U's v Reds - Match Preview
Barnsley will be eager to extend their unbeaten run to three games when they take on Colchester this weekend.
Saturday’s penalty shoot-out success at Wigan in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy semi-finals came a week after the Club’s 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield United which means the Reds have now lost just one of their last four games in all competitions.
With last weekend’s triumph also meaning Lee Johnson’s side have won three of their last six outings, an upturn in form could not have come at a better time as the Reds look to move off the bottom of the table.
Hosts Colchester meanwhile ended their four match losing streak last Saturday when they edged Altrincham 3-2 in the second round of the FA Cup.
The U’s – who are currently without a manager following the departure of Tony Humes last month – have only won three of their last 12 matches in all competitions however and go into the game against the Reds on a run of five straight defeats in the league.
That dismal spell has seen the U’s lose eight of their last 10 League One games which leaves them 20th and just two points above Barnsley but with Johnson’s men winning two of their last three on the road they will go to Essex in confident mood.
Barnsley will be looking to pick up their first win at Colchester in over nine years when they travel to the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Saturday.
Since their 2-1 win in Essex back in August 2006, the Reds have drawn one and lost one at the home of the U’s, with the Club’s most recent visit coming in April when they went down to a 3-1 defeat.
Despite that, Barnsley have a decent record against the U’s; winning four of the last seven meetings between the Clubs.
Three of those victories have come at Oakwell however, including last season’s 3-2 win courtesy of Peter Ramage’s 70th minute winner which lifted Barnsley onto 13 wins in this fixture which means they are now just one behind Colchester’s winning tally of 14 in this clash.
Head coach Lee Johnson could name an unchanged side following the Club’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy triumph at Wigan last weekend.
That would see Ivan Toney partner Sam Winnall in attack once again, while Marley Watkins and Adam Hammill could provide support from out wide.
Lloyd Isgrove is waiting in the wings however if Johnson does opt to tweak his side, while Ryan Williams is pushing for his first start since September.
On-loan Burnley defender Kevin Long sits out the final match of his three-game ban, so Lewin Nyantaga will continue to partner captain Alfie Mawson at the heart of the Barnsley defence.
For the U’s caretaker boss Wayne Brown will have to decide whether to recall Club captain Chris Porter for the visit of the Reds.
The former Sheffield United forward was on the bench for Saturday’s win against Altrincham and with Marvin Sordell and Callum Harriott combining well up front, Brown may opt to go with the same strike force.
On-loan Charlton man Harriott is a certainty to start at the Weston Homes Community Stadium however, with the 21-year-old searching for his fifth goal in four games following his brace against Altrincham last weekend.
In midfield youngster Tom Lapslie will be hoping for another start after scoring in his fifth outing of the season a week ago, but with Owen Garvan set to return from a hip injury Lapslie could be named amongst the substitutes.
Man in the Middle
The Reds will be searching for their third win in four games in the company of official Stephen Martin this weekend. The Staffordshire-based referee watched over Barnsley twice in the 2013-14 campaign as the Reds first lost 1-0 at Blackpool but then picked up an impressive 3-1 triumph at Reading in March 2014.
That victory was followed up with another in Martin’s company in February this year when an early strike from Kane Hemmings earned the Tykes all three points against Oldham at Oakwell.
The referee – who will be assisted by linesmen Paul Kelly and Paul Howard this weekend – has not brought much luck to hosts Colchester in recent meetings however, with the U’s losing three of their last four games when Martin has been at the helm. Last season the Essex-based outfit lost 4-2 at Preston and despite beating Bristol City 3-2 in February – which was just a second win in six games under Martin’s control - the U’s suffered more woe in October when they went down to a 5-0 defeat at Wigan.
In that game the official did not brandish a single card but Martin has dished out 47 yellow cards and three reds in 17 games this term. Watford’s Miguel Britos was the first to receive his marching orders back in August, while Peterborough midfielder Erhun Oztumer and more recently Northampton full-back Brendan Moloney have also seen red.
Their Star Man
As was the case last season, George Moncur has once again been the standout player for Colchester. The 22-year-old midfielder has bagged eight times already this term, including a hot streak of five goals in six games during August and September.
The first of those came in a 2-2 draw against Scunthorpe and with the former West Ham man going from strength-to-strength; he struck twice in a 3-2 win at Sheffield United in mid-September.
Moncur’s ability to score consistently during the season will be a major asset for the U’s this year and the England youth international has notched three times in his side’s last seven games, with the most recent of those coming in late November against Crewe.
