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Club News

PREVIEW: COLCHESTER UNITED

31 December 2018

A look ahead to our opening game of 2019 at The People's Pension Stadium

Reds kick off 2019 with a home fixture against Colchester United on New Year's Day, kick off 3pm.

SCENE SETTER

Reds will be looking to end a run of five Sky Bet League 2 games without a win, although Head Coach Gabriele Cioffi will be encouraged by a goalless draw at Newport County which snapped a four-game losing streak. Colchester won 1-0 at high-flying MK Dons in their last away game on December 22, but since then they have lost 2-1 to Stevenage and drawn 0-0 with Morecambe at home.

While Reds sit 18th, Colchester are fourth in the table and only out of the promotion positions on goal difference.

THE HISTORY

Colchester have been one of our most regular opponents since we came into the Football League in 2011 and we have a decent record against the U’s. In 11 previous encounters in the league Reds have four wins, there have been four draws and Colchester have won three – the last three meetings against us. They included a 3-1 success in October, when Filipe Morais got our goal from the penalty spot. Last season Colchester also won 3-1 at home and beat Reds 2-0 on Boxing Day. Our last league win over them on Crawley soil was in March 2014, when Mike Jones’ first half goal sealed a 1-0 success.

IN CHARGE

The experienced Andy Davies is Tuesday’s referee. The Hampshire official has taken charge of 20 games this season, 14 of them in the Championship, and has given out 64 yellow and four red cards.

His last appearance at The People’s Pension Stadium was in September 2015, when Reds lost 3-0 to Accrington Stanley. Earlier that year, he was also in charge of our 1-0 home win over Leyton Orient. He will be assisted by Daniel Leach and Lee Vennamore. The fourth official is Christopher O'Donnell.

VIEWS FROM THE DUGOUT

Gabriele Cioffi: “For sure, another tough game for us. When we played Colchester in October they showed a lot of attacking strength and have been in the top places for much of the season. But we got a good result on Saturday and two home games now gives us an opportunity to start building our momentum again.”

John McGreal (Colchester manager): “The goals have dried up of late in comparison to earlier in the season but we’re still getting in those areas. It comes with a bit of pressure and the boys know they have to win games to stay where they are. We’re all disappointed (after Saturday's 0-0 draw against Morecambe) but we have to pick the boys up and go again on New Year’s Day.”

TEAM NEWS

Reds have no fresh injury worries but Jimmy Smith, Filipe Morais and Lewis Young are all still sidelined.

Harry Pell and ex-Reds loanee Tom Eastman will both be pressing for recalls after they were dropped to Colchester's bench against Morecambe. Pell scored twice for Cheltenham last season on his most recent appearance at The People’s Pension Stadium.

THE ODDS

Colchester are 11/10 favourites with Reds 23/10 and the draw available at the same price, all with League sponsors Sky Bet.

MATCH COVERAGE

The game will be available to listen to via iFollow Crawley for those who are already subscribed. There will be live coverage from 2.55pm with BBC Sussex’s Gary Smith commentating. The match is also live on BBC Surrey and Sussex.

Check out the official Crawley Town Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for all the latest throughout the afternoon.


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