After a disappointing end to 2018 Reds will look to make it a more promising start to 2019 with a positive result on New Year's Day. Colchester will not make this easy, as they currently are challenging for automatic promotion after a good first half of the season.
The reverse fixture between the two sides ended 3-1 to Colchester as Filipe Morais’ penalty didn’t effect the outcome of the game.
Since the last time the sides met the two teams have gone in different directions. Colchester have stormed up the table looking to get themselves into an automatic promotion spot, whereas Reds have slipped down the table and currently are looking over our shoulders dangerously as other teams start to creep up on us.
It’s not been an inspiring few months for Crawley as poor results have led to a huge slip down the table. Injuries and suspension haven’t helped the Reds with injuries to Filipe Morais, Lewis Young, Romain Vincelot and Jimmy Smith leaving them all side lined in recent weeks and Mark Connolly made a return to the action on Boxing Day against Cambridge and in the game at Newport County.
The game against Colchester is also the last game of Ollie Palmer’s five game suspension and many fans will be happy to see him back in the team on Saturday against Cheltenham. Many fans feel Palmer’s aerial presence has been missed throughout his suspension and the fans will be glad to see him back.
Colchester have been very good this season as they sit in and around the automatic promotion places.
Two key players for Colchester this season have been Sammie Szmodics and Luke Norris as they have been Colchester’s main men going forward and provide a lot of danger on the attack. It was counter attacking football by Colchester in the reverse fixture that out done the Reds and the defence will have to be weary of the pace in Colchester’s attack.
It will certainly be a tricky afternoon all over the pitch as not only do Colchester present a very good attack, they also have a very strong defence. This was up to a couple of weeks ago where they were thumped 4-0 at Carlisle United and on Boxing Day where they were defeated 2-1 by Stevenage. A tricky match all over the field is set for Reds and it is time to end this poor form.