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06 April 2024 Venue JobServe Community Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Colchester United vs Wrexham

Is a draw enough for either team?

5 April 2024

Colchester United just can't stop drawing, but being hard to beat hasn't stopped them from slipping into the bottom two. Wrexham, meanwhile, have drawn just 3 in the last 25 games, and know that only reeling off the wins will keep the chasing pack at arm's length.


Phil Parkinson returns to the club where he cut his managerial teeth with that familiar promotion run-in feeling. He took over at Colchester in February 2003 and ensured they didn't drop into League Two. Three seasons later he steered them to second place and promotion to The Championship, despite having the lowest attendance in the division. 

Last Tuesday's defeat meant we failed to take advantage of the poor results suffered by our promotion rivals the day before. Parkinson will have some interesting options to ponder after substitutions brought more energy in the second half: George Evans got some meaningful minutes as he continued his return from injury, which enabled Tom O'Connor to return to the central defensive role he excelled in earlier this season. 


Such a change would bring about the possibility of moving James McClean back into central midfield, although Jacob Mendy wasn't ready to take a place on the bench at Doncaster. Ryan Barnett made an impact as a half time substitute on the right as well, throwing his hat into the ring.



Colchester have been drawn into the relegation battle by the rejuvenation of Sutton United and Forest Green Rovers, and slipped into the dreaded bottom two on Easter Monday. If that seems counter-inituitive, as they won 4 points over the Easter weekend, it's equally odd that they've slipped into the relegation zone despite their results improving markedly since a change of manager four months ago.

United dispensed with manager Matty Etherington after a home defeat to Gillingham on New Year's Day which was an 8th defeat in 9 games in all competitions. They pulled off a coup when highly-rated managerial team, Danny and Nicky Cowley, were appointed to take the team forwards.

It's going to be a good atmosphere...we just have to make sure we turn up and start fast

-Fiacre Kelleher, Colchester and former Wrexham centre back.

The Cowley brothers started out at Concord Rangers, earning three promotions before taking Braintree Town into the National League play-offs. They then did a remarkable job at Lincoln City, winning two promotions and steering The Imps to the last 8 in the FA Cup. They then took on a sleeping giant in Portsmouth before having a year's sabbatical in which, among other things, Danny observed the practises of Brighton coach Roberto De Zerbi.

He told the Daily Mirror: "He's pretty much reinventing the game at Brighton. Some of his ideas are just incredible. We're always trying to tweak our ideas and our ways to find a better way of working. We talk a lot about philosophies now - I'm never quite sure that football is that complicated. If you look at the likes of Johann Cruyff, Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and in more recent times somebody like De Zerbi, they all have their own philosophies that they've created. They're geniuses at work and it's always a pleasure to be able to watch them; I think with the rest of us, there's probably a bit of imitation. That's okay as well.

"I look at football and I think it's great the way the game is going. The modern game is such a tactical one: not only are you trying to outwork and outfight opponents, now you're trying to outthink and outwit them.

"You're seeing a lot of clubs adopting that model of a director of football which then enables a head coach to focus on the work on the grass and improving the team."

"You look at the younger ones coming in but then you've also got the likes of Ange Postecoglou; look at what he's doing at Spurs with that group at Premier League level. The way he's stripped it back, the way he communicates and his language is fantastic.

"It just shows you that there are many different ways of having success. He very much is probably a little bit more old school; a little bit more around man-management and forging that connection with the player. Mine and Nicky's ambition is to live somewhere in the middle: a modern way of working with the old school values."

The Cowleys made an instant, sustained impact: from losing 8 out of 9 games, Colchester have since become extremely difficult to beat, losing just twice in 13 games under the new regime. The problem is that they've only won 2 in that time, so despite introducing much-needed stability to the team, the Cowley brothers need to add a ruthless streak.

At least they have games in hand, as problems with the pitch at the Colchester Community Stadium have caused postponements. That led to an unusual turn of events three weeks ago when the EFL gave permission for them to reduce the size of their pitch, as it was drainage issues at the extremities of the playing area which were causing the issues.. The dimensions are now 4 metres narrower and 3 metres shorter as a result, which won't hinder the battling spirit and tight shape which has characterised Colchester under the Crowleys. 

