U's looking to extend unbeaten run by derailing the Railwaymen
PUBLISHED: 05:35 21 August 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
It might be the same again tonight as Colchester United look to extend their unbeaten start to the season, at home to Crewe Alexandra.
John McGreal’s men have won one and drawn two of their first three League Two fixtures, salvaging a deserved point at Mansfield Town on Saturday thanks to Sammie Szmodics’ last gasp equaliser on 95 minutes.
McGreal could therefore stick with the same starting XI, which would mean Mikael Mandron, who scored a brace in this fixture last season, again on the bench.
Mandron bagged 10 goals last season, but has only been a substitute in the first three league games of this term, with summer signing Frank Nouble, the ex-Ipswich Town front-runner, proving a handful for opposing defences up top.
McGreal was understandably delighted to grab a last ditch equaliser at Field Mill, and will now be targeting a dominant display from his team at home, on the back of a 2-0 win over visiting Port Vale the previous weekend.
“It would have been a shame to have lost that (Mansfield) game, especially as they scored with the first shot that they had,” explained McGreal.
“We were not exactly comfortable, but I thought we put in a really assured performance, from Noubs (Nouble) backwards.
“I thought we suffocated them a little bit and had a few counter-attacking opportunities, which we didn’t take.
“Scoring so late made it even more enjoyable. My players showed some great character again.
“I thought we could get something out of it, even when we fell behind. We actually debated taking Sammie (Szmodics) off, because he was looking so tired, but Bally (assistant Steve Ball) said that Sammie’s always likely to get a goal out of nothing.
“It’s good to keep our unbeaten run going, when considered the top teams we have been playing.
“Notts County are one of the favourites, despite their slow start, and Mansfield are always strong at home. But we feel as though we have a good team as well,” added McGreal.
COLCHESTER: Barnes, Jackson, Kent, Prosser, Vincent-Young, Lapslie, Pell, Senior, Szmodics, Dickenson, Nouble, Norris, Mandron, Eastman, Wright, Comley, Collins & Ross.
CREWE: Richards, Hunt, Pickering, Ng, Nolan, Jones, Ainley, Green, Wintle, Bowery, Nicholls, Porter, Miller, Kirk, Walker, Raynes, Lowery, Finney, Ray, Reilly & Garrett.
Referee: Neil Hair (Hunts)