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Colchester United v Ipswich Town – JobServe Community Stadium – leasing.com Trophy – Tuesday 7:45pm
Colchester United v Ipswich Town – Preview:
RAY CRAWFORD waxed lyrical over his time as a player at both Colchester United and Ipswich Town.
Crawford moved to Portman Road from his home-town club, Portsmouth, in 1958. Then later in his career, he returned to league football with the U’s following a spell with Kettering Town.
And with the pair meeting at the JobServe Community Stadium on Tuesday evening, Crawford insisted the rivalry and will to win will still be evident amongst players and supporters, although he was set firmly on the fence over his preferences.
“I had so many happy times with the two clubs,” Crawford told Yellow Sport.
“I went to Ipswich and played under Sir Alf Ramsey. He was so helpful and supportive. He assisted me in developing as a footballer and a person.
“It couldn’t have gone any better for me at Ipswich. We won the Second Division in 1961, then topped it by winning the First Division at the first attempt the following season. It was terrific. I also got selected for England while I was at Portman Road. They were such good times – such a smashing club.”
Crawford linked up with Colchester, under the guidance of Dickie Graham, in 1970 for the princely sum of £3,000. Of course, he needed little prompting to recall his favourite moment at Layer Road.
“Leeds United, of course,” he beamed.
“What an incredible day, and here we are still talking about it nearly half a century later.”
But with the U’s and Town going head-to-head, albeit in the somewhat calmer waters of the leasing.com Trophy, Crawford insisted the game is of vital importance to both managers.
“I was disappointed with Colchester on Saturday – Coventry bossed them far too easily,” Crawford bemoaned.
“I know there will be changes on Tuesday, but it’s an opportunity to get the negatives out of your system and put in a better performance. Colchester can qualify along with Ipswich – that should give them an extra incentive.
“Ipswich have already beaten Tottenham’s youngsters and Gillingham. Winning has become a bit of a habit and Paul Lambert – although critical of the competition – will want that to continue. He too will shuffle the pack. The boys coming in will want to give the manager something to think about with a good performance.
“Colchester have been going well in League Two and have aspirations on winning promotion. The games with Coventry and Ipswich might give them an indication of how far they need to go to compete should they go up.
“I think a lot of minds at Colchester are firmly focused on Manchester United. However, we have to recognise that success breeds success and we need to keep going on as many fronts as we can.”
Colchester United v Ipswich Town – Head to head:
Colchester United won: 4
Ipswich Town won: 10
Colchester United v Ipswich Town – Last five meetings (all competitions):
September 29, 2006 – Championship
Colchester United 1-0 Ipswich Town
January 20, 2007 – Championship
Ipswich Town 3-2 Colchester United
October 23, 2007 – Championship
Ipswich Town 3-1 Colchester United
April 5, 2008 – Championship
Colchester United 2-0 Ipswich Town
August 26, 2008 – League Cup Second Round
Ipswich Town 2-1 Colchester United
Ray Crawford’s prediction: Colchester United 1-1 Ipswich Town
Jeevesie’s prediction: Colchester United 1-2 Ipswich Town