Colchester United v Stevenage [Preview]

By Pete H

Boro’ are becoming in desperate need of a goal – let alone a win. Is Essex going to be the place that we’re going to find it? Let’s just say that we’re not going to count our chickens. A goalless draw against Grimsby Town ain’t much to write home about. After all, that’s a club that even last season’s team managed to beat. This season? No dice. And that worries us because our record away to Col U ain’t brilliant. A seventh straight game without scoring is a new club record if it happens.

The Details: Colchester United v Stevenage

Where’s the game?

It’s across the county border to the east for us; something maybe about the only way being Essex? Yeah – we’ll milk that one for as long as we can. We’re well aware that reference isn’t made much these days too. What can we say? We’re late to the part-aaay.

Can I watch Colchester United v Stevenage?

As the nation hurtles towards another lockdown, our chances of returning back inside the ground are all but wiped out. It’ll be 2021 before that happens. So, you’re going to have to make do with iFollow once again. Unless you’re squeezing in a last-gasp pub trip.

How are Boro’ shaping up…?

Well, Boro’ have now equalled the club’s longest-ever run without a goal (six games). Not sure if you really want us to continue? Now the season gets older, patterns are starting to emerge. It doesn’t matter if you like ’em or not – they still point us in the direction of how it might go in Essex. With Under 2.5 Goals scored in 80% of our matches, this doesn’t have ‘goal-fest’ written all over it. Even if you do think we’re long overdue one…

… and how are they doing right now?

An up-and-down season to date saw the Us go five unbeaten at the start (including a 3-3 draw at home to an Oldham side we beat). After their first defeat of the campaign, there were two wins – before their last outing saw ’em lose 2-1 away to leaders Newport. This stacks up with a split in their fortunes at home and away. From four games indoors, the Us have 10 points. On the road, however, it’s three points from a possible 15 – the same as us.

Unlike us, they know where the goal is. Not since the opening day have they failed to score. They like to score in the first half too; ahead at the break in more than half of their outings.

Our story with Colchester United so far

It all started so well for us against the Us. Boxing Day 2011 is a day we’d happily go back to; Boro’ smashing them for six on their own turf. Our head-to-head record then took quite a sharp nosedive. We failed to score in four straight encounters and it took us 10 matches to beat them again. Our recent form is much more encouraging, with one defeat in the last five. But that includes our Trophy win there last season, which doesn’t really count unless you really need something to hold onto. And that may well be the case…

Last Meeting: Stevenage 0-0 Colchester United, 04 January 2020

Who’s the referee in charge?

Charles Breakspear.

Isn’t it a bit early in the season for us to be going back through the roster? For the second time this term, Mr Breakspear takes charge of a match involving the Boro’. And it could be good news for us. This is the ref who oversaw our only league win of the campaign so far. Let’s hope he brings that magic touch with him to Essex. Not least because we hadn’t won any of the six games he’d reffed before Oldham indoors.

After starting the season with a couple of reds, Mr Breakspear added another dismissal to his record in the game that followed our win over Oldham. From his nine matches in total, he’s booked the equivalent of three full teams (33, by the way); the last four producing an average of four yellow cards in each. There was only two in our Oldham match.

Last Meeting: Stevenage 3-0 Oldham Athletic, 19 September 2020

Colchester United v Stevenage: Our verdict?

Home win – 2-0.