Gillespie hopes to partner Lisbie again

STEVEN Gillespie is hoping he will get given another chance to form a pace driven forward partnership with Kevin Lisbie at Hartlepool today.

STEVEN Gillespie is hoping he will get given another chance to form a pace driven forward partnership with Kevin Lisbie at Hartlepool today.

The long-haired Liverpudlian was handed a rare start at Charlton on Tuesday night and – for the opening 20 minutes – there were glimpses that he and fellow speedster Lisbie could pose a serious threat.

Gillespie had a goal ruled out for offside following a Lisbie shot early on, however, just as their partnership was showing signs of blossoming, the U’s were forced into a reshuffle.

When John-Joe O’Toole was stretchered off in the 24th minute, target man Clive Platt was his replacement and Lisbie was moved to the left-wing.


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Gillespie, who has found his chances limited this season, has only partnered Lisbie in attack on one other occasion – the 2-0 home victory over Southampton at the end of December.

The former Cheltenham player scored his only league goal of the season in that game and, with Kayode Odejayi still out injured, he hopes he will be given another chance alongside Lisbie today.

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“I thought the opening 20 minutes were our best 20 minutes of the game on Tuesday,” said Gillespie, following Colchester’s 1-0 defeat at The Valley. “Kevin and myself got in a couple of times and I thought it was working.

“The last game I played with him was the Southampton game here when we played so well so hopefully we’ll be given another chance.”

Gillespie has made 28 appearances for Colchester this season, but just seven of them have been starts.

The club record signing has still come in for some fierce criticism for his lack of goals though and, despite the stop-start nature of his season, he admits he needs to start finding the back of the net.

“I’m a little disappointed with my form, I’m going to be honest,” said the 24-year-old, whose first season at the U’s was severely disrupted by injury.

“My general play has not been too bad, but as much as I try to harry the defence and link up with the wingers I know I’m in the team to score goals.

“My fitness is right back up where it should be now though and I’m confident that, should I keep my place in the team, I’ll score goals.”

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