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Tranmere Rovers 1 v 1 Colchester United
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 8th September 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Tranmere Vs U's - Durham's Preview
Friday, 7th Sep 2018 21:09 by Durham Exile

After the non-event that was the Checkatrade Trophy match on Tuesday evening JM takes his charges to the ground where he played 233 games for Tranmere Rovers before leaving for Ipswich Town.

Tranmere are managed by Micky Mellon, who coincidentally is also 46 years of age and knows JM well. Tranmere also lost on Tuesday in a seesaw Checkatrade game 4-3 to Crewe, which means that neither Tranmere nor Colchester picked up the £10K win bonus (even a draw would have netted £5K). Both teams now face tough matches if they are to progress in the competition.

In truth our recent record against Rovers is not brilliant and the last time that I saw us defeat them was in a bizarre game at Prenton Park played on Friday 26 September 2008 when the U’s ran out 4-3 winners. My eldest son was at the University of Central Lancashire and I picked him enroute to the game from Durham. The game was all square at 1-1, but we then managed to score 3 more goals to lead 4-1, but allowed a nervy ending when Rovers scored two late goals. (Colchester’s goals were scored by David Perkins, Mark Yeates, Clive Platt and Johnny Jackson). The attendance of 5,713 is likely to be bettered on Saturday, because Rovers are playing well at home and are as yet unbeaten in the league at Prenton Park, despite their midweek cup reverse.

Tranmere boast the league’s top scorer in James Norwood with 6 goals to date. They are well supported at home and I notice that they took 691 supporters to watch their recent 1-1 draw against the Cobblers. Make no mistake this will be a challenging game.

Now for those of you that still buy programmes (I certainly do) make sure that you also buy the excellent Tranmere fanzine. It is always a good read and last time I was at Prenton park it was £2, great value. The humour is superb.

Now sadly it hasn’t taken Colchester long to start with the injuries. Tom Lapslie has unfortunately succumbed to surgery on his knee and will be out for some weeks. Brennan Dickenson has a back problem and I thought that he too would be out for some time, but amazingly he played over 60 minutes on Tuesday night.

In such a match, why he was risked is beyond me. He had fought back after a long spell on the sidelines and was just beginning to play the attacking wing play that we had grown to love.

With Brandon Comley away on International duty with Montserrat, JM must make a couple of changes to an otherwise settled team.

I would suggest something along the following lines in a 3,4,1,2 formation:


Eastman Prosser Kent

Jackson Pell Wright Vincent-Young


Norris Nouble


Ross Rooney Barnes Collins Senior Mandron Gondoh

JM made some debuts from his youngsters and fringe players on Tuesday night which didn’t quite work out, but they will have all benefitted from the occasion. He will return to a strong XI less injury victims Lapslie and Dickenson.

My tickets arrived today (I have persuaded my youngest some to go!). We are situated in the quaintly named Summit Marine Scaffolding Cowshed Stand. The changeable weather at present is likely to see rain showers on Saturday on Merseyside and a temperature of 16 degrees Celsius.

League Table Top 7 places:

Lincoln 6 16
Newport 6 13
Mk Dons 6 12
COL U 6 11
Yeovil 6 11
Oldham 6 11
FGR 6 10

Tranmere are 11th on 9 points, so you can see how tight the table is and the need for Colchester to keep their winning run going again.

This will be a difficult game and one where a good result will send out the right sort of message ahead of the home derby game with Cambridge and another long trip to Boundary Park Oldham before the end of the month.

Safe journey to the travelling faithful.

Enjoy the game. Colchester to edge a thriller.

Up the U’s

Photo: Action Images

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