Category Archives: Colchester United

Palace Beaten By League 2 Colchester…

Just a few short days after achieving a brilliant result against all the odds, by beating Manchester United at Old Trafford, Crystal Palace, took on Colchester United of League 2 last night at Selhurst Park, in the Carabao Cup 3rd Round.

On paper, it looked like an easy task, Premier League high fliers, taking on the minnows of league 2… What could go wrong?

Palace made a raft of changes to their team, 10 in total, but it was still an experienced side that took on Colchester, with Martin Kelly being the only player to keep his place, from the side that beat Man Utd

However Colchester, had other ideas and were far from overawed by Crystal Palaces attacking options, which saw the game finish 0~0 before Colchester went through to the next round winning 5~4 on Penalties

On the night it was a surprise result and for those with longer memories, it would have revived the day back in 1971, when Colchester, also beat the equivalent of premiership opposition in those days, Leeds United, but this time in the FA Cup.

So it is Colchester who progress through to the next round of the EFL cup.

Palace boss Roy Hodgson, was disappointed to exit the competition, saying that he had picked a team, which had players requiring game time, who although maybe not regular first team players, were certainly strong enough to be able to beat Colchester, which as we now know didn’t happen.

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Carabao Cup: Round One Draw Announced

The Carabao Cup Round One draw was made on Thursday evening from Morrisons, Colindale, North West London.

There were two stand out ties from the draw with AFC Wimbledon playing MK Dons, while newly-promoted Salford City will face Leeds United.

The draw was conducted by two former England internationals in John Barnes and Ray Parlour and was split into two regions – North and South.

Huddersfield Town, the hightest-ranked team in the Northern Section, will face Lincoln City while the highest ranked Southern side, West Bromwich Albion, will face Millwall.

Every club from Sky Bet League One and League Two enter the Carabao Cup in Round One, along with 22 Championship clubs.

Only Cardiff City and Fulham – who finished 18th and 19th respectively in the Premier League last season, will enter in Round Two, alongside the clubs from the Premier League, not in European competitions.

The first round matches are scheduled to take place week commencing Monday 12thAugust, with the final due to take place on March 1, 2020.

Full Round One Draw can be seen below:

North Draw

Tranmere Rovers v Hull City

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers

Wigan Athletic v Stoke City

Port Vale v Burton Albion

Nottingham Forest v Fleetwood Town

Bradford City v Preston North End

Blackpool v Macclesfield Town

Blackburn Rovers v Oldham Athletic

Mansfield Town v Morecambe

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland

Scunthorpe United v Derby County

Rochdale v Bolton Wanderers

Huddersfield Town v Lincoln City

Middlesbrough v Crewe Alexandra

Shrewsbury Town v Rotherham United

Sheffield Wednesday v Bury

Salford City v Leeds United

Barnsley v Carlisle United

South Draw

Colchester United v Swindon Town

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons

Oxford United v Peterborough United

Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City

Plymouth Argyle v Leyton Orient

Wycombe Wanderers v Reading

Charlton Athletic v Forest Green Rovers

Gillingham v Newport County

Stevenage v Southend United

Luton Town v Ipswich Town

Walsall v Crawley Town

Bristol Rovers v Cheltenham Town

Brentford v Cambridge United

Coventry City v Exeter City

Swansea City v Northampton Town

League 2 Promotion Race: a preview of the final 9 games

The League 2 promotion race heats up as with less than 10 games left to secure promotion to League One we here at 24/7 Football decided to take a look at the final 9 games for every team fighting for promotion.

1. Lincoln City

Lincoln City currently sit top of the table going into the final 9 games of the season. The Imps have  lead the way for the majority of the season and will be looking for a strong finish to secure their promotion to League One. The Imps last played in England’s third tier in 1999 and under the astute guidance of the Cowley brothers will be looking to play in League One for the first time this Century.

Lincoln’s recent form  – WDWWW

The Imps head into the final 9 games in impressive form with the Lincolnshire based side unbeaten in there last 14 League games. Lincoln have also won three consecutive games in a row keeping a clean sheet in the last two. Lincoln also boast an impressive Home record with the Imps unbeaten in there last 15 games making Sincil Bank a fortress.

Lincoln’s final 9 games

Mansfield Town (A) 18/03/2019

Crawley Town (A) 23/03/2019

Macclesfield Town  (H) 30/03/2019

MK Dons (A) 06/04/2019

Cheltenham (H) 13/04/2019

Carlisle United (A) 19/04/2019

Tranmere Rovers (H) 22/04/2019

Newport County (A) 27/04/2019

Colchester United (H) 04/05/2019

Lincoln’s final 9 games of the League campaign are a mixed bag of opponents with Lincoln having to face 5 of the top 8 teams in the division, 3 of which are away from Home. A long trip to Carlisle thrown in over the Easter weekend should be a deciding factor in Lincoln’s title hopes. The Imps also have to face bottom of the pile Macclesfield who could prove to be a challenging test depending on their predicament.