Not only have they instilled the sort of fighting spirit needed to win a battle for survival, but the prospect of a full house on Saturday has offered up an opportunity to rally the fans around the cause. Danny Crowley told the Colchester Gazette:

“For us to hear that the Wrexham game is sold out in the home end is just incredible from the people of Colchester and the people of Essex. What a great opportunity!

“I think there’s going to be some supporters who are yet to see this Colchester United team. This is a different Colchester United team to one that they may have seen, in the past.

“It has to start somewhere. I remember at Lincoln City, when we first went there, there were maybe 2,000 supporters, 1,300 season-ticket holders; within a year, we had 7,500 season-ticket holders and were playing in front of 10,000 every week.


We go into Saturday’s game looking to win and take nothing other than three points.

-Alastair Smith, Colchester midfielder.


“Anything is possible and you have to believe first and really believe in what you do and the way that you work. What do they say in Field of Dreams? If you build it, they will come and we’re trying to build something.

“The ambition is for us to play really well on Saturday and for those supporters who are coming for the first time or maybe only come occasionally, we want them to come every game. If we can create that connection in the ground, then who wouldn’t want to support Colchester United?

“Our support since we’ve been here has been brilliant. The people who come to every home game and those who come to every home and away game, we’re so appreciative of their support. With the position that the team finds themselves in, to see everybody so motivated to try and help and support the team has meant a lot I think to everybody connected to the club.

“I don’t know where else in the country you see teams in the position that we’re in being sold out. We’re thankful to the people of Colchester that they can see that the boys are fighting really hard, that are really committed to the cause and for their help and their support."

Despite dropping into the relegation zone, Colchester enjoyed a good Easter weekend, following up a win against Newport County with a good point at Tranmere. They had to endure a lot of pressure at Prenton Park, especially in the first half, and the performance of The Us goalkeeper Owen Goodman drew praise from an unexpected quarter. Rovers manager Nigel Adkins was fulsome in his praise for Goodman, telling Tranmere's YouTube channel: "Their goalkeeper was exceptional for them.

"It was an outstanding goalkeeping performance by the opposition goalkeeper that's kept them in the game. The amount of 'oohs' and 'aahs' we had with it going over the bar or just past the post with the shots we had. We played some really good attacking football."

Tranmere took a 7th minute lead through ex-Wrexham winger Kieron Morris, but were immediately pegged back as Alastair Smith scored a beauty less than a minute later. He told the Colchester Gazette:

“It’s something that I know I’ve got in my locker. It’s been a while since I’ve scored a goal like that, so it was a really nice feeling. It felt really good when it left my foot and it was nice to see it nestle in.

"It’s something I know I can do and I felt I was unlucky against Newport when I hit the underside of the bar and in the second half, the keeper made a really good save from one of my shots, too so I knew it was coming.”

“If you’re coming away from home and getting a point, it’s always a good thing because you could leave with zero. It’s a point gained and we can’t look at it any other way. We can’t look at the other teams and we’ve got to keep taking care of our games. If you start looking at what other teams are doing, you take your eye off the ball, so we’re really just focusing on us.

“We took four points from the Easter weekend, a busy schedule and long trip to Tranmere and we go into the home games with loads of confidence.

“Sometimes in certain games, you work it out later than others. You can’t come away and expect to dominate 90 minutes. Usually, we start really well but it seemed like we were really on the back foot. My goal might have settled us into the game and it felt like a big moment at the time. As soon as we worked it out in the second half, we got a lot more control. We passed the ball and I think we always look a better side when we do that. When you do that, you build confidence in yourself and in the team.

“I think we just edged it and were the better side and we have to capitalise on that.”



For the second time in 5 days we’re travelling to a new venue on Saturday. Having played at Doncaster’s Eco Power Stadium for the first time on Wednesday, we  now make our first journey to the Colchester Community Stadium.

We signed off from their traditional home, Layer Road, in the grand manner. Neil Danns, father of Liverpool prodigy Jayden, gave Colchester the lead at the start of the second half, but Neil Roberts equalised and Chris Llewellyn struck in the final minute to earn the win. The Colchester manager that day was a certain Phil Parkinson (although in the interests of balance I have to point out that his team did the league double over us the season before.)

