Chris Porter insists that Colchester United face a ‘must-win game’ against Stevenage

Brennan Dickenson is disappointed at the final whistle following the 3-1 defeat at Notts County on A

Brennan Dickenson is disappointed at the final whistle following the 3-1 defeat at Notts County on April 1. At the time, the U's play-off hopes looked remote, while Dickenson has since suffered a long-term knee injury. Picture: PAGEPIIX

Chris Porter would love to chalk up his 100th goal, in the English Football League, against high-flying Stevenage tomorrow afternoon to help steer Colchester United back on course for the League Two play-offs.

Chris Porter beats Luton keeper Matt Macey for his second goal during the 2-1 victory over the Hatt

Chris Porter beats Luton keeper Matt Macey for his second goal during the 2-1 victory over the Hatters in the U's last home match. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The U’s have slipped to five points and five places adrift of the League Two top-seven, following last weekend’s 3-1 defeat at Notts County, even though Porter curled home his 99th English Football League goal with a first-half stunner at Meadow Lane.

Porter has been amongst the goals this season, enjoying his best campaign since banging home 21 league goals for Oldham Athletic in 2006-07.

And yet he is still not content with his current 2016-17 tally of 14 goals, even though he missed six weeks of the season before Christmas with a hamstring injury.

“I’m pleased to have got a few goals recently, and I hope to get a few more before the end of the season,” insisted target-man Porter, following yesterday’s training session at Florence Park, Tiptree.

Chris Porter celebrates scoring in the 81st minute to put the U's 3-2 up at Stevenage on New Year's

Chris Porter celebrates scoring in the 81st minute to put the U's 3-2 up at Stevenage on New Year's Eve. The U's went on to win 4-2. Stevenage are tomorrow's visitors to the Community Stadium. Picture: PAGEPIX


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Porter continued: “I’ve gone on a few goal-scoring streaks in my career, over the years, and I’m happy with the way I have played this season.

“I’ve had a little spell injured as well, otherwise I’m sure I’d have had a few more goals by now.

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“I rate my goal at Notts County as one of the best goals of my career, especially as it was with my left foot.

“But personally, I don’t care where I score from, as long as I score.

“I’d like to score more goals from outside the box, but it’s sometimes difficult because my job is to be in the box, while others are waiting outside it. I’d like to think that I make some intelligent runs, but sometimes you also need that bit of luck,” added Porter.

Wigan-born Porter, who began his professional career at then-fourth tier Bury in 2003, has actually netted 122 League goals during his distinguished career, spanning the last 14 years, although 23 of these were bagged during an 18-month stay in Scotland, at Motherwell.

His 99th English goals, in the Football League, have come at Bury (18), Oldham (28), Derby County (9), Sheffield United (15), loan club Shrewsbury (1) and Colchester (28).

Determined to add to that haul, during the last six games of this season, Porter remains confident that the U’s can make the play-offs, although he describes tomorrow’s clash as a “must-win game.”

“You usually find that teams who manage to sneak into the play-offs manage to go all the way and get promoted, because they have momentum,” said Porter.

“I’ve been in a similar position a couple of times before, once we managed it and once we didn’t. There are several teams ahead of us, so we are relying on other results as well.

“However, it’s still really in our own hands because if we win our last six games, or at least five of them, then we should be in the top-seven.

“For me, this weekend is a must-win game, as they all are between now and the end of the season.

“I’m surprised Stevenage have done so well, because I didn’t think they were great when we beat them (4-2 away on New Year’s Eve).

“I was just coming back from injury that day, coming on as a substitute for the start of the second half,” added Porter.

Porter scored that day, stabbing home from close range to put the U’s 3-2 up, before then setting up fellow substitute Tarique Fosu for the fourth in stoppage time.

The U’s were five places and three points better off than Stevenage, following that final game of 2016.

But whereas the U’s have continued to be dominant at home, they have not managed to win on the road since that New Year’s Eve triumph at Broadhall Way.

That’s why John McGreal’s men are down in 12th spot, despite winning nine of their last 11 home games, whereas Stevenage have risen to fourth place – Darren Sarll’s side have only lost two of their last 14 matches.

“Our home form has been much better this season,” enthused Porter.

“And it helps that we’ve got some big games coming up, at home.

“There should be a better atmosphere, playing against the top teams, which makes for a more enjoyable occasion.”

Following tomorrow’s visit of Stevenage, league leaders Doncaster Rovers are the next opponents at the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Good Friday, followed by second-placed Plymouth on April 22.

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