U's face life without Gillespie again

COLCHESTER United will be facing up to life without their leading striker again, as Steven Gillespie begins his three-match suspension with the visit of MK Dons tomorrow.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United will be facing up to life without their leading striker again, as Steven Gillespie begins his three-match suspension with the visit of MK Dons tomorrow.

And fellow striker Clive Platt, who used to play for the Dons, admitted that the U's will suffer from Gillespie's latest enforced absence.

Club record signing Gillespie, a £400,000 recruit from Cheltenham Town over the summer, was hit with the three-match ban for his red card offence during the dying minutes of last Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Crewe Alexandra. His tackle on defender Danny Woodards was deemed to be serious foul play, and the U's chose not to appeal against the sending-off this week.


You may also want to watch:


Ex-Liverpool trainee Gillespie has only started two matches this term, due to injuries to his thigh and hamstring. His latest comeback was cut short at Gresty Road.

Platt was hoping to strike an immediate rapport with Gillespie up front, in the same way as he formed such a prolific partnership with Kevin Lisbie last season, and with Izzy McLeod during his previous stay with MK Dons.

Most Read

“It's a massive blow losing Steven (Gillespie) again,” confessed Platt.

“He brings something a bit different to our team. He gives us a lot of pace, and we will miss that.

“He has already missed a lot of games this season, due to injury, and he's more frustrated than anyone about what went on at Crewe.

“Steven is not a player who is used to making outrageous tackles. He just caught the guy after getting the ball. It was frustrating for us all, and I wasn't pleased with the performance of the referee (Iain Williamson) that day. But we have to move on,” added Platt.

Manager Geraint Williams said: “We have seen what he (Gillespie) can bring to the side when he plays - he has already got three goals and he hasn't had a great deal of time on the pitch.”

Red cards cost the U's dear last season, and they cannot afford another flurry of them this year, especially if they are to start climbing the table and mounting a bid for promotion.

A prime reason for the U's outstanding first campaign in the Championship (2006-07), when they finished 10th in the table, was down to their excellent disciplinary record. Loanee left-back Chris Barker was the only player to be sent off.

But it was all change last season. The Essex club finished rock bottom of the Championship, and their cause was not helped by six players picking up suspensions for red cards, including Platt himself during pre-season.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter