Crawford impressed with U’s battling qualities

Colchester United v Rochdale – Sky Bet League Two – JobServe Community Stadium – Tuesday (7:45pm) – Preview

Ray Crawford gave a nod of approval after battling Colchester United earned a deserved share of the Sky Bet League Two spoils against high-flying Swindon Town, despite finishing the match with nine men.

Goalkeeper, Shamal George and defender, Luke Chambers both saw red during a highly charged encounter in which the Robins led deep into stoppage-time thanks to a Harry McKirdy goal midway through the second half.

But the U’s dug deep. Substitute, John Akinde flicked on an Owura Edwards corner – Emyr Huws arriving to guide home from close range sparking wild scenes amongst the home crowd, encouraged by what they had seen.

“I think the supporters can be proud of the team, ” Crawford told Yellow Sport.

“We have found some extra energy from somewhere, taken four points off teams in the top half of the table and proved that we have something about us.

“Make no mistake, Swindon are a very good side. At times, we had to hang in the game. That became all the more difficult after Shamal was sent-off.

“Ted Collins did remarkably well coming in. He showed no fear. The second sending off came late in the game. We’d remained in touch and just needed one big chance.

“John Akinde dis what he does best, causing a nuisance, getting a flick to the corner. Huws was ‘Johnny on the spot’ – it was great to see the new players making an impact. The result gave us some breathing space and has set us up for a big week.”

The U’s host Rochdale on Tuesday evening before heading to Leyton Orient on Saturday: “These are now games we must be targeting,” Crawford added.

“Rochdale are towards the bottom with us. We can draw level on points with them by winning and potentially jump a couple of places too.

“They have just played out back-to-back goalless draws with Bradford and Oldham. They’ve drawn eleven matches this season. I don’t think their league position tells the full story.

“It’s going to be a tight game, but we now have a little bit of momentum and confidence. I think the last two Saturday’s have proved that we too are better than our league position suggests. The players must continue to show that belief and never say die attitude because above all, the supporters deserve it.

“Personally, I’m feeling quite confident that Colchester can guide themselves further away from the relegation zone, starting with a win over Rochdale on Tuesday night.”

Ray Crawford’s prediction: Colchester United 2-0 Rochdale
Jeevesie’s prediction: Colchester United 1-0 Rochdale

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk