Great start is no fluke - Vincent

COLCHESTER United's attacking winger, Ashley Vincent, is quietly confident that the U's can sustain their table-topping start to the season.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United's attacking winger, Ashley Vincent, is quietly confident that the U's can sustain their table-topping start to the season.

The U's entertain Gillingham in their third league fixture of the season tonight, following hot on the heels of back-to-back wins at Norwich and over Yeovil.

Vincent impressed in both these games, and headed home his first goal of the campaign with the U's second in 2-1 win over Yeovil on Saturday.

The ex-Cheltenham Town front-runner, who signed permanently over the summer, certainly believes that the U's impressive start is no fluke.

“We are all quietly confident of doing very well this season,” insisted Vincent.

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“You look around the dressing room and see what we've got here. We're capable of scoring lots of goals and defensively we look very good as well.

“At the moment, it's so far, so good. We want to stay at the top of the league for as long as we can.

“The gaffer (Paul Lambert) has told us that he wants to get out of this league this season, and that's what we are trying to do,” added Vincent.

Even though Vincent has said in the past that he prefers to operate as a striker, rather than a winger, he looks set to play the bulk of this season down the right flank.

But this won't stop him hunting for goals aplenty.

“I want to score as many goals as I can this season. Even though I'm playing as a wide-player, I like to get inside more than anyone else,” confirmed Vincent.

“I want to create chances for others, but I also want to score myself, I could have scored a couple more against Yeovil, because I had a couple of good strikes on target that the keeper (Alex McCarthy) saved.”

Vincent must enjoy playing Yeovil. He scored his first goal in a U's shirt on the final day of last season, in a 2-0 win at Huish Park, in what was the last match of his initial loan deal.

And he celebrated his second U's goal against the same opposition on Saturday, heading home Simon Hackney's excellent cross.

“That's one of my first ever headed goals in the league,” revealed Vincent.

“However, I don't mind heading the ball in training. I like to get to the back stick and wait for the cross, and Simon (Hackney) produced a great cross for my goal. He's been doing that all pre-season.

“The two strikers, and me as the wide man, all benefit from that. We know exactly where the ball is going to go.

“I was happy with my performance against Yeovil, after last Tuesday night (defeat to Leyton Orient), when I didn't really get into the game.

“Now it's important that we carry this on now. Gillingham didn't have a good result over the weekend (4-2 defeat at Tranmere), so we have a good chance to build on this win.

“It was also important for us to win at home, after all the problems of last year. We need to beat these sort of teams at home. That's crucial.

“We've set our stall out now, by winning our first home game in the league,” added Vincent.

Manager Lambert is unlikely to make any changes tonight. Target man Clive Platt serves the second of a three-match suspension, after being sent off for violent conduct against Leyton Orient, so Scott Vernon will deputise again.

Platt will also miss Saturday's trip to MK Dons. Striker Steven Gillespie (hamstring) and defender Paul Reid (recovering from a broken knee cap) both remain sidelined through injury.

Squads

COLCHESTER UNITED: Williams, Beevers, Baldwin, Okuonghae, Tierney, Vincent, Hammond, Fox, Hackney, Lisbie, Vernon, Izzet, Perkins, Maybury, Thomas, Wordsworth, Holt, Corcoran, Malton, Cousins.

GILLINGHAM: Julian, Nutter, Richards, Gowling, Fuller, Bentley, Miller, Weston, Payne, Jackson, Barcham, McCammon, Palmer, Maher, Yussuff, Rooney, Erskine, Wynter, Royce

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