Preview: Colchester United vs Exeter City

Another day, another postponement for City due to the weather, although for the first time it was a home match that fell by the wayside. This means that City visit Colchester on Tuesday night with similar selection dilemmas as faced Matt Taylor against Grimsby, with Alex Hartridge still sidelined following his red card at Newport last Tuesday. With Ryan Bowman yet to begin his three match suspension, this situation again means Taylor’s selection may be dependent on whether any of his injured defenders – Stubbs, McArdle and Page – are ready to take the field. Bowman’s absence could open the door for Alex Fisher, although Nicky Ajose is apparently still unavailable for selection due to the weather Ryan Bowman attacking in the penalty boximpacting on his ability to take a full part in training.

Beaten by City in the playoffs last season, Colchester go into Tuesday night’s fixture in freefall. A number of players left the club both in the summer and during the January window, leaving Steve Ball, promoted to the manager’s role after John McGreal left the club in the wake of the playoff defeat, to try to manage with a squad that is starting to lack quality in depth. Among those who departed in the January window were striker Luke Norris and Cohen Bramall, scorer of the winner in the first leg of the playoff semi-final. As a result, the Us have been without a win since beating Scunthorpe in early December. There is still some quality in the Colchester ranks, such as Callum Harriott, Harry Pell and the returning Franck Nouble. Top scorer Jevani Brown has been out for nearly a month.

While Colchester have been draw specialists for the most part, this was most emphatically not the case at the Park in November, as City scored six goals in a match for the first time since the 1993/94 season. City led 1-0 at half-time through Jay but ran riot in the second half, thanks to another from Jay, Randall, and a hat-trick from Bowman from a combined total of about five yards distance. Folivi’s goal made it 4-1. While Colchester won the playoff semi-final 1-0, the league encounter in Essex last season was an exciting 2-2 draw. Taylor put City ahead, goals from Pell and Robinson put Colchester in front before Tom Lapslie saw red for hauling down Bowman, who converted the resulting spot kick. City have the edge in league head to heads with 30 wins to Colchester’s 25, 22 matches finishing level. Details of the last 29 games can be found at

The match officials for this game will be:-

Referee: Will Finne
Assistant Referees: Stephen Finch and Michael Webb
Fourth Official : Nicholas Cooper

Just the one game in charge for Exeter for Will Finnie, the Crawley home game in October that City won 2-1.


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