U’s look to overcome the Red Devils
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The League Two table remains tight, even after a dozen games and a quarter of the season gone, and it could well stay that way for the next few months.
Just five points separate fourth-placed MK Dons from 15th-placed Yeovil Town, and both Colchester United and Crawley Town are right in that mix going into today’s League Two clash at the Jobserve Community Stadium.
The U’s unbeaten away record was ended by a 3-1 reverse at Stevenage last weekend, which saw them slip out of the top seven.
Today’s visitors Crawley moved level on points with the eighth-placed U’s, after inflicting a 2-0 defeat on Joe Dunne’s struggling Cambridge United side.
So the prize for today’s winner looks like being a return to the play-off zone.
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“We’ve had a good start to the season, and now we want to try to maintain it,” insisted U’s boss John McGreal.
“Crawley are on a similar points total (the same 19 points) and they’ve been picking up points of late.
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“They also had an excellent 1-0 win at Lincoln from a few weeks ago, when everyone thought that Lincoln were just going to run away with the league.
“The table is very tight, and I can’t see it changing very much this season, with just one or two teams trying to pull away.
“Just one win and three points can lift you five or six places up the table.
“Of course nothing is won in October, and we’re certainly not crying about losing at Stevenage last weekend. It was only three points lost.
“We have a good home record, and we want that to continue. We are very much in the mix, even though we haven’t yet had two wins on the spin.
“And we do tend to react well to a defeat. We did that on Tuesday night against Southend (2-0 win in the Checkatrade Trophy).
“I made seven or eight changes that night, and I now know that those boys on the periphery are ready to come into the team if needed,” added McGreal.
COLCHESTER: Barnes, Jackson, Eastman, Prosser, Vincent-Young, Pell, Lapslie, Nouble, Szmodics, Senior, Norris, Mandron, Dickenson, Kent, Wright, Collins, Gondoh & Gilmartin.
CRAWLEY: Morris, Young, Payne, Connolly, Maguire, N’Gala, Randall, Morais, Gambin, Palmer, Poleon, Allarakhia, Francomb, Camara, Vincelot, Bulman, Galach, Sesay & Mersin.
Referee: Trevor Kettle (Rutland)