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Prediction Logged by at 16:07:19
Newport County v Colchester United prediction logged
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U's to spring a surprise at the Exiles home this evening
at 16:06 17 Oct 2017

Fresh from a disappointing result against Carlisle, JM takes his charges to a rejuvenated Newport County team at the “new” Rodney Parade. The Exiles have re-laid their pitch and are unbeaten since March 2017. Mike Flynn has produced some impressive results and they are currently 6th in the table with 24 points from 13 games.

Frankly Colchester’s finishing against the Cumbrians was woeful and they must do much better this evening in South Wales. On Saturday they travel to Coventry City, a team that we have a wretched record against and a team that I loathe entirely. In order to prepare properly for the Ricoh, three points this evening would not only be helpful but also would raise confidence levels.

JM has already said that he will not risk players who have been injured coming back into the side too soon, but he made the mistake of playing Kurtis Guthrie albeit as a substitute and he has now suffered a setback in his return to the first team.

Therefore, he should not risk either Kane Vincent-Young or Ryan Inniss this evening.

I would suggest a 3,5,2 formation along these lines:

Walker

Eastman Kent Kpekawa

Wright Jackson Murray Slater Reid

Mandron Odelusi

Subs:
Gilmartin James Comley Lapslie Kabamba Hanlan Loft

Make no mistake, the season has been an indifferent one. After three games unbeaten I think that an element of complacency set in. There is certainly no requirement for such thinking tonight, the U’s will do very well to take anything at Rodney Parade unless they are prepared to compete from the off and to take their chances when presented with them.

JM is unsure of his best XI, he continues to ring the changes but the team must become more settled and he must not be afraid to drop players who are not performing.

We all bemoan the lack of Guthrie and Dickenson, but the players we have are good enough they must learn how to compete and challenge in this League. Tonight, is a classic example where a team who were awful last season are playing out of their skins at present.

Let us see some passion and commitment and the opportunity to grind out a result.
Safe journey to Wales.

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s


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Prediction Logged by at 19:37:58
Colchester United v Carlisle United prediction logged
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Cumbrians to be outfoxed at Fortress WHCS by Super U's
at 19:32 13 Oct 2017

A rejuvenated and revitalised Col U side managed by JM welcome the Cumbrians, who face a 316-mile trip to the WHCS this weekend.

The recent promising results for the Super U’s have been aided by the form of Sean Murray and Doug “sicknote” Loft. Sadly, Loft is likely to miss out this weekend.

This of course is JM biggest problem at present, the inability to play a settled team, which has not helped the early form this season.

Kane Vincent-Young, Kurtis Guthrie (who has suffered a setback in his recovery), Sammy Szmodics and Tom Lapslie will all miss out again this weekend. Craig Slater may also miss out as well.

Birthday boy Mikael Mandron (23) has received rave reviews from JM and the goals are beginning to come for the Frenchman.

Mr versatile, Drey Wright, has played just about everywhere bar the goalkeeper, but this again is mismanagement of a player who really should be playing down the wing in an attacking sense.

Whilst JM ponders his starting XI, Keith Curle is playing 39-year-old Clint Hill for the Cumbrians. The two teams have similar records this season but Colchester must remain favourites given WHCS home advantage.

Colchester follow this home game with two away fixtures at the new improved Rodney Parade with a re-laid pitch on Tuesday evening and then a trip to the Ricoh Arena to play Coventry City. The Railwaymen visit the WHCS at the end of the month.

Of course, JM will be watching to see who ball number 14 plays after Monday night’s draw for the first Round Proper of the Emirates F A Cup, to be played over the weekend of 3-6 November with £18,000 going to the winners. I suppose that a home tie must be preferred.

But back to the Cumbrians and JM’ s team.

A 3,4,3 formation with the following on duty:

Walker

Eastman Inniss Kent

Jackson Murray Comley Reid

Wright Mandron Hanlon

Subs:
Gilmartin Kinsella Kpekawa O’Sullivan James Odelusi Kabamba

Momentum is with the U’s at present and JM will be looking for three more valuable home points tomorrow. If our recent improved Away form can also be evident in South Wales and the Midlands then we could look forward to breaking into the top seven places.

