After a thrilling seven-goal thriller in the win against Forest Green last Saturday, Notts now travel to Essex to play 20th placed Colchester United. Notts go into this gagainst a side 19 places below them, but it won’t be as easy as it might look on paper…
The U’s go into this game with just two wins and one draw from their eight games, but that includes three games against the biggest teams in the league where they could have won all three of them. They recently played out a 1-1 draw with in-form Mansfield Town, where Colchester were leading until the 90th minute until Mansfield Town’s Davis Keillor-Dunn got a late equaliser, and meant that points were shared. They have also beat second-place Gillingham 3-0 away from home with all three goals coming in the last half-hour, the Gills have been a difficult team to score against this season, so to score three before they went down to ten-men is very impressive indeed. Another game to mention is their 3-2 loss to the quality of MK Dons, Colchester were winning 2-1 in just 13 minutes, however two late goals from the Dons, coming in the 88th and 100th minutes, meant that the U’s were unable to hold on to their lead and left the game with 0 points. These three games in particular show that the club have quality, pushing three of the best teams in the league to the end, and dominating in one the games, shows that they are not going to a push-over, despite what people might think given their place in the table.
One of their best players this season has been the Welsh u21 player Joe Taylor, who is on loan from Premier League side Luton Town. The striker has five goals and one assist in eight league games for the club, as well as one goal in just 45 minutes of Carabao Cup action at just 20-years-old. Taylor is the eighth top goal-scorer in League Two, on par with Langstaff and his game is very similar to Macaulay’s with the player liking to be in the box and on the end of crosses, running through on goal from through balls, and putting relentless pressure on the opposition backline – a prolific poacher for Colchester. He is also a player who will test the goalkeeper at every chance he gets, so whenever he is in the box you can bet that he will have a shot at goal. Finally, Joe Taylor is a player that relishes the big occasions as four out of five of his goals have come against the biggest teams in the league, Bradford, MK Dons and Mansfield – they may not have won any of those games, but you can be sure that he will put his team in the best position to win those games by being the class striker that he is – Notts will need to be keeping an eye out for Colchester’s number 25!
One player that could be very important for the Magpies on Saturday is defender Richard Brindley, who will be playing against his former club. The 30-year-old defender has been given a new role this season, moving to the centre of a back-three instead of on the right, swapping positions with Aden Baldwin - since this change, he has been irreplaceable, and been one of our best defenders, if not, our best defender. His composure will be very key against Colchester with the striker Joe Taylor, as aforementioned, liking to press the backline, and if he loses the ball in his position, as the last defender, then there will be no-one in behind to cover, and the striker’s ability to score one-on-one will be shown. Brindley will also be needing to sweep the backline efficiently as the home side will be looking to play in behind our left and right centre-backs, so he will be needing to be on top of his game to help keep out their prolific goal scorer. If he continues his great performances from recently, I have no reason to believe that we won’t keep out Joe Taylor and rest of the Colchester attack, but it will be a very big test for him, nevertheless.