Southend cancel friendly

Ipswich Town’s scheduled pre-season friendly at Southend United this Friday has been cancelled.

IPSWICH Town’s scheduled pre-season friendly at Southend United this Friday has been cancelled.

The financially stricken Essex club – who were relegated to League Two at the end of last season – have just nine registered players and new manager Paul Sturrock has taken the decision to call the match off.

Town have moved quickly to organise a replacement match and instead will now travel to Cambridgeshire to play Blue Square Premier side Histon on Friday night. Kick-off at the Glassworlds Stadium is at 7.45pm.

Ipswich club secretary Sally Webb said: “Paul (Sturrock) spoke to Roy (Keane) and told him that unfortunately he wasn’t in a position to put out a competitive team.

“We have been in contact with Histon and they have kindly agreed to play us on Friday at short notice, which helps everyone out.”

Histon, managed by former Cambridge United and Preston boss John Beck, finished 18th in the Blue Square Premier last season. In November 2008 the village club knocked Leeds United out of the FA Cup to reach the third round of the competition for the first time in the club’s history.

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Ipswich side start their pre-season programme of friendlies with a game against Suffolk non-league side Newmarket Town this evening (7.45pm). Roy Keane is taking a strong 22-man squad to the Sherbourn Stadium, with long-term injury absentee Luciano Civelli set to make his much-anticipated comeback. Full match report and reaction in tomorrow’s EADT and Evening Star.

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