Date: 22nd October 2019 at 5:00pm
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This evening sees Colchester United make the long journey up north to the Alexandra Stadium as they sit in 11th place on 19 points.

So far this season, they have beaten Northampton Town, Oldham Athletic, Swindon Town, Leyton Orient and Stevenage, they have drawn against Port Vale, Grimsby Town, Walsall and Macclesfield Town while they have lost to Plymouth Argyle, Cambridge United, Forest Green Rovers, Crawley Town and Morecambe. In the cups, they play against Crawley in the 4th Round of the EFL Cup after knocking out Swindon and Premier League sides Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur (both on penalties) whilst in the EFL Trophy they have beaten Gillingham and lost to Spurs’ Under-21 side on penalties in a group that also contains Ipswich Town.

Over the summer, Colchester have signed 16 players over the summer, 13 of which are permanent signings and 3 loans until January while letting 22 leave the club permanently. Arriving at the club are goalkeeper Dean Gerken, defenders Danny Collinge, Omar Sowunmi, Matthew Weaire and Luke Ige, midfielders Kwame Poku, Sammie McLeod and loanee Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu as well as forwards Luke Gambin, Michael Fernandes, Paris Cowan-Hall, Callum Harriott and loanees Freddie Hinds and Theo Robinson.

Looking back in the archives, the two teams have met 58 times with Colchester leading the head-to-head with 29 wins to 21 with 8 draws. Colchester’s biggest win came earlier this season with the 6-0 at the Weston Homes Community Stadium whilst the Alex’s biggest win came in April 1993 with a 7-1 victory at the Alexandra Stadium. Last season saw both home teams win, the U’s winning 6-0 at the Weston Homes Community Stadium whilst Crewe won 2-1 at the Alexandra Stadium.

Who are the officials for the game?

The officials for this game see Andy Haines as the man in the middle where he is assisted by Steven Rushton and Anthony Moore with Paul Graham being the fourth official. Here are the Crewe games that have been refereed by Haines in the previous 5 years:

  • Crewe Alexandra 1-0 Bristol City (20th December 2014) – Ness
  • Crewe Alexandra 1-2 Shrewsbury Town (28th December 2015) – Colclough
  • Leyton Orient 0-2 Crewe Alexandra (29th October 2016) – Davis, Cooper
  • Doncaster Rovers 3-1 Crewe Alexandra (21st January 2017) – Jones
  • Wycombe Wanderers 3-2 Crewe Alexandra (26th September 2017) – Dagnall (2)
  • MK Dons 0-1 Crewe Alexandra (19th January 2019) – Kirk

I asked Colchester United supporter Simon Collison for his thoughts going into the game.

How would you describe your transfer activity this summer?

Summer transfers have been ok for us, some better than others. The stand out was the goalkeeper Dean Gerkin, he is an older player but such a safe pair of hands.

Which position is the one that you should improve the most from the squad you currently have?

Position wise we have a decent squad and don’t really need to strengthen in a certain position. But what we do need, is what money can’t buy and that is consistency.

What do you think the team will be for the game?

Hard to overly guess after the last two poor results. Think there will be changes. Senior and Norris to start would make sense.

How would you set-up to nullify your team?

To nullify us, it would be a case of cutting the wide areas off and forcing play in the middle of the pitch, we are a fast wide team and play to those strengths.

Who is the danger man for this game?

The danger man is a hard one. Depends who is on the money each game. Senior, Nouble, Norris can all step up when the mood suits them.

What do you think is a realistic aim for Colchester this season?

Realistically we need to be in and around the playoffs as a minimum aim.