it back to Tamika Mkandawire, whose shot with the outside of his right foot flew just over.
However, the hosts made it 2-0 on 36 minutes.
After a good move down the left, Zola played the ball across the edge of the penalty area and Bell let fly with a shot which hit left-back Chris Barker, wrong-footing Smith.
Lyness was almost caught out by Kevan Hurst’s inswinging corner from the left on 41 minutes but just managed to punch it off the line at his near post.
BURTON ALBION 2, SOUTHEND UNITED 0