Robins raid would revive memories of ‘06

COLCHESTER United could record a fifth straight victory at Swindon Town this afternoon.

The last time the Essex club did that was back at the start of 2006 with a 3-2 home win over Bristol City. Phil Parkinson’s side then went on to turn that into a 10-game winning streak, a run which set them on the way to promotion to the second tier of English football for the first time in the club’s history.

And U’s boss John Ward – whose side are already eight points better off than Parkinson’s were after 15 league games in 2005/06 – knows all too well the importance of maintaining momentum once it comes your way.

He said: “You look at the league table and we are in a good position (third), but it doesn’t take much to drop away into mid-table and a bit of obscurity.

“It’s therefore very important that the high side of our game that we have shown in recent weeks returns for this match.

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“As far as I’m concerned we are already on a run – we’ve only lost one in 16 – and it would be nice to continue that as long as possible.”

Following their fifth-place finish, Swindon narrowly missed out on promotion last season with a 1-0 defeat to Millwall in the play-off final at Wembley.

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The Robins appear to have been weakened by the summer departures of 29-goal striker Billy Paynter to Leeds and key defender Gordon Greer to Brighton though and currently find themselves down in 17th and nine-points adrift of the U’s in third.

Danny Wilson’s side are currently scoring and conceding goals at an equally rapid rate – 14 both for and against over the last six games – although they have only emerged victorious on one of those occasions.

In contrast, while Colchester have also seen goals flying in at both ends – scoring 11 and conceding seven over their last four games – they have won all of those matches by a single goal.

The U’s will hand late fitness tests to defender Magnus Okuonghae (ankle) and midfielder Ian Henderson (knee) today, while left-back Tom Williams (groin) and Kemi Izzet (shin) both look to have shaken off knocks.

Swindon have been playing 4-4-2 all season, but could switch to a 4-5-1 today to accommodate absent and returning personnel. Striker Vincent Pericard limped out of Tuesday night’s home defeat to Brentford in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy – a match Swindon lost on penalties following a 1-1 draw – but centre midfielder and captain Jonathan Douglas is set to return after a broken toe.

– For live match updates from The County Ground, follow Stuart_Watson on

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