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07 March 2020 Venue Brunton Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: A look ahead to the game against Colchester

United host the U's on Saturday

5 March 2020

Colchester have bounced around inside the play-off places for a number of weeks now, but four defeats from their last six outings has seen them slip down to eighth spot as those around them have continued to pick up victories.

Last weekend's home loss at the hands of Cheltenham caused that drop, as others capitalised with winning outcomes, but they demonstrated at Salford two weeks ago that they are still serious contenders. 

They've been a tough team to beat all season, having lost just five league games before that stuttering February run kicked in, and the 37 goals they've conceded is amongst the best in the division.

With 10 games left to play they know there'll be no quarter given as, at the moment, four teams tussle for sixth and seventh places, but that can change dramatically as others push on to try to take advantage of any end-of-season nerves.

Theo Robinson [11] and Luke Norris [9] have 20 goals between them, but there is plenty of support on that score with goals coming from all over the pitch.

It'll be another good test, but just one defeat in nine for the Beech Boys means the hosts will be in confident mood as they take to the Brunton Park playing surface.

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Chris BeechChris Beech ...

Speaking ahead of the weekend game, the head coach said: "Colchester have been playing well under John McGreal and we have to be aware of that. They have players who know their roles, and collectively they can be a very effective team.

"We saw that in what was one of my first away games, when they were clinical in front of goal and they took the points off us. That's what they're capable of, but there have been changes for both sides since then.

"We have certainly made ourselves harder to beat. I think I say this every week, but whoever the opposition is, it still comes down to what we do that matters.

"That's why I feel that any talk of being able to look beyond the next game can be false. There's still almost a quarter of the season left for us to play, and that matters. It matters that we do things right, that we keep improving, that we continue to demand more from each other, because there is so much for everyone still to play for.

"The three-point feeling is massive in this business. I want more of it for the players, the staff, the fans and everybody connected with the club."

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Did You Know?

+ The U’s originally formed because Colchester’s existing team, Colchester Town, were reluctant to turn professional. Colchester United then stepped in as a professional outfit.

+ Colchester were named as the ‘Pride of Anglia’ in 2006/07 when they finished above local rivals Norwich and Ipswich in the Championship.

Lua Lua

+ Fans voted for a club ‘Cult Hero’ in 2004, with ex-Newcastle man Lomana Lua Lua coming out on top.

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Head to Head

The sides have met on 48 occasions over the years with the U's slightly shading the victories with 20 to United's 17. 

  Carlisle wins Draws Colchester wins
League 17 11 19
League Cup 0 0 1
Total 17 11 20

We were at Colchester just before Christmas in 2019 and it was a day where Colchester took their chances and claimed the victory.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

The February meeting during the 2018/19 season brought a hard-fought draw, with Hallam Hope giving the Blues the lead just after half time. The U's upped their game and they got their reward with an equaliser from Frankie Kent with just six minutes left to play.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

Colchester were at Brunton Park just before Christmas that season for a game that went the way of the home side thanks to a blistering second half display. Hallam Hope had set the tone with a goal just before the break, and Jerry Yates, Jamie Devitt and Danny Grainger wrapped things up as they hit the back of the net in a second period which was all about the Blues.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

The first meeting of these teams during the 17/18 season was for our October visit to Essex. It was a tight game, with both sides creating good chances, but a superb finish from Jamie Devitt proved to be the difference when he got on the end of a long ball forward before calmly slotting it beneath Walker's dive to find the bottom corner.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

 

Back up at Brunton Park in February 2018 and Courtney Senior gave the visitors the upper hand with a well taken goal just before the break. The Blues came out for the second half in determined mood and Jamie Devitt pounced once more to claim a point for his side with just 10 minutes left on the clock.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

 

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Man in the middle

Thomas BramallOur referee for this game is Mr Thomas Bramall. He has taken charge of three games so far this season, showing four yellow cards and no reds.

We met him for the first time as our main match official for the Yeovil Town home game at the end of October 2018. It was ultimately a disappointing day for the Blues, as we lost the game to a late, late deflected Tom James free kick, but the cards stayed in the pocket and there were no names taken on the day. 

He was in charge again, a month later, in November 2018 for our 1-1 away draw with Notts County. Jerry Yates bagged our late equaliser and, once again, there were no Carlisle names taken.

Referee - Thomas Bramall
Assistant Referee 1 - Billy Smallwood
Assistant Referee 2 - David Avent
Fourth Official - Simon Clayton

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Ticket information

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: United 0 - 3 Colchester

Report from the Saturday afternoon home game

7 March 2020

Just one defeat in nine games had seen United open up a 17-point gap to bottom spot and they were back at Brunton Park to face Colchester as they looked to keep their impressive run going.

There was just one change to last week's starting eleven with Max Hunt stepping up to cover for the suspended Byron Webster.

Striker Josh Kayode and midfielder Mo Sagaf were drafted onto the bench for what was a very attack-minded approach from head coach Chris Beech.

