McGREAL’S AWAY-DAY CHAL­LENGE

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Jon Wal­dron

COLCH­ESTER head coach John McGreal wants his play-off chas­ing side to repli­cate their ex­cel­lent home form on their trav­els at More­cambe to­mor­row.

The U’s con­tin­ued their fine sea­son at the Weston Homes Com­mu­nity Sta­dium by hold­ing al­ready-pro­moted Don­caster Rovers to a hard­earned draw to re­main two points off the top seven, af­ter Mathieu Baudry can­celled out Bren­nan Dick­en­son’s opener.

Colch­ester have won 13 times at home this sea­son but have not tasted vic­tory on the road in League Two in 2017 .

McGreal said: “We made a great start against Don­caster and we keep do­ing that at home – we now have to mir­ror that away from home.

“Hope­fully, we’ll do that at More­cambe on Mon­day but it was a ter­rific strike again by Bren­nan (Dick­en­son) and he has such a pow­er­ful left foot that the ball is past the keeper be­fore he makes the dive.

“I thought we were ex­cel­lent in the first half and it was just dis­ap­point­ing to con­cede late, just be­fore half-time.

“It gave Don­caster a bit of im­pe­tus in the sec­ond half but we fin­ished strongly.”

Don­caster boss Dar­ren Fer­gu­son was dis­ap­pointed with his side’s first-half dis­play but was pleased with their im­prove­ment af­ter that, ahead of their home game with Black­pool.

Fer­gu­son said: “You have to give credit to Colch­ester for the first half.

“We knew that they’d start the game lively but we were just sec­ond to every­thing and we were miles off it.

“It wasn’t ac­cept­able and I don’t care whether we’ve been pro­moted or not, I’m not in­ter­ested.

“At the end of the day, I’m look­ing at things like next sea­son and we want to win the league.

“We’ve kept a six-point gap over Ply­mouth but if we’d have played well in the first half, we prob­a­bly would have won the game com­fort­ably and put the whole thing to bed.”

Colch­ester took a 16thminute lead through Dick­en­son’s spec­tac­u­lar strike, af­ter Drey Wright’s cross had been flicked on by Richard Brind­ley.

And the U’s al­most dou­bled their ad­van­tage four min­utes later when Chris Porter’s im­pres­sive shot rat­tled the post.

But Tom East­man hacked John Mar­quis’ ef­fort off the line, be­fore Baudry headed home Gary McSh­ef­frey’s cor­ner to equalise.

McSh­ef­frey’s free-kick clipped a post early in the sec­ond half, while Colch­ester keeper Sam Walker de­nied Matty Blair and sub­sti­tute Al­fie May, who had raced through on goal from Mar­quis’ pass.

And Colch­ester were de­nied a penalty late on when sub­sti­tute Rekeil Pyke tum­bled in the box un­der Craig Al­cock’s chal­lenge, as the spoils were shared.

PIC­TURES: ProS­ports/ Nigel Cole

LEVEL: Don­caster’s Mathieu Baudry has headed home BRIGHT START: Bren­nan Dick­en­son scores Colch­ester’s goal

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