Colchester United v Northampton Town Match Preview – The first league away day of the season sees Town travel to the Jobserve Community Stadium.
Last weekend brought the joy, passion and excitement of being back inside our home as the Cobblers actually kicked off a season with victory. That gave us a taste of what we’ve missed as a home experience but Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup night out up the road at Coventry saw 903 Cobblers fans experience an away day for the first time in 18 months.
There’s nothing quite like a good away trip to get the juices flowing and anyone who can work their way around the convoluted ticketing system in place at Colchester (remember, there will be no tickets available on the day) should be in for a treat as the claret faithful take their place once more in the away ends of League Two.
Optimism is at a high thanks to two high octane wins this week and the attacking intent being shown by Jon Brady’s new troops gives everyone real reason for optimism. While Saturday’s success was built on an early lead, the midweek cup upset at the Ricoh saw us come from behind with Kion Etete unleashed to incredible effect.
Strap yourself in for another fun afternoon with our claret heroes…
After missing out in the League Two Playoff Semi-final in 2020 (not everyone can win it now can they!) it was a real slog for The U’s to arrest a slide that began with defeat over two legs to Exeter City.
John McGreal’s eleven year association with the club ended after that disappointment but Steve Ball’s promotion from assistant into the top job only lasted until February after a poor season and a run of no wins in thirteen games, the final one of those ironically being a home defeat to Exeter.
Wayne Brown oversaw the next nine games but after just one win in that period Hayden Mullins was appointed with the task of keeping Colchester in the league. The U’s were just four points ahead of the drop zone at that point and Mullins’ reign didn’t begin well thanks to two draws and a 5-2 hammering at Oldham.
But three timely wins in the final five games saved them from what would have been disaster and Mullins has now been appointed as full-time manager. The hope is that stability will bring about a fresh start and a look back up the league rather than over their shoulders.
Frank Nouble is back to lead the line after re-joining on loan last season and Ipswich have been raided for former Cobbler Luke Chambers along with referee botherer Alan Judge, Freddie Sears and Cole Skuse.
United should be back on the right track and look a good early test for Brady’s bunch of marauding wonders.
Last time out
One to watch
Sylvester Jasper isn’t just a great name…the livewire midfielder caused plenty of problems for Birmingham in midweek in his first start since joining on loan from Fulham, dazzling the U’s fans with his running and trickery.
Colchester will be hoping that former Cobblers defender Luke Chambers will be back after missing the midweek cup defeat to Birmingham with a sickness bug. Sylvester Jasper, Noah Chilvers and Miles Welch-Hayes all made their first appearances of the season in that game and could be pushing for starts.
Cobblers boss Jon Brady has some selection headaches ahead of the trip east. Kion Etete will be hopeful of starting after a superb performance on Wednesday night at Coventry but Nicke Kabamba’s all action display against Port Vale as well as Benny Ashley-Seal’s winner in that game will have him thinking. Elsewhere, Jack Sowerby and Michael ‘Neil’ Harriman are the only other known injury doubts.
Colchester 1-0 Cobblers (August 24 2019)
Way back in August 2019, former Cobbler Luke Norris scored the only goal of the game to record the U’s first win of that season.
Match Officials – Kettle Watch is back!
If last weekend’s sighting of the Kettle-meister wasn’t enough, he’s back and this time he’s the main man in the middle. His last game in charge of a Cobblers game was the 1-0 home win over Fleetwood Town back in December. Don’t tell Jefe but Cian Bolger nodded in the winner that evening…
Charles: 2-1 Cobblers
Jefe: 4-1 Cobblers