Enjoy the game, enjoy the balmy 20 degrees plus weather on Saturday in Colchester and more importantly enjoy the three points.

Up the U’s


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Injury updates
at 16:30 12 Oct 2017

Some bad news, Kurtis Guthrie has received a setback in his return from long term injury whilst Doug Loft and Kane Vincent-Young are doubtful for Saturday.

Let us hope that the club did not rush Guthrie back too soon.

Confidence remains high for Saturday but let us get Guthrie fully fit before doing anything stupid and risking a longer spell on the sidelines.

Up the U's
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Prediction Logged by at 11:40:22
Colchester United v Mansfield Town prediction logged
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Stags to be hunted down by Super U's at Fortress Weston
at 02:34 7 Oct 2017

After an encouraging result last weekend at Huish Park, which saw the U’s secure all three points on their travels for the first time this season, JM welcomes Steve Evans and his Stags to the WHCS.

Now forget all about the fact that Mansfield have lost their last 5 games at Colchester and haven’t beaten the U’s since 2003, this will be a tough fixture. Mansfield with an impressive victory over Notts County last week in front of 7,000 supporters will be confident that they can rewrite the record books today.

8th place in the table and with 19 points they are well placed to break into the play-off positions. Meanwhile after an indifferent start to the season the U’s are in 16th place with 12 points.

JM can welcome back Kurtis Guthrie and Craig Slater, two of his most influential players. I suspect that both will start in a 3,4,1,2 formation.

Walker with 38 saves so far this season will look to secure another clean sheet following the Yeovil game. Tuesday night a last-minute winner gave the Gills victory but JM will not worry too much about the Gillingham result. He knows that the league is crucial to our season.

If fit, then Tom Eastman will play alongside Inniss and Kent whilst Slater will join Murray, Reid and Vincent-Young with Wright, Guthrie and Hanlan which gives the team the following look:

Walker

Eastman Inniss Kent

Vincent-Young Murray Slater Reid

Wright

Guthrie Hanlan

Subs:
Gilmartin Jackson Kabamba Senior O’Sullivan James Mandron

Taking the game to the Stags is vital if we are to prevail. A good home performance in front of a 4,000 crowd is crucial to make a statement about our intentions to also fight for a top seven berth.

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s

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Strong Col U XI looking to cement place at head of Group
at 19:33 3 Oct 2017

JM has selected a strong XI against the Gills

Walker

Kent James Kpekawa Kinsella

Vincent-Young Murray Comley

Odelusi Mandron Guthrie

Subs:

Gilmartin Jackson Kabamba Senior Hanlan O'Sullivan Slater

Great news to see Guthrie start and Slater on the bench.

Up the U's

PS Kurtis get your contract extension signed ASAP





[Post edited 3 Oct 19:36]
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Prediction Logged by at 20:47:04
Yeovil Town v Colchester United prediction logged
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There will be a kind of Hush at Yeovil at 4.50pm Saturday
at 20:44 29 Sep 2017

JM takes his charges to Huish Park on Saturday to do battle with Yeovil Town. Darren Way reckons that all the pressure is on Colchester United and I wouldn’t disagree with him. We have made a wretched start to this campaign. Away form has been abysmal, whilst things are now slipping at the WHCS.

Blundell Park was symptomatic of our season so far. Kyle Reid (POTM) had given the U’s the opportunity to win the game but JM was ultra-defensive, taking off the Coventry loanee and replacing him with Cameron James on 71 minutes. Result Grimsby grew in confidence and just as at Morecambe we capitulated to a last-minute penalty which not only cost two points but also felt like a defeat.

Now JM says that he will delay naming his team until the last minute. Injuries have cost us dear once again. Sammy Szmodics was desperately unlucky to be injured again (it was a bad foul) and will be out for weeks with ankle ligament damage.

We now learn that Hanlan is carrying a groin injury. Slater was similarly afflicted last season and look what happened to him. Tom Eastman is also facing a late fitness test.