United kicked towards the Warwick Road End, as the U's won the toss, and good work from Watt saw him carry the ball through midfield. Mellish was set free on the left flank, and his low cross had to be cleared as Patrick checked his run. Watt recovered the clearance, and McKirdy took over with a shot that was blocked at source.

It was a good start from the Blues and a clever run from Alessandra created more space for Mellish to exploit. His cross came to McKirdy, and a corner was won as he went for goal. The delivery from Watt was deep, and Hunt did well to nod it back into the mix. It eventually dropped in front of Anderton and his 19-yard volley wasn't too far away.

Colchester responded with a cross from Poku which was heading straight to Harriott, who was up in support of the front line. Norris took it with his toe, preventing the shot from his strike partner, and the low punt which followed was easily cleared.

The away side were dangerous when Nouble twisted and turned before having the ball taken off his toe and sent behind for a corner from a sliding challenge. Pell was up for the cross, but it skimmed past his head and Hunt gratefully swiped it away.

Carlisle lifted spirits again on 19 minutes when Watt pinged a fast pass at Mike Jones. He sent Gethin Jones on the overlap, and a cracker of a delivery arrowed across the face of the target, but it was just an inch too far in front of the strike force. 

White shirts broke from the goal kick, and Norris had just one thing on his mind as he bent his run towards the box. The shot had power, but Collin was equal to it as he dived long to beat it away.

There was a great chance for the away side midway through the half when Pell robbed possession tight by the right hand touchline. He muscled his way to the byeline, before cutting it back, towards where Norris lurked. He stumbled as he took a touch and his shot was shepherded away as the Cumbrians regrouped.

United worked their way from back to front on the half hour when Collin rolled the ball to Hayden. He strode forward and brought McKirdy into play, and his cushioned pass bobbled onwards for Watt to hit. He caught it well but it took a deflection and Gerken was able to watch it into his hands.

Collin tipped a late-dipping long-range free kick from Bramall over his bar, and Hayden cleared off the line moments later when an inswinging corner from Bramall threatened to creep in at the near post. The follow up corner from the same source brought a flick from Nouble, and he was set to celebrate until the keeper stretched to make a fantastic save.

It was a good spell for the travellers and Collin saved again when Norris sent a piledriver through bodies. Poku stayed on the front foot and he curled an unstoppable shot from the recycled ball into the bottom corner when he found the slightest of gaps with a crunched left-footed effort.

Colchester stayed forward, and Collin had to stop Nouble as he drilled low at the near post. But the hosts were undone by a set piece as a looped corner from Bramall was nodded home from just two yards out by the prolific Luke Norris.

Striker Josh Kayode came on to make his home debut for the start of the second period, at the expense of Elliot Watt, but it was the U's who fashioned the first chance of the half when Bramall ran across the length of the 18-yard line. He let fly on the run but it spun well wide.

Nick Anderton found himself in a very advanced area as he hassled Eastman and he came away with the ball, which brought movement from Patrick. Alessandra had a shot stifled, and Mike Jones made sure Gerken had to work when he tried his luck from distance.

But a tough afternoon got even harder for the Blues just before the hour when an untidy build up brought an equally untidy shot from Kwame Poku. Hayden got his boot in the way almost at the point of contact, and that caused the ball to spin wildly as it cut the grass. Collin could do nothing as it bent slowly into the bottom corner.

Kayode rattled a shot high when he got half a yard in the Colchester half, as he tried to provide a spark, and he had his heart in his mouth at the other end when he stuck a boot out to get in the way of a free kick from Harriott. Collin stayed calm to pull it into his chest.

Nouble was denied by Collin when he went through one-on-one with 20 minutes left to play, and Pell smashed one wide from distance as chances started to dry up for both sides. 

Alessandra almost found a way through with a deflected volley that had Gerken scrambling, and a long throw from the striker found Mellish on the march as he arrived late. His header was heading the right way until the keeper jumped across to grasp it.

Chances were at even more of a premium as the clock ticked down, and Colchester were happy sit on their lead as they went on to claim the points.

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Goals

Colchester United - Poku (40, 49), Norris (43)

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Bookings

Carlisle United - Anderton (49)

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Teams

Carlisle United - Collin (gk)(c), G Jones, Hunt, Hayden, Anderton, McKirdy, M Jones, Watt (Kayode 46), Mellish, Alessandra, Patrick (Bridge 80). Subs - Dewhurst (gk), Iredale, Charters, Loft, Sagaf.

Colchester United - Gerken (gk), Jackson, Bramall, Prosser (c), Pell, Norris (Robinson 85), Harriott (Senior 82), Eastman, Stevenson, Nouble, Poku (Gambin 87). Subs - Ross (gk), Welch-Hayes, Comley, Clampin.

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Match officials

Referee - Thomas Bramall
Assistant Referee 1 - Billy Smallwood
Assistant Referee 2 - David Avent
Fourth Official - Simon Clayton

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Attendance - 3,769 (146 away fans)

 

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