Colchester (A) Match Preview

United travel to whatever they’ve replaced Layer Road with looking to continue their great League start to 2021.

After wins at Grimsby and at home to Harrogate the U’s sit in third place in the League. In the unlikely event of results going our way on Saturday we could be top come 5pm. But before that comes opposition in the form of Colchester United, a team we’ve already beaten once this season, and who sit thirteenth in the League, with no wins in their last five games.

Mark Bonner experimented with a diamond formation in the game against Harrogate, and it paid dividends, allowing Wes Hoolahan to roam every inch of the pitch and have perhaps his best game in a United shirt. We expect him to stick to this formation Saturday to see if it can be effective away from home.

Expected U’s Line-Up: Mitov, Knoyle, Darling, Taylor, Dunk, Digby, May, Hannant, Hoolahan, Ironside, Mullin

Up front, we expect Ironside to return to the starting 11 at the expense of Harvey Knibbs, with the side essentially being the same as the one that played against Harrogate. Hiram Boateng is still injured and Jubril Okedina we expect to start on the bench, alongside Liam O’Neil. Efforts to bring in a winger seem to have hit a dead end, so Bonner will be looking to turn to the loan market but we’d be surprised if anyone comes in before the game.

Who’s Their Player to Watch? Despite their poor run of form we know what Jevani Brown can do, but Tom Lapslie can put himself about a bit too in the middle of the park. Also keep an eye on Paris Cowan-Hall, a dirty bastard most remembered for causing Josh Coulson a severe injury during his Wycombe days.

Who’s In The Dugout? Considering we only played them four weeks ago, it’s still Steve Ball.

What’s Their Recent Form Like: P5, W0, D2, L3, For 3, Against 7

Any Ex-United Players? Jevani Brown and Harry Pell.

Last Time Out: Cambridge 2-1 Colchester December 15 2020

The last time any of us got to watch United in person saw a hard-fought 2-1 win just before Christmas, thanks to a Paul Mullin brace. Unfortunately the game will be best remembered for the behaviour of a small number of fans booing the anti-racism gesture made by the players before the game, which soured the result somewhat.

From The Archive: Colchester 1-2 Cambridge August 17 2019

Luke Norris gave the Essex side the lead from the spot, before Marc Richards equalised in the second half. United claimed all three points when Harry Darling struck an overhead kick through the legs of ancient keeper Dean Gerken to send the travelling U’s fans into raptures.

UTAS Moosenet Tip: 2-1 United, Mullin (of course)

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