FA CUP PREVIEW: Facts, stats and dangermen as Colchester host Spireites

Colchester United vs Chesterfield - Gary Liddle recives a straight Red Card - Pic By James Williamson
Colchester United vs Chesterfield - Gary Liddle recives a straight Red Card - Pic By James Williamson

Colchester United’s season in League Two appears to be somewhat of a mirror image of Chesterfield’s League One campaign.

The U’s will host the Spireites in the FA Cup first round on Saturday in what will perhaps be a welcome break from league action for both sides.

A 3-2 win over Blackpool on 10th September was the last time Colchester tasted victory and they find themselves in 18th position in League Two, having been relegated in the summer.

Colchester Daily Gazette writer Jon Waldron says performances haven’t been too bad, but mistakes and misfortune have cost the U’s – a familiar refrain for Spireites fans.

“If you look at the results, it’s nine without a win in all competitions so in that respect it’s not going particularly well,” he said.

See Colchester’s season in statistics here.

“But performances haven’t been too bad, and although you often hear that, they’ve been pretty good in most games.

“They’ve played the top three away from home in the last few weeks and were unlucky not to take something from each of the games.”

On Saturday at Plymouth an injury to the referee forced an 11 minute stoppage and a loss of concentration cost Colchester late on, conceding a sloppy goal.

Waldron said: “They’ve been making mistakes and being punished.

“There’s a bit of frustration among fans who expected more this season in League Two after relegation, but they find themselves down in 18th, two points above the drop zone.”

A former Chesterfield loanee is one of the dangermen at the Colchester Community Stadium.

Waldron said: “Chris Porter is the top scorer, he’s scored twice in the last home game and he brings others into play.

“In the last couple of games they’ve played two up top, Porter and Denny Johnston who was signed in the summer.

See Chris Porter’s career in numbers here.

“And Craig Slater in the centre of midfield has played really well – he scored a really good free-kick at Plymouth.”

Boss John McGreal changed his formation last weekend to a 3-5-2 – the same day Danny Wilson went to a back five for the first time this season.

But Waldron predicts 4-1-4-1 this Saturday.

Colchester are another side with a young squad, over two thirds of McGreal’s men aged between 18 and 22.

The U’s are the second best disciplined side in League Two.

Likely line-up: Walker, Brindley, Wynter, Prosser, Doyley, Slater, Vincent-Young, Guthrie, Szmodics, Wright, Porter.