EFL Sky Bet League Two - The Hive London - Saturday 11th November 2017 – KO 3pm
Shaquile Coulthirst, John Akinde, Curtis Weston and Jamie Stephens are all making good progress, aiming to be back soon, but this weekend is deemed to be early.
Richard Brindley (foot), Elliott Johnson (knee) and Dave Tarpey (knee) are making steady progress on their ongoing injuries.
Last Time We Met:
The last time the two sides met Colchester beat Barnet 2-1 at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, putting them within touching distance of the Sky Bet League Two playoffs.
Kurtis Guthrie put The U’s 1-0 with a low, driven shot from 25 yards past Josh Vickers. They doubled their lead in the 42nd minute, Brennan Dickenson scoring from a tight angle.
Barnet had some hope when John Akinde headed home Mauro Vilhete’s cross with four minutes remaining, but it wasn’t too be, putting The Bees 12th in the table.
John McGreal was appointed First Team Coach at Colchester United in May 2016. He brings with him vast experience of the professional game, having enjoyed a 17-year playing career with Tranmere Rovers, Ipswich Town and Burnley, playing over 400 games before hanging up his boots in 2007.
His time at Rovers was part of a successful time at Prenton Park, with Rovers winning promotion, reaching the playoffs three times and getting to the semi-finals of the League Cup in his stint there.
During his time at Portman Road, he helped Town to promotion to the Premier League, going up via the playoffs with a 4-2 win over Barnsley. Joining the U's in 2009 as part of the coaching staff at the club, he progressed to become U21’s manager, helping them to an impressive fourth-placed finish in this year’s Development League Table.
His coaching has also helped provide a springboard into senior football for a number of the U's academy graduates and the last couple of years have seen the likes of Frankie Kent, Tom Lapslie, Kane Vincent-Young, Sammie Szmodics, Macauley Bonne, Femi Akinwande and Louis Dunne all make their first team break through.
Mikael Mandron signed for Colchester in the summer of 2017 from Wigan Athletic, where he spent six months after joining from non-league Eastleigh FC.
So far this season he’s made 19 appearances across all competitions, scoring six goals (all in the league) and chipping in with one assist. He impressed in his time at Eastleigh, with 15 goals and five assists in 33 games.
The 23-year old French-born Scotsman certainly has the majority of his career ahead of him, but Mandron has made an impression wherever he’s gone, hoping to make the climb back up the league with Colchester.
Jamal Campbell-Ryce joined Colchester on loan from Rotherham in 2006. He made four league appearances for The U’s before joining Southend permanently. Ten years later, he made his move to The Hive London, making 47 league appearances to date.
Sam Walker joined Barnet on loan from Chelsea in 2011, going on to make seven league appearances for the Bees. Between 2013 and 2014, Walker had two separate loan spells at Colchester, before signing permanently. He’s made over 150 league appearances for The U’s so far.
Last Time Out:
Colchester lost 2-0 to Essex rivals Southend United in the Checkatrade Trophy, sending The U’s out of the competition.
The Shrimpers went 1-0 up in the 37th minute when Rene Gilmartin could only parry Stephen McLaughlin’s shot, leaving Josh Wright free to head into an empty net.
The score was 2-0 soon after the break when Theo Robinson linked well with Nile Ranger, taking the ball past Tom Eastman and slotting the ball past the defenceless Gilmartin.
Southend go through second in the group, while Colchester finished 3rd, going out at the group stage of the competition.
Keep up with the game:
Full match commentary from every game is available on iFollow. If you are based outside of the UK & Ireland, you can watch the game live on iFollow.