Preview: League’s highest-scoring sides clash as U’s host table-toppers Lincoln
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
League Two’s top-scoring sides will do battle at the Jobserve Community Stadium this afternoon, as table-toppers Lincoln City visit Essex for a mouth-watering clash in front of a bumper crowd expected to top 5,000.
The Imps head into town riding a five-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, although they’ve been held to draws by Carlisle United (2-2) and Cambridge United (1-1) in their last two games.
Former Braintree boss Danny Cowley’s men sit three points clear at the top of the League Two table, having plundered 30 goals in their 15 league games.
They meet a Colchester side also battling for promotion, the U’s sitting in fifth place and boasting the league’s second-most potent attack, with 29 goals netted thus far, although they were held scoreless in a 1-0 defeat at Grimsby on Tuesday.
MORE: U’s beaten at Grimsby
And Cowley is expecting his squad to face a real battle in Essex this afternoon.
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He said: “They’re a really good team and I expect them to be in and around the play-offs. They’ve brought their own players through, including three or four who will go on and play at Championship level.
“They’ve a got fantastic academy and I’ve got a lot of respect for their chairman who has got a clear vision of what he is trying to achieve.
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“Over time, he’s put the processes in play to reach that vision. I definitely see them as a club on an upward trend. They’ve a got management team who coach their team well.
“They’ve got a good blend of bringing players through as well as being able to sign top players at this level. They’ve got every right to be in and around it. We expect them to be one of six teams who will fight for automatic promotion.”
Cowley hopes to welcome back key veterans Jason Shackell and Lee Frecklington to his side for the clash, defender Shackell offering an experienced head at the back, while midfielder Frecklington is the Imps’ second-top scorer with three goals.
“We’re hopeful (they’ll be back),” said the boss. “You always miss good players, there’s no hiding place from that, and they’re two top players. We would like them back but we’ll have to wait and see what the next 48 hours bring.”
Like Cowley, U’s boss John McGreal is relishing the test of facing a promotion rival.
He said: “You would think it would be an entertaining game – we’ve scored goals how we’ve played and they’ve done the same with how they’ve played. It’s two contrasting styles and it’s going to be tough for both teams.”