Free-scoring U’s gunning for more goals at Stevenage

Luke Norris steers home his seventh goal of the season, from the penalty spot, during the U's 2-1 de

Luke Norris steers home his seventh goal of the season, from the penalty spot, during the U's 2-1 defeat to Bury last weekend. Picture: CARL MARSTON - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Replacement centre-half, Tom Eastman, became the 10th different Colchester United player to etch his name on the score-sheet this season, with his opener against Yeovil Town in a midweek, a very impressive ratio from just 11 league games.

Averaging a touch over two goals per game, it is not surprising that the U’s are out on their own in terms of the League Two goalscoring charts, having scored four more (24) than their nearest challengers, the top two of Lincoln and Exeter (both 20 goals).

This afternoon, the U’s make one of their shortest trips of the season to Broadhall Way, to take on a Stevenage side who are more renowned for their miserly defence (just 10 goals conceded in 11 games) rather than their attack (just 12 goals scored).

Eastman, the U’s 10th marksman, looks set to retain his place in what will probably be an unchanged side today, from the 3-1 win over Yeovil. Fellow centre-half Frankie Kent needs more time to recover from an ankle injury.

“Tom (Eastman) was our player-of-the-year last season, but he has had to bide his time this year,” explained boss John McGreal.

“I thought he performed particularly well the other night. He’s an experienced player who knows what’s needed.”

Striker Luke Norris shrugged off a sore ankle to start against Yeovil, and although he didn’t add to his seven-goal tally, he ruffled a few feathers in the Glovers back-line, something he looks sure to do to Stevenage’s back-line.

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“Luke (Norris) has been fantastic for us. He needed a few games to get into his stride, after injury, but he’s hungry for the ball and gets his foot on it.

“His fitness and strength is at a maximum now, and I thought his performance the other night was great for a No.9. He had plenty of shots,” added McGreal.

The U’s boss added: “Results tend to come along in batches, and I think we gained confidence from our first couple of away games.

“We didn’t play that well in our last away game, at Oldham (3-3), so we want to improve on that. We also want to back-up our win from Tuesday night.

“But we have to keep the players on it. You have to keep them at every minute of the day, because if you give a player an inch, they will take a mile.

“I think the younger players have benefited from some of the more experienced players around them, to learn how to take the sting out of games and to urge each other on.”

The U’s are unbeaten on the road, with a win and four draws from their first five away league games.

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