McGreal’s men set to be highest U’s goalscorers of 21st Century

Jamie Cureton celebrates one of his 23 league goals netted in the 2006-07 season, during this 3-1 wi

Jamie Cureton celebrates one of his 23 league goals netted in the 2006-07 season, during this 3-1 win over Roy Keane's Sunderland, whose keeper Darren Ward looks rather deflated. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Archant

Free-scoring Colchester United, targeting what would be their first promotion in 13 years, are on course to become the highest scorers by a U’s team since the turn of the century.

John McGreal’s men, who entertain promotion rivals Carlisle United this weekend, have so far plundered 53 goals in 33 league matches.

That is the joint third highest in League Two, behind second-placed Bury (63 goals) and leaders Lincoln City (57), and level with fourth-placed MK Dons.

The U’s need to score just 18 goals from their remaining 13 league fixtures, of the regular season, to eclipse the 70 bagged by the Essex club’s most successful class of the 21st Century – the 2006-07 Championship squad.

Geraint Williams’ Colchester side of 2006-07 were a lethal outfit, spearheaded by the strike-force duo of Jamie Cureton (23 league goals) and Chris Iwelumo (18 league goals). They went on to finish 10th in the Championship, and so 30th in the Football League pyramid.

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Boss McGreal, a former Ipswich Town player, like predecessor Williams, has been blessed with goalscorers from all areas of the pitch this season, rather than having to rely on the likes of an equivalent Cureton/Iwelumo strike-force combination.

Sammie Szmodics leads the way with 11 goals, followed by attackers Luke Norris (8) and Frank Nouble (7), and then midfielder Harry Pell (6) and winger Courtney Senior (5).

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Nouble has scored in each of the U’s last three matches, converting a 47th minute penalty in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Sol Campbell’s Macclesfield Town

The U’s have had 14 different goalscorers in the league so far, with 13 of these scoring more than one goal.

As an aside, the most league goals scored by a Colchester United side (in the Football League) was the remarkable 104 netted by Benny Fenton’s prolific side of 1961-62.

The U’s won promotion that season, boosted by the goal-scoring exploits of Bobby Hunt (38 goals), Martyn King (30) and Peter Wright (12).

Looking ahead to this weekend, the U’s are again set to be without midfielder Pell, due to a sore hamstring, while Lapslie is also struggling with a similar injury.

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