Saturday's game is a sell-out, which means the attendance will fall just short of the biggest to attend a Wrexham game in Colchester: 10,628 in 1947 for our first clash, an FA Cup tie which then-non-league United won 1-0.


Perhaps our most significant game there came in December 1961. United were top of the Fourth Division but we were breathing down their necks and started the game in sensational manner. Wyn Davies opened the scoring in the first minute, and then added a second 5 minutes later.

Ron Barnes put us 3-0 up at the break, but United would fight back with Martyn King, who would go on to play up front for us, beat debutant keeper Kevin Keelan to narrow the gap. When Colchester made it 3-2 half way through the second half it looked like there’d be a grandstand finish, but we struck back immediately when Micky Metcalf won a penalty. Player-manager Ken Barnes, whose prowess from the spot was well known, stroked the ball home and we would go on to earn promotion.

We controlled the game from that point to run out 4-2 winners – the local press report described our second half performance as “near immaculate” – and both sides were promoted at the end of the season.

We matched that scoreline in October 1992: Gary Bennett gave us the lead and while United equalised just before the break, Barry Jones scored in the last minute of the first half to restore our lead.

Colchester wouldn’t give up, and grabbed a second equaliser, but Bennett and Karl Connolly both struck to secure victory.

We were promoted that season as well, and also beat United 4-2 at home when we were promoted in 1970, so if you’re superstitious you’ll be hoping for another 4-2 win on Saturday. I’ll be hoping for one regardless!


Accrington Stanley v Crewe Alexandra
AFC Wimbledon v Salford City
Barrow v Swindon Town
Bradford City v Gillingham
Forest Green Rovers v Milton Keynes Dons
Grimsby Town v Newport County
Mansfield Town v Crawley Town
Morecambe v Doncaster Rovers
Notts County v Harrogate Town
Sutton United v Stockport County
Tranmere Rovers v Walsall
Who knows what will happen today in this most crazy of run-ins? On paper the league leaders ought to relish a trip to the 22nd side, but Stockport instead face a Sutton team which has won its last 4 games. Mansfield entertain Crawley, who have won 4 of their last 6 games to edge into the play-off places.
Looking at the teams which are chasing us, the theme of top versus bottom continues: Milton Keynes Dons travel to bottom side Forest Green Rovers, who pulled off a jaw-dropping 3-0 win at Crewe on Monday. Barrow have what looks like a straightforward home game against Swindon Town, and Crewe look to get back on track at Accrington.


Jacob Mendy's 200th career appearance.

Sam Dalby's 175th career appearance.

Tom O'Connor's 75th Wrexham appearance.


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Match Reports

REPORT | Colchester United 1-2 Wrexham AFC

Wrexham climb into second place after spirited comeback victory in Essex

6 April 2024

Max Cleworth’s 85th minute header completed an inspired comeback, as Paul Mullin scored his 100th goal for the Club, on a day when Wrexham AFC moved up to second place in the Sky Bet League Two table.

A low-key first half performance meant that chances were few and far between at the JobServe Community Stadium, as Wrexham failed to register a shot on target. 

John Akinde opened the scoring nine minutes into the second half, as his low strike nestled into the net to give Colchester the advantage. 

However, Mullin fired back just eight minutes later, as he headed home a crucial equaliser to bring the Red Dragons back into the match. 

Cleworth then scored late on into the second half with time running out, as the young centre-back netted his first goal of the season, earning a vital three points for Wrexham. 

Phil Parkinson decided to make four changes to the Starting XI which faced Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night, as he brought in Ryan Barnett, George Evans, Jacob Mendy and Steven Fletcher. 

That meant a much-needed rest for Elliot Lee, who has played the most minutes of any player in the Wrexham squad this season. 

Parkinson made his managerial debut for the U’s, and gained promotion into the Championship with Colchester in 2006. 

However, with the battle for promotion heating up and coming into the final strides of the season, there wasn’t much room for any sentimentality in Essex. 

United got the game underway, but it was clear to see that it was going to be a difficult occasion for the Red Dragons. 

With pitch issues causing problems for the hosts in recent weeks, the EFL granted approval for the pitch dimensions to be altered. 

