Colchester United v Marine – Emirates FA Cup first round – JobServe Community Stadium – Saturday 3pm – Preview
It will come as little surprise to supporters of Colchester United that Ray Crawford loves the FA Cup.
Almost fifty years on from Crawford’s double helping the U’s to a famous 3-2 fifth-round victory over Don Revie’s Leeds United at a ram-packed Layer Road, the former frontman looks on in the hope his former club might replicate something similar to that of Dick Graham’s ‘Dad’s Army’ and write their own piece of history.
“The memories are still fresh, I’d love the Colchester boys to do something like we did,” Crawford told Yellow Sport.
“The Carabao Cup run last season was wonderful. Lots of people made comparisons which was great. I love the fact our team is still fondly remembered. You want the current team to have that sort of accolade – something generations of fans will talk about for years to come.
Colchester faces Marine FC in Saturday’s first-round tie at the JobServe Community Stadium, a side currently occupying ninth place in the Northern Premier League North-West Division. It’s a game Steve Ball’s men should negotiate comfortably, but Crawford warned of the pitfalls.
“For every Leeds, there’s a Bedlington Terriers,” he added.
“Colchester must treat the game like any other. Be professional, give the opposition the respect they deserve. The Marine lads have already worked extremely hard just to get here. They won’t want to pass up the opportunity of testing themselves properly against league opposition.
“Back in 1970/71, we played Ringmer and Barnet before we got anywhere near Leeds and Everton. Both gave it their lot – Marine will be the same.
“Nevertheless, Colchester are looking good at the moment. A league win over Stevenage during the week will have lifted confidence further and if we approach this one correctly then we should have too much and book a place in the next round.”
Ray Crawford’s prediction: Colchester United 3-0 Marine
Jeevesie’s prediction: Colchester United 4-1 Marine