Colchester United are aiming to secure their first win of 2021 when they travel to play Crawley Town tomorrow - kick-off 3pm.

From team news to key men and the referee, all you need to know can be found below.

The manager's view

U's head coach Steve Ball: “We have to understand that we’ve got a real opportunity to jump up that league, starting on Saturday.

“There’s a positive mood – to be fair, it’s been positive all through this patch.

“We’ve had five draws out of seven games now which isn’t ideal by any stretch but it shows we’re close.

“The draws have been against some good sides like Cambridge, Cheltenham and Mansfield who are form teams and we’re close.

Colchester's last visit to Broadfield Stadium came in the Carabao Cup last season, when they won 3-1 to set up a quarter-final tie at Manchester United.

Ball said: “It was one of the best moments last season – I’d put it on a par with the games against Man U and Tottenham.

“It was such a great night, with a full crowd behind the goal.

“Obviously that won’t be the case on Saturday but we enjoy going there and in the main, we’ve done well there over the years.

“We had a bit of a blip there in the league last season but other than that, we’ve done quite well there."

Key battle

U's skipper Harry Pell returned to the Colchester midfield against Mansfield Town last weekend, following a three-match suspension. He is likely to come up against Jake Hessenthaler, who has been a mainstay in the Crawley midfield this season and at the age of 26, is now an experienced EFL performer.


Last meeting

Colchester and Crawley drew 1-1 when the two sides met at the JobServe Community Stadium, last December. Callum Harriott scored a superb goal to give the U's the lead but the Reds hit back through Jordan Tunnicliffe's strike and the spoils were shared.


Tom Nield - 20 games, 71 yellow cards, two red cards.

Team news

Colchester will be without left-back Josh Doherty for the clash. He is on loan from Crawley Town until the end of the season and is not permitted to play, against his parent club.

U's boss Steve Ball must decide whether or not to recall goalkeeper Dean Gerken or stick with Shamal George, who has started the U's last two games in League Two.


Colchester are rated as 23/10 to win for the first time in 12 matches. Crawley are rated at 6/5 to win while the draw is 23/10.

League Two fixtures:

Exeter City v Grimsby Town, Barrow v Morecambe, Cheltenham Town, Bradford City, Crawley Town v Colchester United, Leyton Orient v Port Vale, Mansfield Town v Cambridge United, Salford City v Carlisle United, Scunthorpe United v Harrogate Town, Southend United v Bolton Wanderers, Stevenage v Walsall, Tranmere Rovers v Oldham Athletic.