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Jonson Clarke-Harris hopes for first Southend United start
JONSON Clarke-Harris is chasing his first Southend United start when they host Stockport County in the first round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
The on-loan Peterborough United striker scored twice in Blues’ 4-2 win against Burnham Ramblers in the Essex Senior Cup on Tuesday night.
And he now hopes that will be rewarded with a place in the starting line-up this weekend.
“The game was the first chance I’d had to show the manager what I could do, and hopefully it will be enough for me to start on Saturday against Stockport,” said Clarke-Harris, 18.
“I’ve had to wait for my chance and it’s been frustrating not getting more minutes so far, but when I get an opportunity I want to make the most of it and keep the shirt.
“If that comes on Saturday then I will give my all, but if I come off the bench then I will do the same to try and get more of a chance.”
Clarke-Harris has made three substitute appearances so far for Southend.
But his starting chances have been boosted for the weekend’s cup tie with Stockport as fellow loanee Britt Assombalonga has been denied permission to play by his parent club Watford.
And, if selected, Clarke-Harris will go into the game full of confidence after his brace against Burnham, which included a stunning 30-yard shot which he ranks as the joint best goal of his career.
“I had scored one like that before and they’re the best I’ve ever scored,” said Clarke-Harris.
“It was a really hard game and I was very impressed by Burnham’s performance.
“Before the game I thought it was going to be an easy win, but that wasn’t the case at all.
“We were never completely settled but we did enough to win the game and hopefully we can get another one on Saturday.
“Another couple of goals from me would be very nice as well.”
Clarke-Harris’ first goal came after Burnham had earlier gone ahead inside the first minute through Charlie Kirby. David Martin then put Southend in front after 17 minutes when he collected Mitchell Pinnock’s quickly-taken free-kick before skipping his way past the Burnham defence and sliding the ball past Jack Parr.
Burnham equalised eight minutes later, with Kirby converting a penalty, but Blues hit back to take the lead in the 79th minute with Clarke-Harris scoring with an unstoppable long-range shot.
Southend then wrapped up the win in stoppage time with Jason Williams on target.