City are on the road again, this time to the South East to face Steve Ball’s out-of-form Colchester United side.
That said, here are a selection of U’s players poised to cause considerable threat to the Grecian’s as Jed Penberthy highlights this weeks Ones to Watch.
The Croydon-born youngster looks right at home in the Colchester squad after signing from non-league Worthing in 2019. The 19-year-old made his professional debut at the start of last season and impressed in John McGreal’s play-off ending campaign.
Kwame spent his youth career at Greater London’s oldest club Cray Wanderers before moving to Worthing for three months. In his time at the Mackerel Men, Poku gained the attention of his current employers, earning an ultimately successful trial for Colchester in May 2019.
Poku scored his first goal for the club in September ’19 against Leyton Orient and has been a stalwart in the U’s matchday squad ever since. Poku was almost the matchwinner in the post-season semi-finals last year after his turn of pace had troubled the City back-line. Fortunately for the Grecians, Johnny Maxted denied what would have been Poku’s biggest goal of his already impressive Colchester career.
One of the brightest young talents in the Football League, Poku will certainly be one to watch, not just on Tuesday, but in the years to come too.
The U’s most prolific predator up top, Jevani Brown has been gaining all the plaudits for his goals this season. With eleven strikes in all competitions this season, including seven in the league, Brown poses one of the more dangerous threats to Tuesday’s scoresheet.
The 26-year-old represented Jamaica at youth level though he had a rather humble early career. In 2011 Brown was on the books at MK Dons though moved to Stolford (Bedfordshire) and Letchworth Garden City Eagles (Hertfordshire) before graduating at Peterborough in 2013.
Upon release from London Road, Brown embarked on a non-league career featuring for the likes of Kettering Town and St Neots Town before gaining his Football League breakthrough at Cambridge United in 2017.
Two years down the line Brown finds himself topping the charts at Colchester, heavily bumped up by two consecutive hat-tricks in November- first in the League against Stevenage, then in the Papa Johns Trophy against Essex rivals Southend United. His form was rewarded, earning him the League Two player of the Month.
Colchester’s most valuable asset up top though comes in the guise of Callum Harriot. Twelve goal contributions has steadied the ship in an otherwise topsy-turvy season for Steve Ball. The 26-year-old Guyanese international has seven caps and one goal for his country after making the switch to the Caribbean nation though he had represented England Under 19’s.
Championship heritage powers Harriott as a key member of the U’s frontline. Callum was highly regarded whilst at his boyhood club Charlton Athletic where he made 95 senior appearances. Whilst at The Addicks, Harriott spent a loan term at the Colchester Community Stadium during the 2015/16 season.
His impressive form caught the eye of Reading who signed Harriott for an undisclosed fee in the summer of 2016 and scored his first goals for the Royals in August that year. In an injury hit spell at the Madejski Stadium, Harriott played out his three-year contract before joining Colchester in 2019.
Tuesday is set to be the strikers 75th game for Colchester. With 16 goals and 21 assists in that time he has been the spearhead for the Essex club in his two spells. Pacey and prolific, the City back line need to be on their guard if they’re going to minimise his numerous traits.
Back on loan at the Jobserve Community Stadium from Plymouth Argyle, Frank Nouble was integral to the U’s play-off push last term. His form in Essex earned him a marquee move to the promoted Pilgrims but after only one goal, that being on his debut against QPR, Nouble fell out of favour at Home Park and returned to the South East for the remainder of the season.
The Chelsea youth Graduate signed for West Ham in 2009 and in four years had a heap of loan spells at West Brom; Swindon; Swansea; Barnsley (x2); Charlton; and Gillingham, only earning thirteen games for his Upton Park parent club.
Wolves were next in line for the former England U-19 international, this time permanent, before settling as a fan-favourite for Ipswich Town between 2013-15. Eight more clubs in the next five years has kept Nouble on the move though everywhere he’s been he’s chipped in goals and assists.
His return to Colchester was warmly met by U’s fans as they hope he can add the same dynamic John McGreal and Steve Ball had at their disposal last campaign.