U’s first visit to Spireites since promotion year

THE last time Colchester United travelled away to Chesterfield, there were a few marked differences.

THE last time Colchester United travelled away to Chesterfield, there were a few marked differences.

Firstly, the Spireites were playing at their old dilapidated ground at Saltergate, rather than their spanking new home at the B2net Stadium.

And secondly, the U’s, under Phil Parkinson, were on their way to automatic promotion into the Championship.

A 2-2 draw in April, 2006, was to prove a vital point in the final analysis.

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Fast-forward five years and the U’s will today be making their first ever visit to the B2net Stadium, where the Spireites are currently averaging crowds of more than 6,000.

And at the moment, United look more like a mid-table outfit than the ambitious promotion high-flyers of 2005-06.

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How times have changed.

It is no coincidence that Chesterfield and Colchester United are separated by just one place and two points.

A final finish in the top half of League One would be regarded as a success story for both clubs.

The Spireites are a club on the up, after finally winning promotion from League Two last summer. John Sheridan’s men will be looking for a season of consolidation this time around.

The U’s, meanwhile, are working to a tighter budget than the more spend-freely days of Paul Lambert and Aidy Boothroyd.

On the team news front, Ben Williams will keep his place in goal for the U’s, after keeping a clean-sheet in his first league outing of the season against Walsall.

Fellow keeper Mark Cousins missed the Saddlers clash with a shoulder injury, after starting the previous nine league games.

Manager John Ward confirmed: “It is going to be the same. Mark has got a very sore shoulder which he injured prior to the Walsall game. It’s going to be like that for the next week or two, it’s still sore and he has not trained.”

Midfielder John-Joe O’Toole serves the third and final match of a three-game suspension, while a late decision will be made on back-up striker Steven Gillespie, who sat out the Walsall game with a sore hamstring.

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