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Match Previews

Colchester v Sutton preview

21 April 2023

After a run of four games against sides in the Sky Bet League Two promotion race, Sutton face opposition on Saturday whose concerns have been at the other end of the table with a visit to Colchester United. U's will be wearing all black.

While Colchester have been at the wrong end of the table for much of the season, they look to have just about secured their EFL status for next season, and a win in tomorrow's game will make that a mathematical certainty, a reflection of the improvement made since Ben Garner took over as manager at the beginning of March. A former Sutton reserve team player who took Swindon to the play-offs last season, the new manager's first two games saw defeats against Bradford and Stockport, but after then scoring twice in the last two minutes to earn a draw at champions-elect Leyton Orient, Colchester have been unbeaten in six subsequent games to make the possibility of relegation all but disappear, with a draw at Stevenage and a win at Salford included in that run.

Sutton have a 100% record over the Essex U's, doing a league double last season and also knocking Colchester out of the Papa Johns Trophy, while Rob Milsom's penalty secured the points this season at the VBS in a game marred by a serious injury to Colchester midfielder Alan Judge. However more recent form has seen a torrid run of defeats against four of the current top six in the table, with Sutton without a win since beating Crawley 3-0 in March. Manager Matt Gray expects just as tough a game at the JobServe Community Stadium on Saturday, saying: ''Colchester have picked up some important results since Ben took over and look on course to stay up. They're in good form and have a good squad, so it will be a very tough game.''

Updating on team news, Matt said that Lee Angol and Josh Neufville could come back in to contention after missing Tuesday's defeat against Northampton through injury, while a couple of other knocks picked up on Tuesday will be assessed before the game.

The man in the middle on Saturday is Carl Brook, who first refereed a Sutton game in 2007 and is now in his third season as an EFL referee. He has previously taken charge of Sutton games at Wimbledon and Leyton Orient this season and refereed the Gillingham v Leyton Orient game on Tuesday.

Tickets remain available on line and can be booked here. Prices until the end of Friday are: Adults £20.50; Concessions £15.50; Under 18 £11.75. On matchday the prices rise by £2 in all cases, but tickets can still be bought on line. Tickets are also on sale from the self service machine in the ticket office on Saturday, although this is likely to be very busy and on line purchase is recommended.

For those not travelling, there will be an audio commentary on the game for UK supporters through our iFollow service, price £2.50, while a monthly pass at £4.49 will also cover next week's game against Rochdale. Overseas supporters can watch a live stream for £10. Click here to buy the relevant pass.

The Supporters' Club coach, which is fully booked, leaves at 10.30am. Those driving to the game should leave the A12 at junction 28. Turn right at the roundabout to cross the A12, then straight on at the next roundabout and right at the third roundabout in to United Way. Car parking at the ground is £7 (£6 for disabled parking)and must be booked in advance. Again booking is on line using this link. Alternatively the Colchester park and ride car park is about a 5-10 minute walk from the ground, just off junction 28 of the A12 and costing £3. Tickets must be bought on line using this link and quoting site 737944. Leave the Park & Ride site by the exit next to McDonalds and cross the A12 on Boxted Road to enter the stadium complex.

By rail Colchester is served by a reasonably frequent service from Liverpool Street, taking about an hour. The Park & Ride service picks up from Layby Stand F and drops you at the Park & Ride site mentioned above. Buses 2, 8 and 65 all stop at the station and go within ten minutes of the ground. Further information is available here.

There is a Fan Zone at the JobServe Community Stadium, which will be open for both home and away fans, in the Legends Bar in the West Stand, opening at 12:30pm, with the screens showing the SPFL game between Hearts and Ross County. Both the Legends Bar and Hotshots Cafe will be open and serving food and drinks from 12:30pm until kick off, and then open again from the end of the game for approximately one hour. 





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