Colchester United v Crawley Town preview: Injury-hit Reds look to recover quickly to rediscover league form

Crawley Town put themselves into the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday, by beating AFC Wimbledon 2-1 at Plough Lane and earned themselves a tie against Premier League Leeds United.

Tuesday, 1st December 2020, 7:58 am
Ashley Nadesan scored a trademark goal against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday

Leeds will bring themselves to The People’s Pension Stadium on the weekend commencing the 9th of October but until then it is league action for Crawley.

This starts off with an away game at Colchester, just two days after their FA Cup victory. It’s an extremely quick turnaround for Crawley with the game just over 48 hours after their game at AFC Wimbledon on Sunday.

In contrast, Colchester have had a whole week to prepare for this one, as they weren’t in action at the weekend following them bowing out of the FA Cup in the first round to Marine on penalties, who have gone on to draw Tottenham Hotspur in round three.

The U’s last outing was an awful one as they were thumped 6-1 at Exeter City. It was only Colchester’s third league defeat of the season, but they were torn apart in what was a terrible display.

They’ll be looking to put that right at home and ensure Crawley don’t leapfrog them in the table. When you’re watching a Colchester game one thing you’re normally guaranteed is goals, as they have scored 20 but also conceded 20 league goals this season and have had just one 0-0 draw.

This came on the opening day at Bradford City and since then both teams have scored in 10 of their 12 league games. Their top scorer Jevani Brown has been scoring the goals for them, he is level with Max Watters of Crawley, with 7 league goals to his name.

Watters picked up his 10th of the season in all competitions on Sunday, which proved to be the winner for Crawley. Watters has an unbelievable record since joining the Reds and has proved to be an excellent striker at this level.

However, he is not the only striker at Crawley in good form, Ashley Nadesan found himself back among the goals on Sunday, with a trademark chipped finish.

These could be the two leading the line again for Crawley at Colchester, with Tom Nichols missing Sunday’s game through injury.

With injuries stacking up the games in quick succession isn’t the best thing for Crawley and they’ll have to make full use of the squad. Jordan Tunnicliffe returning from injury will be a boost to the side and provides an extra defensive number and may slot into the same back three that played Sunday, or into a back four that Crawley usually play.

Dallison, Craig and Tunnicliffe looked a solid back three on Sunday and these could be the back three used again, or John Yems may choose to switch back to a back four. It’ll be a tough game for the Reds, with very little recovery time and they’ll look to take something away from what will be a tough game.