Frankly it is a mess and looks to be getting worse rather than better. Whilst Guthrie and Slater are close to returning they should not be rushed back tomorrow or else we could be back to square one.

So, let us look at just who JM has available – Obviously Walker, Jackson, Kent, Inniss and Vincent-Young. Wright, Comley, Reid, Murray, Marmite AKA Tom Lapslie, Kinsella, Kabamba, Odelusi, Mandron and Kpekawa.

Yeovil have hot shot Fela Olomola from Soton who has scored 5 goals for the Glovers, they also have the confidence of a morale boosting mid-week win at Chez Vegas.

Will JM try an attacking formation or will he go ultra-defensive. Personally, I want to see the U’s take the game to Yeovil. We do not have the ability at present (or the players) to see out a game so attack has to be the message.

Until Dickenson, Guthrie and Slater return to stiffen up (and vastly improve) the team, JM must opt to play those who are in form and to not be afraid to drop players like Mandron, who frankly was woeful on Tuesday night.

If Eastman is fit he must play otherwise an appearance as sub perhaps.

Something like this for tomorrow in a 3,5,2 formation:

Walker

Vincent-Young Inniss Kent

Jackson Comley Murray Lapslie Reid

Hanlan Kabamba

Subs:
Gilmartin Kinsella Odelusi James Mandron Loft Eastman

Let us see if Guthrie and Slater are fit for Mansfield in a week’s time.

Safe journey to the travelling faithful.

Up the U’s

In other news Freddie Ladapo looks set to lead the line for the Eagles at Old Trafford tomorrow.

[Post edited 29 Sep 20:50]
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Travel sickness and another late penalty cost the U's points at Blundell Park
at 00:43 28 Sep 2017

A tremendous fish n chip supper, good company, a point away from home – so why did I travel back to Durham very much down in the dumps. Simply because we should have secured all three points.

A good journey down from Durham to North Lincolnshire (140 miles). Motorways (including the new section of the A1(M) from Catterick to Bedale recently opened, leaving only the section to Barton to be completed) all were clear and it was only the last 5 or so miles when we encountered the sea fret which would impact upon the game at various intervals.

My son and I met up with Gerry on Cleethorpes Pier recently refurbished and resplendent with Papas 500-seater Fish N Chip restaurant. Now Gerry and I both have affiliation to Margate in Kent and it was there in 1966 that Papas started their restaurant business. Fast forward to 2017 and they have a classic restaurant on the pier and absolutely top-notch fish n chips. I had a medium haddock and it was truly superb, cooked to perfection with very tasty chips and garden peas. The syrup sponge to follow was equally enjoyable and set us up for the evening’s entertainment.

Now Blundell Park was just over a third full with 3,438 spectators including 89 from Colchester. I would have thought that the true figure was closer to 150, but in the sea fret conditions it was difficult to see everyone!

The pitch as you would expect for September was immaculate and the U’s lined up thus:

Walker

Jackson Innis Kent Vincent-Young

Wright Loft Comley Reid

Mandron Hanlan

Subs:
Gilmartin Kinsella Kabamba Odelusi James Szmodics Murray.

Scott Vernon (former promotion season favourite) played 78 minutes for the home team and was given an ovation by the faithful.

Now to be fair to JM he set up in an attacking formation and took the game to Russell Slade’s Grimsby from the outset.

MOTM was undoubtedly Kyel Reid who fizzed in some wicked corners. In fact, after 5 minutes he created the first of his two goals from a corner that he took and when it was parried by the keeper Reid purposefully edged towards the centre of the goal and struck a ferocious shot which appeared to deceive the keeper and go through his legs and into the net.

Sadly, the U’s defensive weaknesses didn’t take long to manifest themselves. A long through ball towards JJ Hooper was comfortably going to be cleared by Ryan Inniss but he elected to dither on the ball and it was pinched from under his feet by Hooper who slotted past Walker.

Inniss had a nightmare first half and gave the ball away shortly afterwards but fortunately for the U’s the ball was blazed over the bar.

Dembele hit the post with Walker beaten for the hosts but in truth it would have been rough justice for the U’s who dominated proceedings.

