Colchester United welcome Exeter City to the JobServe Community Stadium in the first leg of the League Two play-off finals on Thursday evening, with both teams looking to book their place at Wembley for the final.
As the sporting world continues its journey back to normality, fans from both clubs will be excited and nervous as their sides do battle once more to try and get their way back up the footballing pyramid.
Colchester United, led by Head Coach John McGreal, have been absent from the third tier for four years following their relegation from League One in 2016.
Meanwhile, Matt Taylor’s Exeter City side are bidding to end their eight-year stay in League Two with promotion.
Prior to the postponement of the season, both sides were in mixed form with fifth-placed Exeter failing to win in their previous four games whilst sixth-placed Colchester had lost three of their last five outings.
If previous fixtures are anything to go by, we should expect to see a closely contested match with both league meetings this season ending in a draw. The first fixture saw an exciting match which saw four goals and a red card as both teams shared the points, however, history did not repeat itself in January when the two teams played out a goalless encounter at St James Park.
Both sides have no fresh injury concerns so fans can expect to see strong starting lineups on Thursday.
Exeter will be looking to club top scorer Ryan Bowmen who has netted 13 goals for the Grecians this season.
Colchester fans would have been relieved to hear the news that their star striker Theo Robinson has extended his loan from Southend United until the end of the play-offs. The Jamaican international has scored 11 goals and provided three assists across the season and will be pivotal in the U’s play-off attempt.
Previous results show that there is very little to separate the sides and, if form before lockdown applies, neither side is in a winning mood so it’s difficult to see a winner on the day. It may well take a penalty shootout in the second leg to divide the teams.
Match preview written by Dan Chenery.