Colchester have also made an unbeaten start to their league season by collecting two wins and two draws from their opening four fixtures. The U’s recorded consecutive 1-0 victories against Gillingham and Port Vale respectively over the first two weekends before securing a creditable 1-1 draw at promotion hopefuls Sheffield United. Last weekend saw them held to a 1-1 home draw against Carlisle United as a Freddy Sears equaliser secured them a point. That result leaves them lying in fifth place in the SkyBet League One table, four points adrift of table-topping Orient. Manager Joe Dunne will be hoping for a more productive season than last, as the U’s were embroiled in a relegation battle right up until the last weekend, eventually finishing 20th and three points above the drop zone.
One To Watch
If Colchester is to enjoy a trouble-free season, the performance of Freddy Sears is likely to be a major contributing factor. The striker signed a three-year deal with the club in the summer of 2012 following an initial three-month spell on loan at the Community Stadium. Sears first came to prominence back in 2008 when he came off the bench to score the winner on his debut for West Ham United against Blackburn Rovers. Despite showing much promise during his time at Upton Park, Sears eventually left the club by mutual consent in June 2012, before signing for the U’s. The 23-year-old has already netted twice so far this season and will be hoping to improve on last year’s tally of seven league goals for the club.
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The hosts have had the better of this fixture recently, having enjoyed three wins and a draw during the last four encounters. Last season saw Colchester complete a league double over the O’s, winning 2-0 at the Matchroom stadium in October thanks to goals from Anthony Wordsworth and Ian Henderson. The return fixture in April saw Colchester ease their relegation fears with a 2-1 victory, as Kevin Lisbie’s 37th minute strike was reduced to no more than a consolation after earlier strikes from Gavin Massey and Drey Wright. Orient’s last league victory over the U’s came back in January 2011, when Jimmy Smith, Alex Revell, Paul-Jose Mpoku and Jonathan Tehoue were all on target in a 4-2 home win for Russell Slade’s men.
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