The sea fret started to roll in but it seemed to be affecting the home supporters in the Pontoon Stand rather more than the faithful who sang loud and proud throughout the first half. As quickly as it arrived the mist departed and half time brought no changes in personnel.

Immediately after the restart Colchester again took the initiative and took the game to their opponents. It was the lively Kyel Reid who scored a superb second after good work down the left wing, his shot with the outside of his boot was delightfully steered into the corner of the net from just insider the penalty area.

The U’s were deservedly ahead (again) and the faithful shouted “how **** must you be, we’re winning away”. At this point the sea fret retuned with a vengeance and thoughts turned to an abandonment but again the mist cleared sufficiently for the game to continue.

Now I know that Reid has been injured but he was not only our most influential player but also the Grimsby defence had no answer to his mazy runs. It was disappointing therefore to see him replaced in the 71st minute by James as JM foolishly decided to hang onto what we had. Worse still the lively Hanlan was also removed and replaced by Sammy Szmodics whilst the ineffectual and frankly useless Mandron stayed on. I wonder if he is in some way related to Joel Grant.

Sammy Szmodics had little time to influence the game before he was fouled by Summerfield only 6 minutes after coming on. He went down and stayed down in obvious agony. The medics stretchered him off after 78 minutes to be replaced by Sean Murray.

We wish Sammy well and trust that he will not be out for too long.

The foolishness of JM’s tactics became all too clear when we started to play deeper in our own half and this of course encouraged the Mariners on.

The home faithful at last woke up and the atmosphere increased. Matt was fouled by Jackson in the 89th minute and the penalty was duly despatched by Jones. It was not only a kick in the teeth but also extended my winless run of games whilst watching the U’s incredibly to three years.!!!!

I was both angry and distraught in equal measure. Shades of Morecambe last season where an 88th minute penalty denied us all three points.

5 added minutes failed to separate the teams and so we clocked up our first away point of the season, but it should have been three.

In truth this was an undeserved point for the Mariners but incredibly Slade reckoned that they were the better team. Even the most partisan Mariner would be hard pressed to justify that assertion and Slade is clearly deluded if he believes otherwise.
JM will argue that we must see games out but bringing defenders on and playing deeper simply encouraged the home team.

It is great news that Slater and Guthrie will be returning soon, they cannot come back quickly enough. Mikael Mandron is simply not good enough. I have seen him twice now at Accrington and Grimsby and he is ineffectual, fails to find a colleague with his passing and I cannot remember him actually shooting at goal last night.

Note to JM, Billy Kee scored twice more last night. He has so far notched 8 goals for the Lancashire club this season.

JM was definitely wrong to take Reid off and also wrong to leave Mandron on whilst taking Hanlan off. The best way to defend a lead is to play in the opponent’s penalty area not allow them to push our hard-pressed defence back and back.

Saturday will mark almost the first quarter of the season. The U’s are already 9 points off the play offs and Yeovil warmed up for their clash at Huish Park with the U’s with a 3-2 away win at almost doomed Chez Vegas.

Drop Mandron, play Hanlan and Kabamba up front. Use Reid and Jackson and be more positive in the final third of the game.

The fact is that we have lost five of the first ten games and conceded 18 goals. Our away from is wretched and so much pressure is being put on the home form that we have slipped dangerously in the league.

JM must be positive at Yeovil and look to secure that elusive first way win of the season.

Get well soon Sammy.

Up the U’s

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Chairboys to be unseated at the WHCS by Super U's
at 09:14 23 Sep 2017

JM looks to rekindle some home comforts after another away day horror show last weekend at Cheltenham. The Super U’s horrendous away form is only putting more pressure on the team to perform at the WHCS.

This weekend it is the Chairboys under the stewardship of Gareth Ainsworth celebrating 5 years in charge who are in Town. Unbeaten on the road since February (when they lost 1-0 at the WHCS) Wycombe will come with some confidence. Whether they will have their talisman Adebayo Akinfenwa after his injury last week is debatable but should he not make the starting XI then Nathan Tyson will be looking to start instead.

