Colchester United's midfield crisis shows no sign of easing, although Ben Stevenson has suffered no reaction to his recent groin injury, and fellow midfielder Tom Lapslie has at least returned to training.
Ben Stevenson has graduated from being one of the least experienced central midfielders in Colchester United's squad, to becoming the most experienced fit midfielder, within the space of just a few weeks.
Colchester United's Tom Lapslie will be out for at least another three weeks, while fellow midfielders Harry Pell and Brandon Comley are still struggling with injuries, ahead of Saturday's home clash with Newport County.
Colchester United have only scored three goals in their last five league matches, and only four in their last seven in all competitions, but their main concern is of a defensive nature for the visit of fellow top-six side Exeter City tomorrow afternoon.
Colchester United face a real test of their automatic promotion credentials when they take on fellow top-six side Newport County in South Wales this afternoon, not least because they are weakened by injuries, suspension and unavailability.
Colchester United correspondent, Carl Marston, awards his ratings out of 10 after the U's terrific 3-0 home win over Cambridge Unied yesterday, earned by goals from Sammie Szmodics, Frank Nouble and Courtney Senior.
Brandon Comley is only just getting over his jet-lag, following his marathon round trip to Montserrat and back, but he can't wait to return to the Colchester United fold against East Anglian rivals Cambridge United this weekend.
Here are Colchester United writer Carl Marston's U's Player Ratings after yesterday's 2-1 defeat at Lincoln City, when substitute Luke Waterfall's injury-time header finally ended the U's already slender hopes of making the play-offs.