Brand new Essex derby bragging rights on offer

COLCHESTER United will need to rise to the favourites’ tag for the second time in four days tonight if they are to claim brand new Essex derby bragging rights.

The U’s play Dagenham & Redbridge for the first time in the two clubs’ histories at The Weston Homes Community Stadium this evening.

And having comfortably seen off struggling Tranmere Rovers 3-1 on home turf on Saturday, John Ward hopes his unbeaten side can continue their goal-scoring form.

“We missed a few chances in the second half but I don’t mind that because sometimes you can use them all up,” said Ward. “Hopefully it means we’ve saved a few for Dagenham.”

John Still’s Daggers completed a fairytale rise from non-league to the third tier of English football last May via the League Two play-offs following a seventh-place finish.

Back-to-back 3-0 defeats to Bournemouth and Bristol Rovers earlier this month sent them spiralling to the foot-of-the-table, but they have since bounced back with morale-boosting draws against Exeter and Charlton

Still praised his side’s never-say-die spirit after they twice came from behind at The Valley on Saturday, the second leveller coming in stoppage time.

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Colchester right-back Brian Wilson is likely to still be unavailable tonight with an ankle injury, but centre-back Magnus Okuonghae should recover from the ankle knock he picked up at the weekend. Pat Baldwin will face a late fitness test on the ankle knock which kept him out at the weekend.

There will also be a familiar face in the opposition ranks in the form of Phil Ifil who was released by the U’s this summer following two-and-a-half seasons with the club.

– Full match preview in today’s EADT. For live match updates tonight follow Stuart_Watson on

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