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Since we last met: Colchester United

11 March 2024

Club News

Since we last met: Colchester United

11 March 2024

Rovers make the long trip down to Essex on Tuesday night as they look to complete a Sky Bet League Two double over Colchester United at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Grant McCann’s side will also be looking to build on their recent strong run of form as they head into the final ten games of the season.

And they face an out-of-sorts Colchester side who currently sit 22nd in League Two having not won since January.

THE LAST MEETING

Rovers ran out as comfortable 3-1 winners when the two sides met at the Eco-Power Stadium back in November 2023.

The hosts opened the scoring through a Tom Smith own goal on 33 minutes but the U’s would strike level just before the break through Joe Taylor.

Rovers would come out the stronger of the two sides in the second half but they would be made to wait for their rewards with Mo Faal putting McCann’s side back in front on 73 minutes before Joe Ironside secured all three points from the penalty spot.

COLCHESTER’S RECENT FORM

The U’s are currently on six-game winless run in Sky Bet League Two having not won since a visit to Morecambe on January 27.

They have however only lost two of those six against Harrogate Town and most recently Barrow with the other four resulting in score draws.

Prior to that run Colchester were also winless in five before that - taking their form to just one win in 12 matches.

LAST TIME OUT

Barrow AFC 2 Colchester United 0

Sky Bet League Two, Saturday, March 9, 2024

Line-up: Goodman, Anderson (Fevrier 59), Hall, Dallison, Egbo (Harbottle 38), Richardson (Ihionvien 59), Smith (Jay 74), Read, Chilvers, McGeehan, Hopper (Akinde 74). Subs not used: Mingi, Hornby.

THE MANAGER

A player on the non-league circuit during his playing days, Danny Cowley rose to prominence with an impressive managerial spell with Lincoln City between 2016 and 2019.

At the Imps the Cowley brothers collected both National League and League Two titles across three seasons and also won the EFL Trophy with the club in the campaign in between.

Since leaving North Lincolnshire the Englishman has managed at Huddersfield Town and Portsmouth before arriving in Essex on January 4.

THE KEY MEN

Goalkeeper: Owen Goodman

Crystal Palace loanee Goodman is enjoying a first senior spell away from Selhurst Park with the U’s and has made 34 appearances for the side this season – keeping four clean sheets.

The England U20 international also featured for Canada in youth football and kept six clean sheets in 21 outings in Premier League 2.

Defender: Connor Hall

Centre half Hall signed for the U’s in the January transfer window of last season and first captained the side in March 2023.

He won National League promotion and the FA Trophy with Harrogate in the 2019/20 season but his most recent success came with Port Vale, where he won the League Two play-offs in 2022.

In the middle: Noah Chilvers

Attacking midfielder Chilvers graduated from Colchester’s academy in 2019 and has remained with the club ever since having only departed to Bath City on loan early on in his career.

He has gone on to score 23 goals in 187 appearances for the U’s as well as contributing a further nine assists.

Up top: Cameron McGeehan

Northern Ireland international McGeehan joined Colchester in 2023 having collected a haul of trophies throughout his career so far.

The forward first won the FA Youth Cup with Norwich City before winning the National League title with Luton Town in 2014. More recently the Irishman won League One promotion with Barnsley in 2019.

HISTORY

Formed in March 1937, Colchester first competed in the Eastern Counties League before being elected into the Football League in 1950. Six promotions since then saw the U’s climb up to the Championship in 2006 but that was the club’s last promotion campaign.

Rovers first met Colchester in the 1958/59 Division Three season and ran out 2-0 winners at Belle Vue in the October of that campaign but the U’s would take a 1-0 success in the return fixture three months later. The sides have met 51 times in total and Rovers lead the head-to-head rivalry with 24 wins in comparison to Colchester’s 19.

Rovers last win at the U’s came in August 2014 when Kyle Bennett’s second half strike secured all three points with a 1-0 win in League One.

TURNED OUT FOR BOTH

Both sides enjoyed the services of centre half Bongani Khumalo between 2013 and 2015 having featured for both on loan from Tottenham Hotspur.

The South Africa international joined Rovers after loan spells in both England and Greece and went on to play 32 times in South Yorkshire – scoring once against Rochdale in the EFL Cup.

Khumalo’s next loan spell came at Colchester but he only made 10 appearances in the blue and white before the expiration of his stint with the club.

The defender featured at the 2010 South Africa World Cup and scored his country’s opening goal in their 2-1 defeat of France in Group A. Now 37-years-old, Khumalo has been retired for six years after leaving native side Bidvest Wits in 2018.

Contributor: Jefferson Hall-Nolan

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