Powder-puff U's are desperate for goals

PUBLISHED: 06:00 13 April 2019

Substitute Brennan Dickenson fouls Mohamed Maouche during the U's 2-0 defeat to Oldham last Saturday. Dickenson is pushing for a start at Bury. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Substitute Brennan Dickenson fouls Mohamed Maouche during the U's 2-0 defeat to Oldham last Saturday. Dickenson is pushing for a start at Bury. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Colchester United are still very much in the League Two play-off race, but they really need to inflict more woe on out-of-sorts Bury this afternoon, to stay in touch with the top seven.

The U's drew another blank, in terms of goals, against Oldham last Saturday. Here Tom Lapslie's close-range effort is deflected wide.The U's drew another blank, in terms of goals, against Oldham last Saturday. Here Tom Lapslie's close-range effort is deflected wide.

Hosts Bury remain in fourth spot, just one point adrift of the automatic promotion zone, but they were looking sure bets for a top-three finish only a few weeks ago, until they were blighted by off-the-pitch problems and a miserable run of three straight defeats.

The U’s will try and cash in on the uncertainty that is hovering over Gigg Lane – the players and other staff have yet to receive their wages for March, and a winding-up petition issued against the Shakers has been adjourned by the High Court until mid-May.

“No matter what has happened at their club of late, behind the scenes, this is still a tough game against a team packed with experience,” insisted U’s boss John McGreal.

“Bury have had three defeats recently, but I regard them as possibly the best footballing team in the division, with some top, top players.

Luke Norris pulls a goal back for the U's from the penalty spot during the 2-1 home defeat to today's hosts, Bury, in late September. Picture: STEVE WALLERLuke Norris pulls a goal back for the U's from the penalty spot during the 2-1 home defeat to today's hosts, Bury, in late September. Picture: STEVE WALLER

“However, we just need to worry about ourselves.

“Goals change games, and we do really need a few goals. The nerves were their last weekend (2-0 home defeat to Oldham) when we went 2-0 down. I thought we regrouped well and gave a strong second-half display, but we are not scoring goals at the moment,” added McGreal.

The U’s have only scored one goal in their last five outings, hardly promotion form, although they are only two points and two places adrift of the play-offs.

They have suffered home defeats at the hands of Forest Green Rovers (0-3), Tranmere (0-2) and Oldham (0-2), and lost 3-0 at Exeter. The one bright spot was Kane Vincent-Young’s 96th minute winner in a 1-0 success at Cambridge United a fortnight ago.

U's boss John McGreal and Bury manager Ryan Lowe, who will be in opposing dug-outs at Giggs Lane today. Picture: STEVE WALLERU's boss John McGreal and Bury manager Ryan Lowe, who will be in opposing dug-outs at Giggs Lane today. Picture: STEVE WALLER

No U’s attacker has scored since the 3-0 win over Newport four weeks ago, when Sammie Szmodics, Courtney Senior and Frank Nouble were all on target.

Centre-forward wise, Luke Norris is without a goal since October 13, a barren spell spanning 20 games – his season was hindered by injury – while Mikael Mandron has netted only twice all campaign, and has not found the net in any of his last 13 appearances, although many of these have been as a substitute.

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