The box-to-box midfielder is well on course to beat last season’s tally of nine, which came during his first season with the Club. Initially joining on loan from West Ham, Moncur scored three times in 20 games following a debut strike against Oldham.
In the middle of November however and the ex-AFC Wimbledon loanee joined the U’s on a permanent deal, before ending last season with five goals in nine outings. Four of those strikes came in big wins for the U’s including a 3-1 home success against the Reds. The most important of all however came on the final day of the campaign, as Moncur’s 82nd minute finish against Preston secured Colchester a 1-0 win and with it their League One safety.
In March 2001 journeyman Andy Marriott made Barnsley his 10th Club at the age of 30. Joining on loan from Sunderland, the Nottinghamshire-born goalkeeper failed to make an appearance for the Reds but during the summer of 2001 he made his switch to Oakwell permanent. After making his debut in a 1-0 loss at Grimsby, Marriott went on to feature 19 times in total during the 2001-02 season; keeping two clean sheets along the way.
The shot-stopper would double his appearance tally for the Reds in the following campaign however, with 38 outings and another four clean sheets. The last of those came in the former Wales international’s final appearance for the Club, as he helped the Tykes secure a 1-0 home win against Stockport. Following that victory Marriott joined Premier League side Birmingham City for a nominal fee.
The ‘keeper spent only three months at St Andrews and after a year in Portugal with S.C. Beira-Mar, he returned home for a spell with Coventry and then Saturday’s hosts Colchester. Marriott’s move to Essex would be his second stint with the U’s following a loan move there in 1990 from Nottingham Forest.
Having already spent time with West Brom and Colchester during that 1989-90 season, the ex-Arsenal trainee made 10 starts for the U’s between March and May 1990. Marriott failed to appear for the Club during his second period there however and less than a month after joining the former Wrexham man joined Bury.
Moves to Torquay, Boston and Exeter would also come the keeper’s way before hanging up his gloves in 2011 but despite doing that the former Barnsley man has held non-playing roles at both Exeter and West Brom, as well as a position in the McLaren Formula One venture.
Colchester’s last five at home: (WDLLW)
Colchester United 2-1 Port Vale
Colchester United 4-4 Walsall
Colchester United 1-3 Coventry City
Colchester United 2-3 Crewe Alexandra
Colchester United 3-2 Altrincham (FA Cup)
Barnsley’s last five away from home: (LLWLW)
Coventry City 4-3 Barnsley
Altrincham 1-0 Barnsley (FA Cup)
Oldham Athletic 1-2 Barnsley
Peterborough United 3-2 Barnsley
Wigan Athletic 2-2 Barnsley (Barnsley won 4-2 on penalties; JPT)
Going to the match?
Colchester United plays at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, its address is as follows: The Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5UP.
How to get there
To access the stadium, you can make use of the A12 Junction 28.
A12 - JUNCTION 28
December 2010 saw the new junction serving the Weston Homes Community Stadium open to the public.
This means that the stadium is now just seconds from the main A12 trunk road that serves East Anglia.
From the south (Ipswich bound carriageway): To access the stadium from the south, turn off at Junction 28, turning right at the first roundabout. Go across the bridge and then go straight over the second roundabout, before turning right into United Way from the third roundabout. You are now at the stadium.
From The North & M11: Leave the A14 and then join the M11. Come off the M11 at J8 (Stansted Airport/A120) and follow the A120 towards Braintree & Colchester. The A120 then joins the A12 and after passing the stadium on your right, leave the A12 at Junction 28. Turn left at the first roundabout, the turn right into United Way from the second roundabout.
The postcode of the stadium is CO4 5UP, but you may find that your sat nav system does not acknowledge this postcode at present. It is recommended to use CO4 5JS, which is the nearby Rapid Electronics factory.
Alternative access: Alternatively, you can come off the A12 at the next junction and take a left onto the A1232. When at the top of this road, bear right back over the A12 towards the traffic lights with the BMW Garage on your left. Go straight over and up Ipswich Road. At the next set of traffic lights, turn right onto Severalls Lane (signposted just previously for Colchester Cattle Market). Follow this road to its conclusion, where you will pick up signs for the stadium.
The nearest station to the ground is Colchester North which is just under two miles away from the stadium. Located near to the station at Bruff Close is a free shuttle bus service that will take you to the ground. It takes around 10 minutes to reach the stadium.
Ticket prices start from:
Senior Over 65: £11.00
Armed Forces (ID required): £11.00
Young Adult (18-21): £12.00
Under 18: £9.00
Under 14: £3.50
First Child Under 11: FREE
Extra Under 11: £1.00
The official club coaches depart Oakwell at 9am on matchday and is priced at £27 per seat.