Colchester United’s injury crisis shows no sign of abating ahead of trip to Accrington Stanley

Jimmy Smith fires past U's keeper Sam Walker to give Crawley the lead with the second of his hat-tri

Jimmy Smith fires past U's keeper Sam Walker to give Crawley the lead with the second of his hat-trick of goals in a 3-2 win. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL - Credit: Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd

Colchester United’s injury crisis shows no sign of easing, which could have had a detrimental effect on the U’s chances of reaching the League Two play-offs.

Brennan Dickenson looks to get past Crawley right-back Lewis Young during the U's 3-2 home defeat on

Brennan Dickenson looks to get past Crawley right-back Lewis Young during the U's 3-2 home defeat on Tuesday evening. Pixture: RICHARD BLAXALL - Credit: Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd

John McGreal’s men, decimated by long-term injuries to key players, slipped to only their second defeat in the last 13 matches with a 3-2 home loss to Crawley Town on Tuesday night.

The U’s were without a dozen first-teamers, due to injury, and also Sean Murray due to suspension, and there is no prospect of anyone returning for this weekend’s trip to Accrington Stanley.

Defenders Tom Eastman, Luke Prosser, Frankie Kent and Lloyd Doyley are all out for lengthy spells, as are more-attacked minded players Drey Wright and Sammie Szmodics.

Back-up keeper Dean Brill, midfielders Doug Loft and Tommy O’Sullivan, plus recent recruit Jermaine Grandison and left-back Lewis Kinsella (finally on the comeback trail) are others currently out of action,


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And the same goes for striker Chris Porter, who has missed the U’s last two games with a hip flexor problem.

Added to this, midfielder Craig Slater was an unused substitute against Crawley, because of a slight injury, and Owen Garvan is also struggling to keep playing due to a niggling injury.

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It all adds up to a huge headache for manager McGreal.

“Chris (Porter) had no chance of making it for the Crawley match,” revealed McGreal.

“It’s disappointing, all these injuries, especially with the games coming thick and fast.

“Craig (Slater) is also not fully fit. I turned around to him, when Tarique (Fosu) went down with a bit of cramp (second-half against Crawley), and even before that when Owen (Garvan) was struggling.

“It wasn’t Owen’s type of game and I was thinking about taking him off so that he could have a little bit of rest-time to go again for Saturday and Tuesday games next week.

“So I turned to Craig and told him to warm up. But I saw him hobbling, and I thought – ‘I can’t push it’ – I knew Craig was still sore from last Saturday, so that’s why I brought the younger lads on,” added McGreal.

The U’s are currently three points and three places adrift of the play-off zone.

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