Colchester United travel to Stevenage on Good Friday hoping to claim three points against Steve Evans’ promotion-chasing side.
Sitting in twenty-first position, the U’s will be wanting to get points on the board as soon as possible, starting with the trip to Stevenage on Friday afternoon.
And after picking up three consecutive draws against Leyton Orient, Tranmere Rovers and Newport County, Ben Garner’s side can take confidence after putting together a short unbeaten run.
Arthur Read starred in the U’s goalless draw against the Exiles on Saturday afternoon, and will want to do the same against his former employers this weekend after returning to the starting eleven.
Matt Jay also returned to the fray along with Connor Wood, with Tommy Smith making a late substitute appearance in place of Connor Hall; Ben Garner later admitted the defender had picked up a knock, and the medical team will check on his fitness ahead of the next match.
Stevenage sit in the enviable position of third in the standings with sixty-eight points, just two behind Northampton Town with a game in hand on the Cobblers.
Steve Evans must be credited for the turnaround seen at Stevenage since his arrival; at this point last season the club were sitting in the relegation zone three points adrift of safety in League Two.
Along with Evans’ impact from the sidelines, the recruitment at the Lamex has improved Stevenage’s fortunes on the pitch.
Former U’s midfielder Alex Gilbey made the loan move to Hertfordshire from Charlton, and has featured in almost every game for the club this season. His thirty-eight appearances have yielded two goals, and three assists – not outstanding numbers, but Colchester fans will remember his influence from the middle of the field.
Another familiar face that has hit form though, is Luke Norris (pictured below). Making the move to Stevenage in January 2021, the powerful striker has hit fourteen goals this season and is just two off equalling his career best tally. His last strike came in late March against Salford City, and he has three in his last seven.
But with seventeen goal involvements (eleven goals, six assists), Jamie Reid leads the standings for the top-three side this season. Reid has also been almost ever-present in the team with forty-seven outings for the team, including netting a goal in the 1-1 draw against Northampton last time out.
Other key men for Stevenage include the goalscoring defender Carl Piergianni – the central defender has seven goals for the season so far, former Ipswich Town and Motherwell striker Jordan Roberts, and January arrival, Jake Forster-Casker, a former England U21 international with over 100 appearances for Charlton.
Last Time We Met
Marley Marshall Miranda bagged a spectacular first career goal against Stevenage in the first meeting this season. His wonder-strike was cancelled out by Danny Rose's first half header as the U's claimed a point against the promotion-chasing side.
Tickets are only available to purchase online from Stevenage's online site - book ahead of Friday to benefit from the advance price. Click HERE for more ticket info.
If you can't make it to the game on Friday, you can keep up with it via iFollow. Audio Passes (£2.50) are available to supporters in the UK, with Video Passes (£10) also available to UK and worldwide audiences over the Easter weekend. Click HERE to see what options are available for you.