Vernon no stranger to being the hero

COMETH the hour, cometh the man! Scott Vernon is no stranger to attaining hero-status, and he would love another taste of the limelight at Yeovil tomorrow.

By Carl Marston

COMETH the hour, cometh the man! Scott Vernon is no stranger to attaining hero-status, and he would love another taste of the limelight at Yeovil tomorrow.

Vernon dumped Premiership club Manchester City out of the FA Cup last season, by scoring the winner for his former club Oldham. Now the 22-year-old is gunning for more glory, by helping to guide Colchester United into the Championship.

It is less than two months since Vernon arrived at Layer Road, on a loan deal from Blackpool, but tomorrow he will be playing the most important league game of his career.

The U's will be guaranteed promotion from League One, if they can at least draw at Yeovil. But Vernon is looking for more than just a point from the end-of-season jaunt to Somerset.

“It's going to be a big day for the club, and we want to win because we can still catch Southend for the title,” insisted Vernon last night.

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We want to treat it like a home game, and make sure that we start well. Hopefully, the pressure will then be off us in the second-half.

“Obviously scoring the winner against Manchester City was a great occasion for me, but this weekend will be up there as one of the most important games of my career.

“These sort of games don't come along very often during a career, so I'm going out to really enjoy the occasion,” added Vernon.

It was on transfer deadline day, just seven weeks ago, that Vernon signed on loan for Colchester, as part of an agreement that saw defender Sam Stockley and striker Gareth Williams moving in the other direction to Blackpool.

This two-way deal has worked well for all parties. Williams and Stockley have helped to effectively secure Blackpool's League One status for another season - the Seasiders are three points clear of the drop zone with a better goal difference than their rivals.

Vernon took time to regain his match-fitness, due to his lack of first-team action at Bloomfield Road, but he has come good during the U's last couple of games, netting the winner at Bournemouth (2-1) and also impressing in the 2-0 home triumph over Rotherham.

“I always thought that Blackpool would be OK. They have some good players,” continued Vernon.

“I was getting very disheartened, not playing much, but the loan move to Colchester has really perked me up. In fact, it's been like starting my season all over again!

“All my worries and disappointments have gone away. I still have two years left on my contract at Blackpool, but I'm not looking any further ahead than this weekend.

“We started well at Bournemouth in our last home game, and we want to do the same again. I scored the winner at Bournemouth, but my game is about more than just scoring.

“The club is doing so well at the moment, and it's a pleasure to be involved. For most of the lads, this weekend will be the biggest game of their lives,” concluded Vernon.

Manchester-born Vernon was crowned a hero when slotting home a 14th-minute winner in Oldham's 1-0 victory over Manchester City last season, staged in front of a crowd of more than 13,000 at Boundary Park.

And he would dearly love to make a similar contribution tomorrow, by bagging the winner for Colchester at Huish Park, and so sparking off those promotion celebrations.

For the U's to miss out on automatic promotion, they would have to lose and third-placed Brentford beat Bournemouth at Dean Court. Only then would Phil Parkinson's men be condemned to the lottery of the play-offs.

United have a chance of winning the championship, if they can complete the league double over Yeovil, and leaders Southend fail to beat visiting Bristol City.

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