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Notts County 0 v 0 Colchester United
SkyBet League Two
Saturday, 4th August 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Crewe Vs U's - Durham's Preview
Friday, 16th Feb 2018 20:52 by Durham Exile

John McGreal takes his resurgent Super U’s to derail the Railwaymen at Crewe on Saturday.

Resurgent because of a magnificent win against the Sky Blues. The vital nature of Tuesday nights victory over Coventry cannot be overstated. It was thoroughly deserved and the fact that it was against one of our closest rivals for the play off spots and against a team that we rarely manage to defeat, makes it all the sweeter.

Dave Artell’s side are struggling at the wrong end of the table, but make no mistake it will not be in any way a walkover. Any thought of complacency and we will come unstuck. Last season I witnessed a Colchester defeat at Gresty Road in a match that was in doubt until 30 minutes before kick-off because of the prolonged rain that had fallen in Cheshire. Therefore, we must ensure that we are fully prepared to take the game to Crewe early doors and look to secure the three points.

The weather in Crewe is scheduled to be partly sunny and a relatively mild 8degrees Celsius. The pitch is normally very good and a true surface to play the ball on the deck.

Of course, and sadly totally overshadowing the football (just as it did last year when we played the Alex) is the matter of the serial abuser Barry Bennell. He has rightly been convicted this week in Liverpool Crown Court of offences against 11 boys, but another 86 have come forward with allegations against this individual. His time at Crewe Alexandra (two spells) was highly controversial and it is hoped that his victims may obtain some sort of closure after he is sentenced.

Crewe are suffering an injury crisis with Chris Dagnall and Chris Porter both out, but key defender Eddie Nolan may be back after missing their narrow mid-week defeat at Accrington.

JM is in a much happier position with key player Brennan Dickenson back in contention. He should start tomorrow and get about 60 minutes under his belt to prepare him for the Barnet (derby match) next week.

Kurtis Guthrie, although injured last week after a strong challenge by Clint Hill, will soon be back but he is not yet fit. JM surprised many by giving a well-deserved home debut to Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe on Tuesday and it was a masterstroke. He scored a penalty which he himself won and made the winning goal from Mika Mandron.

JM surely must start Junior at Crewe with Senior and Junior as a front three. Sammie Szmodics is rightly being kept out of the team at present because the first XI are playing some superb football. Szmodics can be an impact player with 20 minutes to play.

Ryan Jackson is also out at present and Ryan Inniss though fit is being kept out of the team by the brilliance of captain Luke Prosser. Ben Stevenson also is fully deserving of praise for the positive way that he has taken to the midfield position and should also start tomorrow.

JM will line up something along these lines at Crewe:

Team 3,4,3:

Walker

Eastman Prosser Kent

Vincent-Young Comley Stevenson Dickenson

Senior Mandron Ogedi-Uzokwe

Subs:
Gilmartin Inniss Lapslie Murray Wright Szmodics Mandeville

League table:
Luton 33 67
Accrington 32 61
Wycombe 32 59
Notts Co 32 57
Mansfield 32 56
Swindon 33 54
Lincoln 32 53
Exeter 30 52
Coventry 32 50
COL U 33 50

With 50 points Colchester now need to push on and secure another 26 from 13 games. That would be promotion form and the play offs are all about momentum.

Crewe A
Barnet H
Morecambe A
Mansfield A
Yeovil H
Stevenage A
Luton H
Forest Green A
Accrington H
Notts Co H
Lincoln A
Swindon H
Exeter A

Safe journey to the travelling faithful, enjoy the game and hopefully the 3 points.

I have a feeling that the unwelcome three-year record could be broken tomorrow!

Up the U’s

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