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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Final day stings-in-the-tail likely as U's take on champions Lincoln

PUBLISHED: 06:03 04 May 2019

Frankie Kent wheels away after scoring the only goal in Colchester United's 1-0 home victory over Lincoln City, last October. Kent will lead out the U's team today as skipper.  Picture: STEVE WALLER

Frankie Kent wheels away after scoring the only goal in Colchester United's 1-0 home victory over Lincoln City, last October. Kent will lead out the U's team today as skipper. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

All Colchester United can do today is beat champions Lincoln City, and then sit back and hope that results elsewhere have gone their way.

U's leading scorer Sammie Szmodics had this effort saved by Lincoln keeper Josh Vickers, during the the home clash. The duo will resume rivalry this afternoon. Picture: STEVE WALLERU's leading scorer Sammie Szmodics had this effort saved by Lincoln keeper Josh Vickers, during the the home clash. The duo will resume rivalry this afternoon. Picture: STEVE WALLER

It is a tall order, and an unlikely scenario.

In fact, the U's back-room staff had worked out on Thursday morning, after training, that the combined odds were stacked 23-1 against the U's reaching the play-offs – though obviously these odds were not shared with the players.

Quite simply, the U's have to win at Sincil Bank, which in itself is a huge task given that hosts Lincoln have proved to be quite comfortably the best team in League Two with just six league defeats all season.

Danny Cowley's men are a massive 28 points clear of the ninth-placed U's.

U's boss John McGreal celebrates his side's 1-0 home victory over tomorrow's hosts Lincoln City, from last October.  Picture: STEVE WALLERU's boss John McGreal celebrates his side's 1-0 home victory over tomorrow's hosts Lincoln City, from last October. Picture: STEVE WALLER

In addition to taking all three points, the U's must also rely on lower mid-table Morecambe beating seventh-placed Newport County, who are the in-form team in the division, plus Forest Green Rovers beating eight-placed Exeter (there is a chance that the U's could finish above Exeter if that game at The New Lawn was drawn, depending on goal difference).

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As an aside, Carlisle and Stevenage, who are currently level on points with the U's but with an inferior goal difference, must thrash their respective opponents, already-relegated Yeovil and Cheltenham, to be in the running.

While the hopes of Carlisle and Stevenage appear extremely slim, at least the U's have a slightly better chance of snatching that last remaining play-off berth.

Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley, who has led the Imps to the Division Two title.. Picture: STEVE WALLERLincoln City manager Danny Cowley, who has led the Imps to the Division Two title.. Picture: STEVE WALLER

“We know it's going to be a tough game, but we know what we have to do,” insisted U's boss John McGreal.

“It is all to play for, with regards the teams in and around us, and I'm sure the situation is going to change during the course of the 90 minutes, with the likes of Exeter at Forest Green, and Newport.

“I'm sure there will be two more twists to this season, and a couple more stings in the tail.

“We just have to hope that we are involved in those late twists, although we must make sure that we only focus on ourselves.

U's striker Mikael Mandron, contesting a high ball against Lincoln's Harry Anderson. Mandron has been released by the U's.  Picture: STEVE WALLERU's striker Mikael Mandron, contesting a high ball against Lincoln's Harry Anderson. Mandron has been released by the U's. Picture: STEVE WALLER

“We have got to make sure that we get out job done.”

McGreal looks set to name an unchanged side, from the one which we beat MK Dons 2-0 last weekend, although the injured duo of Kane Vincent-Young and Brandon Comley have both returned to training.

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