2.Bury

The Shakers currently sit second in the League 2 table 5 points behind leaders Lincoln. Bury have been one of League 2 most entertaining teams to watch this season with the Manchester-based side scoring 71 goals so far this season the third highest in all four divisions. The Shakers will be looking to maintain strong form into the final 9 games of the season to try and snatch the title away from Lincoln.

Bury’s recent form – WWWDW

Just like Lincoln, Bury come into the final 9 games in stupendous form with the Shakers unbeaten in there last 13 games with there last loss coming on Boxing day where Bury fell to a (2-1) defeat away at third-placed Mansfield Town. Bury haven’t failed to score in there last 12 league games with the Shakers last unable to find the back of the net away at Notts County.

Bury’s final 9 games

Cambridge United (H) 16/03/2019

Grimsby Town (A) 23/03/2019

Swindon Town (H) 30/03/2019

Carlisle United (A) 06/04/2019

Colchester United (H) 13/04/2019

Newport County (A) 19/04/2019

Northampton (H) 22/04/2019

Tranmere Rovers (A) 27/04/2019

Port Vale (H) 04/05/2019

Bury arguably have a much easier run in on paper than Lincoln, with the Shakers only having to play 3 of the top 7 clubs compared to Lincoln’s 5. However with 2 out of the three being away from home plus one of those being a long trip to Carlisle it could be an interesting final 9 games for Bury.

3.Mansfield Town

Mansfield Town currently occupies the third and final automatic promotion place. The Stags who have one of the biggest budgets in League Two haven’t played League One football since 2003. Mansfield currently have the best defence in League Two and the third best in the Football League.

Mansfield Town’s recent form – LWWLD

The Stags head into the final 9 games in a dip of form with the Nottinghamshire based side only winning 2 out of there last 6 games. Mansfield have also failed to pick up three points on the road in there last 5 away games. However, on the country, the Stags are unbeaten in there last 5 home games.

Mansfield’s final 9 games

Lincoln City (H) 16/03/2019

Crewe Alexandra (H) 23/03/2019

Exeter City (A) 30/03/2019

Northampton Town (H) 13/04/2019

Morecambe (H) 19/04/2019

Oldham Athletic (A) 22/04/2019

Stevenage (H) 27/04/2019

MK Dons (A) 04/05/2019

Mansfield just like Bury have to play 3 of the top 8 teams however the Stags have to play both Lincoln and Exeter in the next three games. After these games, the Stags have an easy run in playing multiple mid-table teams till a final day clash with fourth-placed MK Dons.

4.MK Dons

MK Dons currently sit just outside the League 2 automatic spots on goal difference as the Dons look for an immediate return to League One football. MK find themselves in League 2 for the first time since 2008 and are hoping that the suave and sophisticated Paul Tisdale can guide the club to promotion.

MK Dons recent form – WWWWL

The Dons head into the final 9 games in an upturn of form with MK winning 5 out of there last 6 games. However, MK have picked up strange results since the turn of the year with the Buckinghamshire based side losing (4-2) to 19th place Morecambe and a (1-0) defeat to Crewe at home.

MK Dons final 9 games

Stevenage (H) 16/03/2019

Yeovil Town (H) 23/03/2019

Forest Green Rovers (A) 30/03/2019

Tranmere Rovers (A) 13/04/2019

Notts County (A) 19/04/2019

Port Vale (H) 22/04/2019

Colchester United (A) 27/04/2019

Mansfield Town (H) 04/05/2019

The Dons have possibly one of the hardest runs of games to play out of the promotion-chasing teams facing 4 out of the top 7 and facing 3 teams who will be fighting for the survival in the Football League. After the Stevenage game this weekend every team MK play will be fighting for something arguably increasing the stakes in each of these games.

5.Tranmere Rovers

Newly promoted Tranmere Rovers are this year’s League Two surprise package with the Super White Army pushing for back to back promotions for the first time in there History. Under the guidance of experienced manager Micky Mellon, the Birkenhead based side have eased back into Football League life after a three year absence and are looking to make a return to League One football for the first time since 2014.

Tranmere Rovers recent form – WWWWW

Tranmere currently sits top of the charts for form with the Rovers picking up 19 points from there last 8 games. Tranmere also have a watertight defence with the Rovers only conceding 2 goals in there last 6 games.

