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‘It’s a big game’ – Colchester United defender Tom Eastman on Cambridge test

PUBLISHED: 06:17 01 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:30 01 January 2018

Tom Eastman, shooting during the second half of the 2-0 win at Crawley Town on Boxing Day. Picture: PAGEPIX

Tom Eastman, shooting during the second half of the 2-0 win at Crawley Town on Boxing Day. Picture: PAGEPIX

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Stalwart defender, Tom Eastman, is anticipating a different type of challenge against East Anglian rivals Cambridge United this afternoon, to the test set by hosts Chesterfield on Saturday.

The Spireites, despite their lowly position in League Two, sprayed the ball around with short passes during the 0-0 draw against the U’s, but Eastman is expecting a more direct approach from promotion rivals Cambridge.

“Saturday was a tough game, really hard fought, maybe a different kind of game to what we are used to in League Two,” confirmed Eastman.

“And that’s because Chesterfield popped the ball around quite a bit.

“Monday might be a different test, with Cambridge bit more direct.

“It’s a big game, a local derby. I remember going to their place against a big strong team (1-0 defeat in September).

“But we are a different team now. We have adapted to the league, even though we were relegated the previous season. We are looking stronger and keeping clean-sheets.

“We are doing a lot better than what we were earlier in the season,” added Eastman.

The U’s have lost just two of their last 16 games, with nine wins and five draws equating to 32 points accumulated from a possible 48.

Eastman helped to keep a clean-sheet in what was his 261st senior appearance for the U’s, at Chesterfield on Saturday.

“We got on top in the second half and although we didn’t create many chances, we could have nicked a goal,” said Eastman.

“It was hard to stay in the game at times, especially in the 20 minutes before half-time when they started to get on top, but we stood up to it.

We didn’t play great, but at least we got a point.”

The U’s are only outside the play-off zone on goal difference, while Cambridge are four points further off the pace.

Squads

COLCHESTER: Walker, Jackson, Eastman, Kent, Vincent-Young, Comley, Lapslie, Murray, Mandron, Szmodics, Slater, Wright, Reid, Guthrie, Kpekawa, Hanlan, James, Kinsella & Gilmartin.

CAMBRIDGE: Forde, Halliday, Legge, Taft, Taylor, Deegan, Maris, Amoo, Brown, Elito, Ikpeazu, Carroll, Azeez, Osadebe, O’Neil, Davies, Knowles & Mitov.

Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey)

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