Colchester United are aiming to chalk up a much-needed win when they host Exeter City tonight, kick-off 7pm.

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: “Everybody can see the table and can see the run of results.

“But all I have to do as manager and all the staff and the players have to do is work hard, keep going, keep our heads strong and look to another game on Tuesday night.

“I’m not even talking about that (relegation).

“The team have shown in spells this season, especially early on that we can more than handle the level of this league but we want to start winning games of football.

“Exeter have had a free weekend after their game was called off so they’ll be fresh.

“But it’s a long journey for them and we have to hurt them, with regards to getting at them early."

Ball opted to pair Frank Nouble with Aramide Oteh up front against Crawley Town in a rare diversion from the 4-2-3-1 formation that the U's have adopted so frequently, over recent seasons.

“We’d planned it all week with Remi and Frank up top," said Ball.

“The game lacked quality all round and it was difficult to find them with quality balls, on a bobbly pitch.

“But I thought they both worked hard together as a front two.

“We changed it and Remi got a little tired in the last 20 minutes and we had to make that change but I thought on his full debut for the club, he did OK."

Key battle

Tom Eastman clocked up his 350th league appearance for the U's in their 1-0 defeat at Crawley Town, last weekend. He is likely to come up against Matt Jay, who scored twice against Colchester in Exeter's 6-1 triumph, in November.

Last meeting

The less said about this the better, from a Colchester point of view. The U's were crushed 6-1 at St James' Park last November, with Ryan Bowman's hat-trick, a brace from Matt Jay and a goal from Joel Randall giving the Grecians a big victory, with substitute Michael Folivi scoring Colchester's consolation.


Will Finnie - 22 games, 62 yellow cards, three red cards.

Team news

Colchester will welcome back left-back Josh Doherty tonight, after he was ineligible to play against his parent club Crawley Town, last weekend.

Tommy Smith played at left-back in Doherty's place and is likely to revert to his established position of centre-back.

The U's will check on the fitness of skipper Harry Pell after he was forced off in the first half against Crawley. Tom Lapslie and Ryan Clampin are both doubtful.

Probable U's side: Gerken, Welch-Hayes, Eastman, Smith, Doherty, Poku, Stevenson, Chilvers, Harriott, Oteh, Nouble.


Colchester are rated as 5/2 to claim a first win in 13 matches. Exeter are rated at 11/10 to win while the draw is 23/10.

League Two fixtures: Morecambe v Salford City (6.30pm), Bolton Wanderers v Scunthorpe United (7pm), Bradford City v Leyton Orient (7pm), Cambridge United v Cheltenham Town (7pm), Carlisle United v Tranmere Rovers (7pm), Grimsby Town v Crawley Town (7pm), Harrogate Town v Mansfield Town (7pm), Oldham Athletic v Barrow (7pm), Port Vale v Stevenage (7pm).