Tranmere Rovers last 9 games

Oldham Athletic (A) 16/03/2019

Colchester United (A) 23/03/2019

Carlisle United (H) 30/03/2019

Newport County (A) 06/04/2019

MK Dons (H) 13/04/2019

Forest Green Rovers (H) 19/04/2019

Lincoln City (A) 22/04/2019

Bury (H) 27/04/2019

Crawley Town (A) 04/05/2019

Talk about tough luck. Tranmere have to face 6 out of the top 7 teams in the division at the time of writing and face 4 out them in a row however with three of these being at home it could be a blessing in disguise to take points off the teams around them rather than rely on other results.

6.Forest Green Rovers

6th placed Forest Green Rovers are battling for a playoff spot and promotion to League One for the first time in their history. The Greenest team in the World currently are having their best season ever in the Football League and will hope it can continue.

Forest Green Rovers recent form – WLLLW

The Green Devils are currently in a sticky patch of form with Forest Green currently sat 22nd in the form table with the Gloucestershire based side picking up 7 points in there last 8 games. Forest Green have had indifferent results over the past few weeks with the Green Devils losing (3-0) to lowly placed Morecambe before beating playoff-chasing Colchester (3-0).

Forest Green Rovers last 9 games

Carlisle United (H) 16/03/2019

Port Vale (A) 23/03/2019

MK Dons (H) 30/03/2019

Crawley Town (A) 06/04/2019

Macclesfield (H) 13/04/2019

Tranmere Rovers (A) 19/04/2019

Cambridge United (H) 22/04/2019

Crewe Alexandra (A) 27/04/2019

Exeter City (H) 04/05/2019

Forest Green have a mixed run of games concluding the season with 4 games against teams in the top 10 with the other 5 games against teams in the mid to lower echelons of the table. If Forest Green can find there earlier season form that propelled them to their current position then the Green Devils could be playing League One football next season.

7.Colchester United

Occupying the final playoff spot at the time of writing are Colchester United. The U’s will be hoping that the third time’s the charm with the Essex based side narrowly missing out of the playoffs in the past two seasons.

Colchester United’s recent form – DDLWL

Colchester just like Forest Green Rovers have suffered in a did in form as the Essex based side have only managed 3 wins in there last 8 games. In Colchester’s last three games the U’s have scored 3 and conceded 6 goals with too heavy (3-0) defeats to playoff rivals Forest Green and mid tabled Swindon. Colchester’s home form has also seen a dip with the U’s only picking up 9 points in there last 8 home games at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Colchester United’s last 9 games

Exeter City (A) 16/03/2019

Tranmere Rovers (H) 23/03/2019

Cambridge United (A) 30/03/2019

Oldham Athletic (H) 06/04/2019

Bury (A) 12/04/2019

Grimsby Town (H) 19/04/2019

Yeovil Town (A) 22/04/2019

MK Dons (H) 27/04/2019

Lincoln City (A) 04/05/2019

Colchester have a mixed run in however face top 10 teams in spells of two bar the away match Vs Bury of the 12th of April. With a tough final three games, it could be another year that the U’s miss out of the playoffs.

8. Carlisle United

The first team on this list sat out of the Playoffs Carlisle are hoping they can sneak a playoff place and make it back to League One for the first time since 2014. Carlisle will also be looking to make it one step further than 2016/17 season where the Cumbria based side lost in the Playoff semi-final.

Carlisle United recent form – LDLWL

Carlisle have suffered a recent dip in form that has seen the side slip out of the playoffs with the Cumbrians only picking up 8 points in there last game ranking them 21st in the League 2 form table. However, Carlisle Home form over the past 8 games has been stupendous with the Cumbrians picking up 16 points in there last 8 home games.

Carlisle United last 9 games

Forest Green Rovers (A) 16/03/2019

Cambridge United (H) 23/03/2019

Tranmere Rovers (A) 30/03/2019

Bury (H) 06/04/2019

Stevenage (A) 13/04/2019

Lincoln City (H) 19/04/2019

Grimsby Town (A) 22/04/2019

Crawley Town (H) 27/04/2019

Yeovil Town (A) 04/05/2019

Carlisle have to play 4 out of the top 7 clubs including first and second placed Lincoln and Bury however with both at home the Cumbrians will be hoping to gain positive results from both. Carlisle also appear to have an easy three final games to finish the season. However, a long away trip to Yeovil could be a tough trip especially depending on Yeovil’s predicament.

9. Exeter City

The team currently occupying 9th is Exeter City. Exeter still have a great chance of making the playoffs with the Grecians currently sitting 2 points of the playoffs and unlike the 8 teams above them, Exeter have 10 games left to play rather than 9. Exeter will be hoping to go one better than last year as the Grecians lost in the Playoff final to Coventry City.

