Colchester United on 630-mile road trip in quest for back-to-back wins

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 February 2018

Tom Eastman celebrates scoring the U's second goal in their last home match, a 2-0 win over Newport County.  The U's entertain Coventry City this evening. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Tom Eastman celebrates scoring the U's second goal in their last home match, a 2-0 win over Newport County. The U's entertain Coventry City this evening. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

February could be make-or-break for Colchester United, in terms of their League Two play-off hopes.

The U’s kicked off this month with a welcome 2-0 home win over Newport County last weekend, their first victory in seven games.

Now they have a gruelling away journey to Cumbria this weekend, a 630-mile round trip, to take on mid-table Carlisle, who are five points and three places behind the U’s.

And with home games to come, against play-off rivals Coventry and basement dwellers Barnet, sandwiching a visit to struggling Crewe, this could be the month that decides whether John McGreal’s men can mount a promotion push this spring.

“The three points last weekend has set us up for the Carlisle game,” insisted McGreal.

“Even the previous game against Port Vale (conceded a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw), felt we did enough to warrant a win.

“Then last weekend was an excellent game for us. It eradicated our disappointment from the previous home game against Grimsby (1-1 draw).

“Back-to-back wins can shoot you up the league, but it’s tough to do that. We have found that ourselves, and so have other clubs as well.

“But we are at that stage, with 15 games to go, where we will be looking to give it a go. We did that last Saturday, and will do that again this weekend,” added McGreal.

The U’s have not recorded back-to-back wins since the first half of December, when they followed by a 3-1 home success over Exeter City and a 3-2 triumph at Swindon Town.

That win at the County Ground enabled the U’s to rise to a season-high fifth spot in the table, although a lean spell of just four points accrued from a possible 18 in a six-game period saw the Essex club drift into mid-table.

Going into today’s game, at Brunton Park, the U’s are currently five points adrift of the top seven.

Squads

COLCHESTER: Walker, Eastman, Prosser, Kent, Jackson, Comley, Stevenson, Wright, Senior, Mandron, Guthrie, Lapslie, Mandeville, Inniss, Murray, Ogedi-Uzokwe, Kpewaka, Shodipo & Gilmartin.

CARLISLE: Bonham, Brown, Hill, Parkes, Liddell, Grainger, Twardek, Devitt, Jones, Joyce, Stockton, Hope, Campbell-Ryce, Bennett, Etuhu, Lambe, Cosgrove, O’Sullivan & Nadeson & Gray.

Referee: Ross Joyce (Yorks)

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