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MATCH PREVIEW: United head to Colchester on Saturday

We take a look at this weekend's opponents

19 December 2019

United round off their pre-Christmas fixtures with the long trip to the garrison town of Colchester on Saturday afternoon.

Luke NorrisThe U's have had a heck of a week, with the small matter of a visit to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the quarter-final of this season's Carabao Cup to contend with, and a resolute display was unhinged through a mad 10-minute second half spell where a strong home side grabbed the goals to settle nerves and knock the League Two outfit out of the competition.

In terms of the league, a steady run of six games unbeaten has kept them well in touch with the top seven places, and they've proved to be hard to beat all season with just five blemishes on their league campaign thus far.

The last four meetings between these sides has brought two draws and two victories for Carlisle, with last February's away game typical of the kind of tight encounter we normally see.

There's a real spread of attacking threat and goals throughout this weekend's home side, but Luke Norris is leading the charge with seven strikes to his name already. Tom Eastman, Frank Nouble, Theo Robinson and Courtney Senior have provided good back up to that with three each in the bag. 

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Chris BeechChris Beech ...

Speaking ahead of the weekend game, the head coach said: "It’s a game we’re all looking forward to. We know they're in good form, and they obviously had the high of playing against Manchester United on Wednesday, but we go there knowing that we're on a decent run as well.

"They have some excellent individuals, some I tried to recruit at League One level, and John McGreal has got them organised and playing well. They're hovering around the top seven places because they are a good side, and we'll respect that at the same time as doing what we can to impose ourselves on the game. 

“I've been pleased with the players so far. They've responded to what I want them to do in terms of being harder to beat, but I still want us to step up and be better in all areas. 

“We’re nearly there but, and as I keep saying, there's still a long way for us to go. That's why the work will continue because we should always be looking to push further and to progress."

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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 47 occasions over the years with the U's slightly shading the victories with 19 to United's 17. 

  Carlisle wins Draws Colchester wins
League 17 11 18
League Cup 0 0 1
Total 17 11 19

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

Our referee for this game is Mr Craig Hicks. He has taken charge of 17 games so far this season showing 49 yellow cards and four reds.

Unusually, and despite now being into his third season as an EFL referee, this is the first time he has been the man in the middle for one of our games.

Referee - Craig Hicks
Assistant Referee 1 - Conor Farrell
Assistant Referee 2 - Joseph Stokes
Fourth Official - Oliver Jackson

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Ticket information

Click HERE for full ticket information.

Click HERE to purchase your tickets online.

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