Tom Eastman will start Colchester United’s clash with Scunthorpe United on Saturday.

U’s boss John Ward has confirmed the young defender will keep his place in their starting line-up, with Matt Heath still ruled out with a groin injury.

Eastman, 20, started Colchester’s 1-0 defeat at MK Dons, on January 2.

And the former Ipswich Town youngster will get another chance to shine when the U’s take on Iron at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, this weekend.

Ward said: “Tom played very well at MK Dons.

“He’s had some tough baptisms, like that game and the one at Hillsborough.

“He was very good at MK Dons and he showed a lot of maturity.

“Tom will start the game and he deserves to do that.

“He’s played well enough in the last match to stay in the team.

“It’s a risk if we put Matt (Heath) in on Saturday and we won’t take that risk.

“I have people like Tom and Pat Baldwin and Tom Aldred is back from his loan spell at Torquay.”

See Thursday’s Gazette for all of the latest Colchester United news, including Karl Duguid’s exclusive weekly column.