Crewe Alexandra return to league action when they host Colchester United on Saturday (3pm).
The Alex will aim to build on their hard-fought victory last time out, as they dug deep to earn a 1-0 triumph over League Two leaders Leyton Orient in the first round of the FA Cup.
Colchester will be aiming to pick up their first away success of the season.
Colchester have struggled this season and currently lie bottom of League Two and without a win since October 8, a 2-1 victory over Harrogate Town.
The U’s have been a mainstay in League Two for seven seasons now, with a high of finishing in the play-off spots during the 2019/20 campaign, though they have their work cut out in order to stay in the Football League this time out.
Matt Bloomfield took charge of the club in September 2022, with this being his first ever managerial role at senior level.
He will be best remembered for his long and distinguished career at Wycombe Wanderers, where he made over 550 appearances for the Chairboys, winning promotion from League Two on three occasions, and winning the League One play-offs against Oxford United in 2020.
Lee Bell: “The players don’t want to be looking at the league table and see where Colchester are, they’ve got some good players. You have got to have that mindset that we’re going to go and win every football match and compete in every game.”
Matt Bloomfield: “The work I’m seeing from the boys from Monday to Friday has been excellent and we hope that repays on the pitch on Saturday. The amount of work we’ve been able to do on the grass has been very limited because we’ve been Saturday-to-Tuesday almost every week, but we’ve got as much quality work as we can into the boys.”
Courtney Baker-Richardson is in contention to feature despite a shoulder injury. Cristopher Long continues to recover from his long-term ankle injury, while Rod McDonald (hamstring) and Callum Ainley (shoulder) remain on the sidelines.
Colchester are expected to remain without Kwesi Appiah and Matty Longstaff, with both suffering from hamstring injuries sustained earlier on in the season.
Colchester have the upper hand in previous meetings between the sides, winning 29 of the 59 clashes, compared to The Railwaymen’s 21 triumphs.
Most recently, a 0-0 draw was played out between both sides in October 2019.
Thomas Parsons will take charge of the game, having last officiated the Alex back in August, a 1-0 victory over Sutton United.
He will be assisted by Michael Webb and Hristo Karaivanov, with Andy Haines appointed as fourth official.
Elsewhere in League Two
Carlisle United v Walsall; Crawley Town v Barrow; Gillingham v Northampton Town; Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers; Harrogate Town v Leyton Orient; Newport County v Stockport County; Rochdale v Mansfield Town; Salford City v AFC Wimbledon; Stevenage v Hartlepool United; Sutton United v Bradford City; Swindon Town v Tranmere Rovers.
|Boughey Stand||Rhino Safety Stand||Andrew Connolly Financial Planning Stand|
|Adult||£25 (£21)||£23 (£20)||£23 (£20)|
|Senior (60+)||£19 (£16)||£17.50 (£15)||£17.50 (£15)|
|12-16 Years||£12 (£10)||£10 (£9.50)||£10 (£9.50)|
|Under 11||£7.50 (£6)||£6.50 (£5.50)||£6.50 (£5.50)|
|Disabled||£19 (£16)||£17.50 (£15)||£17.50 (£15)|
*Family Ticket is for 1 adult & 1 under 11 in the Family Stand.
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