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Colchester United 6 v 0 Crewe Alexandra
SkyBet League Two
Tuesday, 21st August 2018 Kick-off 19:45
U's Vs Crewe - Durham's Preview
Tuesday, 21st Aug 2018 07:07 by Durham Exile

After the elation of the deserved 95th minute equaliser at the One Call stadium on Saturday, John McGreal and his charges can look forward to a home double header against the Railwaymen on Tuesday evening and the Cobblers on Saturday afternoon.

I and many U’s fans will still be buzzing at the way the match concluded. Late goals to salvage a point or better do not come along very often for the U’s.

Mika Mandron scored an 88th minute winner against Coventry last season at home and I saw Elliot Lee score a 94th minute equaliser at Rotherham in a 2-2 draw in November 2013 from just underneath the bar and I saw Chris Porter score an 87th minute penalty to win the match 3-2 at Fleetwood in April 2015, when we looked down and out. Most famously of course in front of 14,030 in January 1977, I saw Colin Garwood score a 99th minute equaliser against Derby in the fourth round of the F A Cup at the Layer Road end. Cue magical celebrations in every case.

Other fans will have their own favourite very late goal memories I am sure.

As I said late goals are a rare phenomenon for the U’s, which makes it all the more special when it happens. Never good for the heartrate of course, but very special to recall. Sammie Szmodics had put a shift in and deserved his goal and the team their point at Mansfield.

So, the Railwaymen come to the JobServe stadium on Tuesday managed by Dave Artell and they started the season like an express train with a 6-0 hammering of The Shrimps. Since then they hit the buffers with a defeat against the Exiles and then got back on track with an impressive draw against the Franchise.

Crewe have Captain George Ray still touch and go for Tuesday after his opening day injury. Chris Porter came off the bench at the weekend and would love to play against his old club. They have experience aplenty with Eddie Nolan, Nicky Hunt, Paul Green and Alex Nicholls. This is not a pushover game.

JM must also decide on whether to start with the same XI again or make a subtle change. I think it was a mistake to bench Tom Eastman and JM should revert to a 3,4,3 formation something along these lines:

Barnes

Eastman Prosser Kent

Jackson Lapslie Pell Vincent-Young

Szmodics Mandron Dickenson

Subs:

Ross Senior Barnes (A) Comley Collins Norris Nouble

Reasoning – Eastman is such an influential player as was proven on Saturday. Last season the defence was at its meanest when the back three were selected.
Lapslie and Pell are now a tremendous midfield partnership and Jackson and Vincent-Young can get forward at every opportunity. Equally they have pace aplenty and can track back when required.

Szmodics must play and Dickenson equally, especially in the advanced left-wing role. That leaves the choice of striker which could be anyone from Norris, Nouble or Mandron. Aaron Collins also impressed at Meadow Lane. So, JM has a quandary, but he must be decisive and give the strikers their best chance to impress.

Our strikers have not performed for some years now. We have the players to score 15+ goals each this season and perhaps one might reach the magic 20 figure. Convert those chances and let’s give the Railwaymen that “Up the Junction” feeling.

Courtney Senior didn’t receive any service on Saturday, he also has plenty to learn, but he is a talent. I still want to see Harry Pell given licence to strike the ball from 25 yards, he has goals in him.

Weather in Colchester is forecast to be a warm, cloudy night, about 21 degrees by kick off. Perhaps 3,500 with the faithful in good voice and all hoping for a home victory. I would be delighted with a 4-0 scoreline, with a brace for Mandron and Dickenson to weigh in with a goal to support a Pell screamer.

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s

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