U's stay just two points off play-offs following Exeter's surprise defeat

PUBLISHED: 22:02 09 April 2019 | UPDATED: 22:02 09 April 2019

U's leading scorer Sammie Szmodics tries to get past Mohamed Maouche during the 2-0 home defeat to Oldham last weekend. Picture: STEVE WALLER

U's leading scorer Sammie Szmodics tries to get past Mohamed Maouche during the 2-0 home defeat to Oldham last weekend. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Colchester United are still only two points and two places adrift of the League Two play-offs, going into their last five fixtures of the regular season.

U's boss John McGreal, hoping for another good away result at Bury this weekend. Picture: STEVE WALLERU's boss John McGreal, hoping for another good away result at Bury this weekend. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Play-off rivals Exeter City suffered a 3-2 defeat at relegation candidates Macclesfield tonight, to stay only two points clear of the U’s in seventh.

Meanwhile, Swindon Town shared a goalless draw at Newport County, and so remain a point behind the ninth-placed U’s, in 10th spot.

The U’s have suffered the home jitters of late, crashing to their third home defeat on the bounce at the hands of Oldham Athletic (0-2) last weekend.

In fact, John McGreal’s men have taken just nine points from a possible 30 in their 10 home matches since Christmas.

However, it has been a different story on the road, with the previous weekend’s 1-0 win at Cambridge United thanks to Kane Vincent-Young’s dramatic injury-time winner boosting the U’s top-seven chances.

And they will be looking for more cheer on the road, at fourth-placed Bury on Saturday.

“We haven’t been able to get back-to-back wins, which has been a problem of late,” admitted McGreal.

“We are trying to find that consistency. Nervousness has crept in at home, but it was different at Cambridge the previous weekend.

“We are away again this weekend, so we are hoping we will be get right back on it again.

“The teams around gained an extra point on us last weekend, but we will be going out to win as many games as we can between now and the end of the season,” added McGreal.

Although Bury are fourth in the table, and just one point and one place adrift of the automatic promotion zone, it was been a traumatic last few weeks for the Shakers, both on and off the pitch.

On it, they have lost their last three matches, at home to Swindon Town (1-3) and Cambridge United (0-3), and 3-2 away at Carlisle last weekend.

In fact, they have only taken one point in their last four outings, starting with a goalless draw at Grimsby.

Off the pitch, the Gigg Lane club faced a winding-up petition brought by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which was dismissed in February after a debt owed by the club was paid.

More recently, chairman Steve Dale admitted that the club’s financial position was “significantly worse” than he had assumed, when he took over last December.

Players and staff are yet to receive their March salaries and the Shakers were handed another winding-up petition, this time by former boss Chris Brass, last week.

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