The Chairboys could have about 400 of their faithful present and so the crowd should be swelled to 4,000. Stand in “keeper” Mikael Mandron is suspended this weekend, which gives JM the opportunity to start one of his other recent acquisitions.

Now the National Press (and even the Times) have made much of the United chant about Romelu Lukaku this week. To the Super U’s of course this is old news, as many of the faithful chanted about Magnus Okuonghae in similar vein several years ago. This has highlighted the hypocrisy of the press particularly some of their more esteemed writers who have become obsessed with the story; possibly envy is at the root of their column inches! (Steady on Ed).

Returning to safer ground, today is all about the three points ahead of back to back away matches at Grimsby and Yeovil. The rivalry between the Super U’s and the Chairboys goes back to the 1991-92 season when both were challenging for Conference glory and promotion to the Football League. Personally, I do not think that the rivalry is anywhere like it was years ago but there will still be a minority of fans sporting “We 8 Wycombe” shirts and vice versa inside the ground.

The good news this week was the signing of a new two-and-a-half-year contract by Frankie Kent. Although currently injured he shows considerable promise and the defence will be stronger when he returns. Cameron James is likely to deputise.

Sean Murray could also make a welcome return after injury. After the euphoric news that Kurtis Guthrie was back in training there has been no suggestion of a return date but this is eagerly anticipated in due course.

JM will be looking to raise the spirits of the faithful with an attacking display of football. His team could look something like this in the 3,4,1,2 formation.

Walker

Eastman Inniss James

Jackson Lapslie Murray Vincent-Young

Szmodics

Hanlan Wright (Drey)

Subs:
Gilmartin Kinsella Kpekawa Comley Kabamba Odelusi Wright (Diaz)

I do not believe that JM has yet elicited his best striking options and so until Guthrie’s return he is likely to ring the changes with combinations of Kabamba, Odelusi, Hanlan, Drey Wright and Mandron (if he can relinquish the Gloves). Our problem is not quantity but quality in the striking department. Clearly the work at Florence Park is not yet reaping dividends, but JM needs to find the correct combination up front in order to turn chances into goals and to eliminate the profligacy seen in previous games.

A decent crowd, the faithful in good voice (keep it clean) and the prospect of three more home points, what is not to enjoy.

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s

[Post edited 23 Sep 10:00]
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Super U's to get back on the right track at the LCI Rail stadium
at 20:30 15 Sep 2017

JM takes his rejuvenated squad to the LCI Rail Stadium to play Cheltenham Town on Saturday. Gary Johnson’s team lie below the Super U’s in the table and it was last season when a 3-0 away win against the Robins started the U’s successful run of results.

The U’s have been buoyed by a haul of 4 points from the last two home games and also by the excellent news that Kurtis Guthrie is training again on his road to recovery. Sean Murray is also on his way back together with Doug Sicknote Loft.

The Robins lost narrowly at Newport midweek and have faced criticism from their supporters for a lack lustre start which Johnson is keen to address.

Make no mistake this is a great opportunity for the U’s to get their away points tally up and running and they should play with confidence.

JM is also beginning to see some positive performances from his new loan signings. Ryan Inniss the pick of the signings with Brandon Comley impressing in midfield and Nicke Kabamba and Brandon Hanlan showing promise. Sanmi Odelusi may also start to improve for his new club.

JM is likely to pick a side something along these lines in a 3,4,1,2 formation:

Walker

Eastman Inniss James

Jackson Lapslie Comley Vincent-Young

Szmodics

Mandron Kabamba

Subs:
Gilmartin Kinsella Kpekawa Wright (Drey) Hanlan Odelusi Wright (Diaz)

The weather in Cheltenham is likely to be mainly cloudy and 15 degrees.

The whole team will look forward to Guthrie’s return in due course. It was after all his rant against the management, players and the boo boys that started the U’s revival.

Safe journey to the traveling faithful.

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s


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Super U's to see off the Spireites at Fortress Weston
at 20:16 11 Sep 2017

The super U’s welcome the Spireites to the Fortress tomorrow evening. Buoyed by a welcome 3-1 victory against a decent Crawley side, JM looks to make it back to back victories against Chesterfield on Tuesday evening.