However, the surface at the JobServe Community Stadium was still clearly not in the best shape, following drainage issues which had caused a number of postponements in February and March. 

Colchester had a penalty shout waved away after 14 minutes, as Jay Mingi went down under pressure from Mendy, but referee Tom Reeves pointed for a corner and ignored the hosts’ appeals. 

Just a minute later Paul Mullin seemed to be through on goal with a golden opportunity to break the deadlock, but the pitch held up a quick through ball and stuttered Wrexham’s progress into the final third. 

Mullin still managed to get a shot away, but when he did it was just wide of Goodman’s goal, as the search continued for an opener. 

In an end-to-end battle, Danny Cowley’s side almost managed to land a breakthrough blow to the Red Dragons, as Connor Hall fired over in the 17th minute. 

Wrexham were handed an unfortunate blow, as Mendy struggled to deal with an earlier knock picked up at the JobServe Community Stadium.

As a result, Lee was soon enough called into action though, as Mendy couldn’t continue and Parkinson was forced into making a change after 34 minutes. 

Mullin and Eoghan O’Connell had chances late on in the first-half, but neither could be capitalised on as Parkinson’s side headed into the break level. 

The U’s came out strongly for the second-half, as John Akinde started to cause problems with his physical presence up top. 

A warning shot in the 49th minute from Colchester’s number 24 set the tone, before his low strike from outside the box just five minutes later broke the deadlock. 

Okonkwo got a hand on the effort, but it wasn’t enough as Akinde’s effort rose into the net. 

Just as Ollie Palmer and Jack Marriott looked set to come on though, Wrexham struck a breakthrough against their stubborn hosts. 

Barnett and Andy Cannon had linked-up well down the right, and eventually the wing-back found himself in a good amount of space after 62 minutes. 

The wing-back delivered an impeccably timed ball towards Mullin, who made no mistake in heading it past Goodman for his 100th goal in a Wrexham shirt, at a crucial point in the game. 

Celebrations were a touch subdued, but with the importance of all three points in a tightly-contested promotion race, it’s no surprise that Wrexham’s talisman ran straight back to the halfway line for the restart.

Time started to run out in Essex, but come the crucial final moments, Wrexham’s famous character was there in full abundance for all to see as they completed an emphatic comeback with five minutes to spare. 

Once ahead, nothing was going to stop Wrexham from claiming a crucial win on the road, as the Red Dragons saw out the final moments expertly to ensure they’d be travelling back to North Wales with all three points. 

Wrexham AFC: Okonkwo, Cleworth, O'Connell, O'Connor, Barnett (Bolton 83’), Evans, Cannon, McClean, Mendy (Lee 34’), Mullin (C) (Marriott 83’), Fletcher (Palmer 65’).

Subs not used: Howard, Tozer, J.Davies.

Colchester United: Goodman, Iandolo (Fevrier 66'), Hall, Dallison (Jay 88'), McGeehan, Hopper (Ihionvien 88'), Read, Anderson, Mingi, Akinde (Tovide 66'), Smith (Chilvers 80').

Subs not used: Hornby, Kelleher, Jay. 

Match attendance: 8,432 (1,278 Away)

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Ticket News

TICKET NEWS | Colchester United (A) on sale from Friday March 8

Tickets for our trip to the JobServe Community Stadium on sale from Friday

6 March 2024

Tickets for our Sky Bet League Two fixture against Colchester United will go on sale to Season Ticket holders and Club members from Friday March 8.

As in line with our previous away fixtures, Season Ticket holders will have the opportunity to purchase tickets from 10am, followed by Club members at 2pm.

The fixture takes place at 3pm on Saturday April 6 and we have been allocated 1,690 unreserved seating tickets in total for our fixture at the JobServe Community Stadium.

There will be no online queuing system in place for supporters purchasing tickets, so all you will need to do is log on to the e-ticketing website at the appropriate time.

How To Purchase Tickets

Tickets can be bought via our eTicketing website, at the below prices, with both Season Ticket Holders and Members being limited to one ticket per account, and a maximum of 6 tickets in one transaction (applicable for both online and in-person purchases).

For instructions on how to ensure you have activated your eTicketing account and have the correct privileges attached, please see this guide.

