Colchester United looking to upset Lincoln’s promotion’s hopes

Sammie Szmodics celebrates with Mikael Mandron and Drey Wright after netting the winner for the U's

Sammie Szmodics celebrates with Mikael Mandron and Drey Wright after netting the winner for the U's in a 1-0 home victory over today's hosts Lincoln City, from November. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United’s play-off hopes are over, all bar the shouting, but they have three chances to disrupt the promotion hopes of League Two rivals over the last three weekends of the season.

They travel to fourth-placed Exeter City on the final day, and entertain ninth-placed Swindon in their final home match, but before then they make the short journey to Lincoln City this afternoon.

The Imps, with ex-Braintree Town manager Danny Cowley at the helm, are fifth in the table and looking to stay in the top seven, having been promoted as National League champions less than 12 months ago.

The U’s own top-seven chances were effectively quashed by back-to-back home defeats, at the hands of Accrington Stanley (already promoted) and fifth-placed Notts County over the previous two weekends, following a previous unbeaten run of four matches, featuring three consecutive wins over Stevenage, Luton and Forest Green Rovers.

John McGreal’s men are not mathematically out of the promotion race just yet, but they are seven points behind both Coventry (seventh) and today’s hosts Lincoln, with just those three matches remaining.

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“We feel a little bit of injustice with a lack of reward from our last two matches,” insisted McGreal.

“We needed to win these games, and we felt that our performances warranted victories, but it’s fine margins at this level.

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“The boys have tried to put in the performances to win games, but it’s just not happened.

“Lincoln will be a tough game. They are still potentially in with a shot of the top three, though the play-offs are more likely.

“It’s a match we are looking forward to. We had a good (1-0) win over them earlier in the season, and we have generally been good away from home.

“We are just a few wins shy of where we want to be.

“We have been beaten by the best in the league, in Accrington, while Notts County are always a tough nut to crack. Now we want to implement our game, up at Lincoln,” added McGreal.

A top-10 finish looks a more likely target for the U’s. They are currently in 11th spot, but are unlikely to improve on their eighth spot from last season, nor their final points tally of 69.

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