Strong Colchester United squad set for Needham Market

Doug Loft, a U's summer signing from Gillingham, in action at Maldon & Tiptree on Saturday. He shoul

Doug Loft, a U's summer signing from Gillingham, in action at Maldon & Tiptree on Saturday. He should be in a strong squad for tomorrow night's friendly at Needham Market

Colchester United will play their second pre-season match of the summer, at Needham Market this evening (kick-off 7.45pm).

U’s boss John McGreal is set to bring a strong squad to Bloomfields, with nearly all of his first teamers likely to see some action.

The U’s won 3-0 at Maldon & Tiptree in their first pre-season friendly on Saturday, thanks to goals by Dexter Peter, Macauley Bonne and Matt Briggs.

Summer signings Doug Loft, Brennan Dickenson, Craig Slater, Denny Johnstone, Luke Prosser, Kurtis Guthrie and Peter all made their debuts in a Colchester shirt, and all are likely to feature tonight.

First choice keeper, Sam Walker, who has not played for nearly a year, since seriously injurying his knee during the first week of last season, did not play at Maldon, and he could figure at some stage tomorrow against Ryman Premier hosts Needham.

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The Marketmen will be staging a bucket collection throughout the course of the match, with the club also making a donation from the gate receipts, towards the tragic events that happened a couple of weeks ago to two local football players, Shaun Whiter and Joey Abbs.

A Needham Market spokesman said: “This story has rocked the local football community and we are asking individuals attending the match to kindly give generously towards the collection.”

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Estate agent Shaun Whiter, 27, from Burrough Green, was helping his friend Joey Abbs, 31, from Newmarket, fix a puncture on July 1 at 10.55pm in Dullingham Road.

Both men were struck by a Ford Focus which then left the scene, leaving both men seriously injured. Mr Whiter’s legs were both amputated below the knee and Mr Abbs received a serious injury to his right leg.

Admission for tonight’s game is £5 for adults, £3 for concessions and £1 for children.

It is Needham’s first pre-season fixture of the summer.

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