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Match Previews

🔎 The Opposition: Colchester United

The lowdown on City's play-off opponents

18 June 2020

It’s been over three months since the Grecians were last in action, but they’re back and ready to push for promotion. Their first hurdle will be Colchester United, who finished the League Two season in fifth place.

To get you in the mood for play-off action, here’s a reminder of the side that City will be facing – first on Thursday in Essex, then back in Devon on Tuesday evening.

  • Year Founded: 1937
  • Nickname: The U’s
  • Honours: Conference: 1991/92 FA Trophy: 1991-92 Essex Senior Cup: 2009-10

Colchester United were founded in 1937, as a result of the demand for a professional team in the region. The main team in Colchester before Colchester United were Eastern Counties League side Colchester Town, who were struggling in their division. After their formation, Colchester United entered the Southern Football League, where they finished sixth in their first season as a club.

Colchester didn’t enter the Football League until 1950, where they joined the Division Three (South). In 1991, The U’s won the double, as they won both the Conference and FA Trophy, where they beat Witton Albion 3-1 in the final.

In the modern era, Colchester have found themselves regular competitors in the League One, despite spending their last four seasons in League Two. They even managed promotion to the Championship in 2006, showing that the club still has potential to compete at more elite levels than League Two.

The Manager

John McGreal

John McGreal was appointed as manager of Colchester United in April 2016, following the sacking of Kevin Keen. The former defender was tasked with turning around the club following their relegation to League Two and have overseen victories over Premier League sides Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hostpur - both in the Carabao Cup - this season. They were eventually beaten by Manchester United in the quarter-final. 

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His playing career was also fairly admirable, making 414 appearances over the course of 17 years and scoring six times. His clubs included Tranmere Rovers, Ipswich Town and Burnley. 

The Ground

  • Name: JobServe Community Stadium (Colchester Community Stadium)
  • Capacity: 10,105
  • Year Opened: 2008
  • Address: United Way, Mile End, Colchester CO4 5UP

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The stadium construction began in July 2007, following Colchester's wishes to move from their former stadium Layer Road, which had been their home since their formation in 1937.

The record attendance at the Community Stadium stands at 10,064, which was achieved during league game against Norwich. They were thumped 5-0 by the Canaries in 2010.

One To Watch

Luke Norris

U’s striker Luke Norris had ten goals to his name before the season was abruptly halted and been in fine form all season. As a youngster he started his career at Brentford but got his real break when he joined Northampton Town.

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He joined Colchester in the summer of 2018 after prolific spells at Gillingham and Swindon Town. Alongside Theo Robinson, who has eleven goals, he provides a real threat to defences and City must be on their game.

Recent Meetings

Exeter City 0 Colchester United 0 | January 25, 2020 | EFL Sky Bet League Two

Back in January the League’s Two in form sides met at SJP. With both sides gunning for promotion, it was a scrappy affair in which neither could find a breakthrough.

Colchester United 2 Exeter City 2 | December 29, 2019 | EFL Sky Bet League Two

The points were shared at the JobServe Community Stadium, as City come from behind to salvage a point courtesy of a penalty from Ryan Bowman. Jake Taylor was also on target for the Grecians.

Exeter City 3 Colchester United 0 | March 16, 2019 | EFL Sky Bet League Two

Exeter City cruise past The U’s at St James Park, as goals from Matt Jay, Lee Holmes and Nicky Law give The Grecians a deserved three points.

Head to Head

  • Exeter City wins: 31
  • Draws: 22
  • Colchester United wins: 27

How to Watch

Exeter City's play-off matches against Colchester United with both be live exclusively on Sky Sports Football and Main Event in the UK.

Click here to find out more about how you can watch!

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