Exeter City recent form – LWDLL

Exeter city have had a recent dip in form with the Grecians failing to pick up a win in there last three games. Furthermore, Exeter have only picked up 5 points out of there last 6 league games. The Grecians have also failed to keep a clean sheet in there last 6 games.

Exeter City’s last 10 games

Colchester (H) 16/03/2019

Notts County (A) 23/03/2019

Mansfield Town (H) 30/03/2019

Cheltenham Town (A) 06/04/2019

Port Vale (H) 13/04/2019

Crawley Town (H) 19/04/2019

Stevenage (A) 22/04/2019

Oldham Athletic (H) 27/04/2019

Forest Green Rovers (A) 04/05/2019

*Macclesfield (A) The game has yet to be rearranged.

Arguably Exeter City have one of the easiest final run-ins on paper out of the Playoff chasing teams with the Grecians only facing 3 top 7 teams and have a 5 game run in of playing mid-table sides so could easily pick up points and close the two-point gap.

Who Do you think will get promoted from League 2?

Written By Tom Langford

Twitter @tom_langford27

Checkatrade Trophy: Is The Format Working?

Last season the EFL brought in a new format for the old Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and really it hasn’t helped teams in lower leagues. The new format encourages teams in the Premier League and the Championship to submit an Under 21’s squad into the competition. So is this format still a good idea?

The final of last season’s Checkatrade trophy was between Coventry and Oxford and broke the attendance record for the competition with 74,434, but all of last season the attendance figures at games across the competition was still low, Peterborough United as an example had an attendance of 1696 at their game against Norwich Academy which is a 4,000 less then their average attendance last season.

Last season as well clubs got fined for not fielding full strength squads,  on the 16th November Luton Town and Portsmouth were fined £15,000 for breaching this rule for all three of their group games, whereas Bradford, Blackpool, Bristol Rovers, MK Dons, Millwall, Charlton, Peterborough, Sheffield United and Southend all got fined £3,000 and Fleetwood were fined £5,000. That doesn’t sound like a lot to big clubs but in lower levels it is a lot to those clubs.

The group format is a nice new addition to the competition but for me I think if you took out participation from the Under 21’s it would be a good competition for lower league clubs and will hopefully increase ticket sales for the clubs as that can help boost finances. They also need to remove the full strength squad rule as fining teams for putting different squads out isn’t fair on teams that need to make sure people in their team stay fit and get a chance to show what they’re worth.

*Feature image courtesy of EFL.com*

 

Is football for the fans anymore?

It’s been a crazy summer for football this year with some crazy numbers coming from the amount that clubs have spent with Neymar and Mbappe etc. The money from the new Premier League television rights deal is well and truly coming to fruition with Premier League spending and revenues on the up. Even in the Championship spending has increased with Wolves paying 14 million pounds for Ruben Neves (just one player!)

 

With all of this money you would think that this would benefit English fans who follow their teams week in week out right? It couldn’t be more wrong as the price of season tickets are going up and kick off times for matches are set to change for an international audience.

 

So this begs the question do clubs really care about their local fans who pay their money to support them through the good and the bad times?

 

The answer to that question has to be a no. English clubs are charging a monumental amount of money to go to football matches and even when they are there the cost of food and drink is extortionate.

 

Premier League newcomers Huddersfield are the only exception from that statement as their cheapest season ticket comes in at just 175 pounds which is amazing considering the start they have had. In reality Arsenal’s cheapest season ticket comes in at just over 1000 pounds. That is a ridiculous amount of money to expect from a working class fan base.

 

Even in League One Bradford City fans were charged 28 pounds at Peterborough for a pay on the gate match. 28 Pounds for an away game in League One is scandalous and shows the director that English Football has taken.

 

On top of the prices clubs have all gone into the corporate fan bases which gives people the opportunities that most fans can’t afford. An example of this is Manchester City’s new Tunnel Club which offers people the chance to meet players and get up close and personal with the management team in exchange for a hefty price. City have alienated their fan base by taking opportunities away from their traditional working class fanbase and giving them to people who can afford to pay for the privilege. It’s not just Man City who are guilty of this as it can be seen up and down the country.

 

I’m not saying that the people who go to matches in corporate hospitality are wrong because they have paid for the service and fair play to them. Whats wrong is that most English clubs no longer see their traditional fan bases as the most important.

 

Another example can be taken from the recently named Carabao Cup. The third round draw for the competition took place live from China at 4:15 AM (GMT) meaning most British fans were sleeping when their teams draw took place. A spokesman for the FSF said: “In our 2017 national supporters’ survey fans expressed increasing frustration at instances of overseas audiences apparently being prioritised over domestic supporters. Holding the draw in Beijing at that time can only increase the sense of disconnection many domestic fans feel.”

 

Do you think that English Football is losing touch with its fans and becoming corporatised? Let us know in the comments section below…