COLCHESTER United pit their wits against the team with the longest unbeaten run in English football tonight.

But like any team, Exeter City are not unbeatable - and the U's will know of the ways they can pull off a welcome win.

There is no doubt that the Grecians are currently flying.

Matt Taylor's side lie second in League Two - two points behind leaders Forest Green Rovers - and have not lost since August.

Exeter made it 20 games unbeaten last Saturday when they beat struggling Carlisle United 2-1, at St James Park.

But they were not at their best at the weekend, as boss and former U's loanee Taylor admitted afterwards.

“In terms of performance…not flat but not at our best," said Taylor of his side's performance.

"We found it difficult to break the opposition down and we didn’t put their goalkeeper and centre-halves under enough pressure in the first half.

“There’s never a banker in League Two. We’ve got to keep to our principles. The effort was fine; we lacked quality at times but they [Carlisle] were a hard team to break down.”


The truth is that until Carlisle's Jon Mellish was sent off just before half-time, the visitors had competed well against their high-flying hosts.

It was only after Mellish departed that the Grecians began to stamp their authority on the game, with goals from Sam Nombe and Jake Caprice in the final half hour sealing them the win, despite Jordan Gibson's late consolation.

Despite their lowly league position, Carlisle got into some good attacking positions and forced a number of set-pieces, which they did not make enough of.

“If we kept our shape and discipline in the way we played, and in the way we were looking after a good front three, with Matt Jay in the hole who was being kept quiet," said Carlisle boss Keith Millen afterwards.

"Our structure and tactics were fine, it just needed that extra quality, which we know about anyway.”

Much like the Cumbrians, it goes without saying that if Colchester are to claim victory tonight, they will have to undoubtedly be more clinical than they have been of late.

The statistics are telling for the U's at the moment not least the 'goals for' column.

Along with Carlisle, they are currently League Two's lowest scorers, having managed just 12 league goals all season.


Hayden Mullins' (pictured above) side have registered the second lowest number of shots on target in the division (2.9) and the third lowest shot total in the six-yard box.

And at the other end, the U's have conceded the most number of shots in League Two (14.7) and have also made the fewest number of interceptions (six).

Colchester bossed the possession (61%) and recorded more than twice as many shots than their hosts Stevenage at the weekend, only to come away from that game at the Lamex Stadium with a 1-0 defeat.

It is unlikely that the U's will be afforded as much territory against a flying Exeter side tonight.

But Carlisle's first-half performance only a few days ago may well give Colchester the added lift that they are capable of upsetting form book - and ending the Grecians' long unbeaten run.