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Player Watch: Stevenage

10 April 2017

Dickenson and James come under the spotlight.

In our latest Player Watch feature, Kortney Hudson takes a look at two of the U's shining lights in the weekend win over Stevenage.

Colchester picked up an important victory against Stevenage on Saturday to move up to 10th and within two points of a play-off place.

Brennan Dickenson at wing back has been excellent for Colchester this season, and started off looking sharp showing why bids for him were turned down in January. 

Dickenson was in the thick of the action from the beginning providing width and battling in the air for flick ons. 

With the inclusion of wing-backs, it allows the team to commit more men to attacks and that was certainly the case, as Colchester started of brightly, looking confident.

Within the first minute, Dickenson had sprinted down the wing and whipped an inch perfect cross for Chris Porter who couldn't direct the header towards goal.

Dickenson continued to provide width to the attacks and, in the 11th minute a Tarique Fosu cross from the right-hand side, wasn't cleared properly and fell to Dickenson who smashed home his 11th goal of the season with a volley from eight yards out.

In the second half, Dickenson saw a little less of the ball but when he did have it he was bombing down the left wing either releasing a rocket shot towards goal or trying to pick out Porter or Drey Wright in the middle.
Dickenson was subbed in the 87th minute to a standing ovation of applause to top off the afternoon's fine performance and goal.

But with such a dominating performance, the defence had to ensure they were switched on to deal with any threats on goal.

Young central defender Cameron James, on his eleventh appearance for Colchester, started off comfortably in defence.

Reading the game well, James had the knowledge of when to clear his lines or play it simple to a team-mate in space.

James, who has been at Colchester since he was nine, now finds himself at the heart of defence and doesn't look as though he started the season with the U23s.

The youngster didn't shy away from battling from headers and tackles, and contributed well to keeping a clean sheet, which is the first since Mansfied in the middle of March.

On the stroke of half time, James miss-hit a back-pass but recovered excellently to get a second touch on the ball, which was just enough to see it reach George Elokobi who was there to clear the danger.

Playing as the central defender of a back three is a difficult task due to the amount of running and cover the position requires.

But James' ability to drop in behind Tom Eastman and Elokobi to clear anything that managed to pass them was highly impressive.

The game ended 4-0 thanks to Dickenson and James; contributions and the 19-year old will be happy to have not conceded, whilst Dickenson will be delighted with his goal tally this season.

Both will look to continue performing at this standard for the remainder of the season in the hope of securing a late play-off place for the U’s.

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