The forecast is for strong winds and heavy rain (mainly in the midlands and north) but I suspect that the South-East corner of England will miss most of the really inclement stuff.

Now the U’s must guard against any complacency. Chesterfield have started poorly and were the latest team to suffer at the hands of a resurgent Chris Porter for the Railwaymen on Saturday afternoon. Somewhat bullishly the Spireite keeper Tommy Lee has stated that they are looking to kick start their season with a 1-0 win at the WHCS.

Under pressure Manager Gary Caldwell will certainly be looking to halt their slide down the table, whilst JM must be considering that Tuesday night and the game at Whaddon Road could add a further six points to the U’s promotion campaign.

I read today that the U’s have scored 52 goals at home in their last 26 games, a very creditable haul.

If only we didn’t suffer from travel sickness.

Saturday gave the faithful their opportunity to see Ryan Inniss start along with Brandon Comley and Nicke Kabamba. All three played their part in a good victory.

JM lined up 3-5-2 and he may well go with a similar starting XI and formation for the Chesterfield basement dwellers.

Perhaps tweaked to say a 3,4,1,2 formation as follows:

Walker

Eastman Kent Inniss

Jackson Lapslie Comley Kinsella

Szmodics

Mandron Kabamba

Subs:
Wright Hanlan Vincent-Young O’Sullivan Odelusi, Gilmartin, James

The usual players with long term injuries continue to be out, but disturbingly Sean Murray has joined Kyel Reid with a troublesome injury. There is no word on Cole Kpekawa either. If Frankie Kent has not recovered sufficiently from his knock on Saturday Cameron James would simply take his place.

Let us hope that the faithful can muster 3,000 to see the U’s continue to climb the table.

Safe journey and enjoy the game.

Up the U’s

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Tomorrow for the Super U's is all about the three points!
at 20:49 8 Sep 2017

The Super U’s start a home double header on Saturday against their bogey (or one of them!) side Crawley Town.

The Reds are managed by Harry Kewell and after a shaky start they have started to show some form with back to back victories against Swindon and Yeovil, without conceding a goal. More worryingly we have yet to register a win against them in nine attempts.

Now much is being made about our poor away form and excellent home form. This should be forgotten and quickly. No side has a divine right to win at home and we will have to work supremely hard against Crawley to pick up the three points. There can be no complacency, quite the reverse because we have started the season poorly make no mistake. FGR were despatched 5-1 but they are everyone’s whipping boys this season. It is the type of game that we have on Saturday which will define our season.

Kewell rightly is effusive in his praise for a team that has just secured 6 points and in Jordan Roberts they have a striker who not only knows where the net is, but also finishes clinically. They have also signed promising left sided youngster Josh Doherty from Watford.

Now the suggestion is that JM could freshen up the team on Saturday. I do not think that he will make wholesale changes but I would like to see two of the new signings (Comley and Kabamba) make their debuts for the U’s.

Now when we played Crawley at home in February of this year we had 12 players out injured. 7 months on and the list is mounting up again.

The four best players Guthrie, Dickenson, Prosser and Slater have been joined on the treatment table by Kyel Reid and new loanee Ryan Inniss, Courtney Senior, Tariq Issa and Doug (sicknote) Loft.

JM does at least know that he has three dependable players in defence to support Sam Walker, midfield should be strengthened with the inclusion of Brandon Comley, whilst I think that Mikael Mandron should be dropped in favour of Nicke Kabamba. Let us see how radical JM is in his team selection tomorrow:

Will he go 3,4,3 as follows:

Walker

Eastman Kent Kinsella

Vincent-Young Lapslie Murray Comley

Szmodics Kabamba Wright

Subs:
Gilmartin James Jackson Odelusi Mandron Hanlan McKeown

The weather has been wet in the South East of England and although 17 degrees and sunny intervals are forecast for Colchester tomorrow, precipitation is forecast to be 90%.

The faithful would take any victory but Colchester must be out of the traps early doors in order to take the game to a resurgent Crawley side.

Enjoy the game, safe journey and get behind the team.

Up the U’s


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