While we appreciate our fans wish to support the team, we urge supporters without a ticket to not attend the game. 

Anyone who attempts to buy tickets in the home end will be ejected, and no refund will be given.

The Club wishes to remind supporters that queuing for tickets at the Club Shop does not guarantee you a ticket for the fixture, and we strongly advise you to purchase online to avoid disappointment.

Any tickets, should they remain, will be released for general sale on Monday, March 11 at 10am.

Ticket Collections and Delivery

Colchester United have very kindly offered a collection facility for our supporters from the JobServe Stadium; however, this should only be used as a last resort.

To avoid lengthy queues on the day of the game and ensure that you can make it into the stadium for kick-off, we strongly advise fans to collect from the STōK Cae Ras in advance.

Tickets can be collected from the STōK Cae Ras, where you will have to provide proof of purchase through your booking reference. We cannot accept postcodes or any other information for collections.

Should anyone wish to collect on behalf of another supporter, as outlined above a booking reference will be required.

Tickets cannot be collected from 90 minutes before kick-off on a home matchday.

All uncollected tickets will be taken to the JobServe Stadium, but reprints must be requested via the Ticket Office by 3pm on Friday April 5.

Although seating is unreserved, all tickets will be individually numbered - supporters need to take note of this number, as this will be required in order to reprint the ticket.

There are no provisions for reprints on the day – so supporters need to take care of their ticket once received.

Supporters will have the option of collecting tickets from the STōK Cae Ras or through tracked and signed delivery.

For future away fixtures there will be the option of collecting your match ticket from the STōK Cae Ras or through tracked delivery.

Should you select the tracked postal delivery it will cost you an additional £8 for the service – regardless of the number of tickets which you purchase as a network for the fixture.

Ticket Pricing

Colchester United will be running a progressive pricing structure for this fixture, with price dependent on the date of purchase.

Initially, prices will be set at the Early Bird rate, which as follows below.

Adults - £16.75

Concessions* - £12

U18 - £9.25

*(65+, U21, Ambulant Disabled, NHS & Armed Forces)

All purchases from March 12 will follow the Super Saver rate, which is outlined below.

Adults - £18.25

Concessions* - £13.25

U18 - £10.25

*(65+, U21, Ambulant Disabled, NHS & Armed Forces)

All purchases from March 18 will follow the Saver rate, which is outlined below.

Adults - £21

Concessions* - £14.25

U18 - £10.75

*(65+, U21, Ambulant Disabled, NHS & Armed Forces)

All purchases from April 1 will follow the Advance rate, which is outlined below.

Adults - £21.50

Concessions* - £16.25

U18 - £12.25

*(65+, U21, Ambulant Disabled, NHS & Armed Forces)

There will be no sales on the day at the JobServe Stadium.

All carer tickets are free of charge.

Accessible Tickets

Accessible tickets can now be purchased online for this game, speeding up the ticketing process for supporters.

We have 6 pairs of wheelchair tickets for the fixture, which can be purchased online.

All users who are eligible have already had their ticketing accounts updated with the required information and required number of companions.

As such, users will simply need to login to their accounts and it will automatically pick-up whether they are an ambulant disabled customer, or wheelchair user and allow them access to select the area which meets their requirements.

Users will only be able to select the number of companion tickets required in accordance with their eligibility criteria (i.e. a user eligible for one companion ticket will only be able to select one companion ticket).

Companion tickets will be auto-allocated to their own "companion" account which has already been created for each eligible user, will not affect the “one ticket per member” policy, and must be purchased with an accessible ticket (companion tickets cannot be purchased on their own).

Supporters requiring additional support with accessible tickets should contact Wrexham AFC Disability Liaison Officer Kerry Evans, on

Away Travel

Official supporter travel will also be available for this game, via our eTicketing website. Coaches will depart from Mold Road at 7am and be priced at £37 for Adults, and £35 for Under 16’s.

Away travel will go on sale at 10am, in-line with the ticket policy and will be sold online only.

Please note, the buses will depart at 7am, and there will be no provisions for those who arrive late. Supporters must make note of their designated coach on the ticket and only board the coach they’ve been allocated to.

All under-14s must be accompanied on official supporter travel, and alcohol is strictly prohibited by law.

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