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02 March 2019 Venue The County Ground Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

PREVIEW: COLCHESTER UNITED (H)

1 March 2019

Swindon have only lost one of their last seven as they head into a potentially decisive game against fifth-placed Colchester.

Four wins and two draws have seen the Town become part of the chasing pack behind the top seven and Richie Wellens said that this is a precarious place to be.

“When you’re chasing, it’s always difficult. People keep saying that we’re only six points off with a game in hand.

“But, if we lose this weekend and other teams win – we’re then nine points off, and the games remaining get smaller.

“It’s difficult. If we continue our points ratio per game since the turn of the year, we will be there or thereabouts.”

Since Wellens took over back in November, with the club 17th in League Two, Swindon have only lost four league games (including the immediate game two days after Wellens’ arrival).

Town will be without the injured Michael Doughty and Matty Taylor, with none of the injury list looking set to return this weekend.

The Oppo

It’s been a topsy-turvy start to 2019 for Colchester – they’ve gone 3-3-3 for wins, draw and losses since the turn of the year.

They’ve scored lots, only failing to once in the new year - on New Year’s Day away at Crawley. They’ve hit big against Port Vale, Northampton and Cheltenham with the first two coming away from home.

Sammie Szmodics, who was on target the last time the two teams met back in November, is the U’s top goalscorer with 11 goals followed by ex-Robin Luke Norris, who picked up a knee injury in the reverse fixture.

Head-to-Head

Swindon will be looking to overcome the U’s for the first time in the fourth tier for the first time since 2004. The last victory over the Essex

28 Apr 2015        Colchester United v Swindon Town          D             1-1          League One

26 Sep 2015        Swindon Town v Colchester United          L              1-2          League One

13 Feb 2016        Colchester United v Swindon Town          W            1-4          League One

15 Dec 2017        Swindon Town v Colchester United          L              2-3          League Two

28 Apr 2018        Colchester United v Swindon Town          D             0-0          League Two

03 Nov 2018        Colchester United v Swindon Town          L              1-0          League Two

The Gaffer

John McGreal made over 450 apearances over a 17-year playing career but only played for three clubs – Tranmere where spent nine years, Ipswich and Burnley.

 His career came to an end in 2007, and despite considering going into property management, he was convinced to take a coaching degree at Keel University. Within a year he had his UEFA B Licence under his belt, and took up a job in Colchester’s academy.

After working his way up through the academy, he was named interim manager in 2015 after Tony Humes’ dismissal. In 2016, following the club’s relegation to League Two, McGreal was appointed Kevin Keen’s successor earning his first win against Cambridge United in August 2016.

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Match Reports

REPORT: SWINDON TOWN 3-0 COLCHESTER UNITED

2 March 2019

Swindon were comprehensive in a 3-0 demolition of fellow play-off chasers Colchester United at the County Ground.

A trio of loanees got on the scoresheet for the Town with Canice Carroll and Luke Woolfenden getting the home side ahead with a quickfire double five minutes before the end of the first half.

Kyle Bennett sealed victory in the second half with a superb strike from 25 yards out.

The biggest win at home all season leaves the Robins four points off the play-offs.

First Half

It was a characteristically fast start for Swindon. Jak McCourt picked the ball up high the pitch and went to lob Rene Gilmartin, who was off his line, from 40 yards. However, his shot was slightly underhit and fell into the arms of the keeper.

On eight minutes, McCourt’s midfield partner, James Dunne was next to try his luck – Kaiyne Woolery drove down the right and cross to the back post where Dunne met the ball but failed to get his header low enough to trouble Gilmartin.

It wasn’t all going Town’s way though – Lawrence Vigouroux had to be alert on his return from injury to stop Mikael Mandron’s poked effort on 11 minutes.

In truth, after a fast start the first period plateaued somewhat – that was until the 39th minute when Carroll struck. Theo Robinson floated the ball to the back post, where Woolery nodded down and with acres of space on the six-yard box, the Brentford loanee blasted the ball into the roof of the net to notch his first goal in Town colours.

Two minutes later, it was another loanee and another unexpected goalscorer – playing at right-back on his first start since being ruled out with a calf strain, Luke Woolfenden popped up at the back post to guide a perfect into the top corner.

In the lead up to the goal, Dion Conroy sprayed an unbelievable 60-yard pass out to Kyle Knoyle who laid off to James Dunne. His cross perfectly found the head of Woolfenden to put Town two up going into the break.

Second Half

In a very similar fashion to the Forest Green game that was the same score at the interval, the second half became more about professionalism and game management than pulsating football.

Although Kaiyne Woolery hadn’t been told apparently – on 58 minutes, the first moment of any note in the second period, he skipped past three Colchester defenders before being brought down by a mixture of them. From the resultant free-kick, Jak McCourt stung the palms of Gilmartin who tipped the ball away.

The game was well and truly sealed on 71 minutes – Kyle Bennett won the ball high up and dipped  shot from 25 yards at goal. The U’s keeper got a hand to it but it wasn’t strong enough to stop this effort and it tucked into the top corner.

Much of the rest of the game was processionary – Jak McCourt, Theo Robinson and Kaiyne Woolery all came off to standing ovations with Jacob Bancroft coming for his first appearance for the first-team in a comfortable last 20 minutes.

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