Vernon looking to go on a spree

COLCHESTER United striker Scott Vernon is getting fed up of just scoring the odd goal, every few months or so.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United striker Scott Vernon is getting fed up of just scoring the odd goal, every few months or so.

The ex-Blackpool marksman wants to go on a scoring spree, after netting his fourth of the campaign in Saturday 1-1 draw against Hartlepool.

Vernon will hope to add to his tally at Huddersfield Town this evening, whether he starts the game or is unleashed off the bench. It would salvage what has been a below-par season for the 25-year-old Manchurian, as well as bringing up his half-century of career league goals (he is currently on 49).

“I always enjoy scoring goals, but it has not been happening enough for me this season,” confessed Vernon.

“I want to start scoring more regularly. That's my aim, and I have to take the positives from Saturday's game.

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“Scoring can become a habit, and I haven't really had that this season. I want to get a run of goals, because I haven't scored enough. I haven't really got off the ground this season, but I was happy with my goal against Hartlepool.

“I nearly got a second as well, just after the first, but my shot took a deflection wide off a defender.

“There were mixed feelings for me. I was happy to score a goal, but I wanted it to count towards a victory.

“We felt confident at half-time that we could go on and win the game. We should certainly have done better with their goal. We should have defended the corner better,” added Vernon.

Former Oldham trainee Vernon scored in the U's first league win of the season, a 3-1 success at Swindon on August 23, but then had to wait until Boxing Day to score his second, in the 2-1 victory at Brighton.

His third goal was also in a victory (2-1) at home to Northampton at the end of January. Three of his four goals have come when he has started games, but he has actually been on the bench (21 times, 17 as a used substitute) more than from the start (19).

Manager Paul Lambert rang the changes against Hartlepool. He chose to rest fellow striker Clive Platt and midfielder David Perkins, who were both nursing slight niggles and therefore only appeared as late substitutes. Skipper Dean Hammond missed out altogether due to a slight hamstring strain.

Lambert also tinkered with his formation. He employed three wingers in Simon Hackney, Lewis Gobern and Mark Yeates, though Yeates operated in a central role, just behind Vernon.

Vernon continued: “I played as a lone striker (against Hartlepool), which I have not played much before. I'm used to having bodies around me.

“But I wasn't just an isolated figure. Yeatesy (Yeates) was playing just off me and we had the two wingers, so it didn't feel as though I was a lone striker.

“I thought the system worked well in the first half, but perhaps not so well in the second half.

“Now that we have two new wingers (Hackney and Gobern) at the club, there will be more opportunities for the strikers like Platty (Platt), Gilly (Steven Gillespie) and me.

“It is good to be getting some balls into the box from wide areas. That wasn't happening enough earlier in the season. The crosses were not coming in regularly enough.

“The gaffer has brought in the two wingers and I thought they both did well against Hartlepool,” added Vernon.

A permanent signing from Blackpool on transfer deadline day just over a year ago (January 31, 2008), Vernon was soon the darling of Layer Road with his brace of goals to beat East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town.

But just like the rest of the team, it has not quite worked out according to plan for Vernon this season. However, the U's away form has been good, which is encouraging for the U's front-man.

“We have a fairly decent away record, so it doesn't worry us that we have some tough away games coming up, against some top teams,” said Vernon.

“We are confident of picking up points on the road and really making a push up the table.”