We said at the start of the month that October was going to be tough, and it looks like injuries are starting to catch up with Bonners squad.
After Tuesday’s impressive win at Walsall the U’s see themselves back on the bus and heading for the equally paradisal climes of Crawley, currently unbeaten at home in the League since November 2019. Their away form hasn’t quite matched that over the past couple of seasons and they find themselves just outside the playoff positions in ninth.
After losing Paul Digby on Saturday to facial fractures it’s looking like top scorer Paul Mullin will be joining him in the treatment room due to a hefty knock on the ankle he received on Tuesday. Liam O’Neil and Harvey Knibbs remain long term doubts, and question marks hang over Wes Hoolahan, Adam May and Leon Davies.
Expected U’s Line Up: Mitov, Knoyle, Darling, Cundy, Dunk, Hannant, Taylor, Boateng, Iredale, El Mizouni, Ironside
The injury list has thrown up all manner of potential formations but we think Bonner will stick with a 4-4-1-1 formation moving Greg Taylor (or possibly Harry Darling) into a more midfield position, not ideal, but short of recalling Lewis Simper from his loan at St Neots and thrusting him into the first team picture it’s really the only option we have. Up front we expect Ironside to get the nod over Andy Dallas with Idris El Mizouni just behind him.
Who’s Their Player to Watch: Max Watters
A summer signing from Maidstone, twenty-one year old Watters has made a decent start to life in League Two with 5 goals in his last five appearances.
Who’s In The Dugout? John Yems
At sixty-one, Yems is a late starter to a full-time managerial career, having taken over at Crawley in 2019. He had previously held a joint caretaker role there before coaching and scouting roles at Exeter, Torquay, Gillingham and Newcastle United.
What’s Their Recent Form Like? Last 5: P5, W2, D1, L2
Any Ex-United Players?
Only Tom Dallison, who made six fairly forgettable appearances under Shaun Derry on loan from Brighton. He’s since played for Falkirk before heading back to Sussex last season.
Last Time Out: Cambridge 2-1 Crawley, 2 November 2019
Almost a year to the day, this dull encounter saw Crawley take the lead on 79, before a late rally from Cambridge saw Sam Smith and Paul Lewis secure all three points for the U’s.
From The Archive: Crawley 1-0 Cambridge 6 February 2010
No video, but look at these images and recoil in horror. Aiden Palmer! Laurie Walker! Simon Russell! Danny Crow! Scarier than anything you’ll see this Halloween weekend for sure.