Lisbie up against old side

FOR the first time in his career, Kevin Lisbie will be in the opposition when Charlton Athletic come to town this afternoon.

By Carl Marston

Colchester soccer

By Carl Marston

FOR the first time in his career, Kevin Lisbie will be in the opposition when Charlton Athletic come to town this afternoon.

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But Lisbie will be putting sentiment to one side, as he prepares to continue his scoring streak by trying to help his new club Colchester United to victory over his former club.

Lisbie will have plenty of friends and family in the ground, many of whom will have split loyalties -whether to support their mate, or their main team Charlton!

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“It doesn't feel strange at the moment, but I guess it will feel weird when I run out on the pitch and see the Charlton kit,” admitted Lisbie last night.

“I reckon there'll be a stadium full of my friends watching, so it's a big game for me and the whole team. I enjoyed my time at Charlton, and there were no hard feelings when I left.

“Kem (Izzet) was released by Charlton a few years ago (2001), so he will be especially looking forward to the game, and showing them what they have been missing. But it's a little different for me, because I left on good terms with the manager (Alan Pardew),” added Lisbie.

Injuries and illness blighted Lisbie's career at Charlton. He spent 11 years as a professional at The Valley, having graduated from the youth team, but he only started 68 games during that period, in addition to making 108 appearances as a substitute.

A summer move to Layer Road has meant a fresh start. It began in ominous fashion, with an ankle injury causing him to play just 26 minutes of the first three games.

But the 28-year-old has not looked back over the last couple of games, netting with sweet headers in the 3-0 win at Preston and the 3-2 home defeat by Burnley.

“I've got two-in-two, and I want that to become three-in-three, or perhaps three-in-four,” insisted Lisbie.

“I want to keep scoring, and I don't care how I get them. The ball can fly in off your back or your backside, and suddenly you can be on 15 goals for the season!

“It feels such a long time since our last games (against Burnley). I know it was two weeks ago, but it feels like a month! We've worked very hard during that time, and we're ready for Charlton.

“I reckon there will be a lot of good football. It should be a high tempo game,” added Lisbie.

U's boss Geraint Williams welcomes back strikers Clive Platt and Jamie Guy after suspension and injury respectively. Both could be on the bench this afternoon.

Club record signing Platt (£300,000 from MK Dons) has had to sit out the last three games, due to his red card in the final pre-season friendly against Bolton. His one appearance in the Championship ended with a last gasp equaliser in the 2-2 draw at Sheffield United on the opening day.

It would be tempting to recall Platt straight back to the starting line-up, but Williams is unlikely to break up the Lisbie-Teddy Sheringham partnership. Sheringham knows all about Charlton boss Alan Pardew, because he played under him during his days at West Ham.

U's midfielder Kevin Watson played an hour in a behind-closed doors friendly at West Ham on Tuesday, but it's still too early for his return to the fray following an Achilles tendon injury.

Watson revealed: “I'm still a week or two away. It's the first time in 17 years that I haven't been fit at the start of a season, and it's been very frustrating.

“I'm looking forward to watching the Charlton game. There's added spice with all the connections between the two clubs.

“Chris (Iwelumo) deserves to get a good reception. I know that there isn't much sentiment in football, but he was terrific for us.”


COLCHESTER UNITED: Gerken, Duguid, Baldwin, Connolly, Elokobi, Yeates, Izzet, Jackson, McLeod, Sheringham, Lisbie, Platt, Guy, Virgo, Granville, White, Guttridge, Balogh, Davison (gk)

CHARLTON ATHLETIC: Weaver, Mills, Fortune, McCarthy, Powell, Ambrose, Thomas, Semedo, Reid, Iwelumo, Todorov, McLeod, Varney, Zheng, Sam, Racon, Bougherra, Sodje, Randolph (gk)

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