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Match Previews


26 March 2021

Match Previews


26 March 2021

The Bantams will look to return to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two - when travelling to Colchester United on Saturday afternoon.

The U’s are winless in their last six matches and have slumped to 21st in the table, seven points from the relegation zone.

City have not beaten the Essex-based outfit since September 2014 when they recorded a 2-0 victory at the Jobserve Community Stadium in Sky Bet League One.

We have created this Opposition Guide to take you through all of the information you need to know about Saturday's hosts.


The U’s brought in five new additions during the January window, with four players departing the club. 

INS: Aramide Oteh (Queens Park Rangers, loan), Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu (Charlton Athletic), Josh Doherty (Crawley Town, loan), Frank Nouble (Plymouth Argyle, loan), Michael Folivi (unassigned).

OUTS: Luke Gambin (Newport County, loan), Ollie Kensdale (Concord Rangers), Cohen Bramall (Lincoln City), Luke Norris (Stevenage).


Tommy Smith

After coming through the ranks at Ipswich Town, Smith made over 250 appearances with the Tractor Boys and helped the club to a play-off finish during the 2014/15 Sky Bet Championship season, scoring against Norwich City in the semi-finals. 

The 30-year-old defender signed for Colorado Rapids in 2018 and enjoyed two seasons in the MLS before returning back to England to sign for Sunderland. 

Smith joined Colchester last summer and has been a regular in the squad since his arrival. During his career, he has also represented New Zealand at international level in the 2010 World Cup and 2012 London Olympics.

Dean Gerken

The 35-year-old goalkeeper is a product of the Colchester United academy and played over 100 times for the U’s until he made a permanent move to Bristol City in 2009.

He spent four years at Ashton Gate before joining Ipswich Town in 2013, where he made over 100 appearances. Gerken re-joined Colchester in 2019 and helped the club to the Carabao Cup Quarter-Finals in his first season - beating Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur and Crawley Town on the way.

Callum Harriott

Harriott began his career at Charlton Athletic where he featured 95 times, scoring 12 goals. A loan spell to Colchester United followed before penning a permanent deal at Reading in 2016.

The 27-year-old winger spent three seasons at the Madejski Stadium and returned to the U’s in 2019, following his release from the Royals. Harriott has also been capped at international level by Guyana.


Harry Pell was named club captain ahead of the 2020/21 season, replacing the departing former skipper Luke Prosser.

The 29-year-old midfielder joined Colchester from Cheltenham in 2018, and has made 82 appearances for the U’s, scoring 12 goals and assisting 10. During his 12-year career, he has represented the likes of Bristol Rovers, Hereford United, AFC Wimbledon and Eastleigh.


Wayne Brown was named in charge of the first team on a temporary basis at the end of last month, following the departure of Steve Ball.

He joined the U’s as a youth team coach in 2013 which is where he has remained over the previous eight years.

During his playing career, the 43-year-old operated as a defender for 11 different clubs including Ipswich Town, Watford, Colchester United, Hull City and Leicester City.


Colchester United were denied their first win in seven matches when Tranmere Rovers fought back from a two-goal deficit in Essex.

Colchester United 2 (Pell 30', Sarpong-Wiredu 55')

Tranmere Rovers 2 (Lloyd-McGoldrick 62' pen, Spearing 67')

Sky Bet League Two 

Tuesday March 23

Colchester: Gerken, Tchamadeu, Eastman, Smith, Clampin, Pell, Stevenson, Senior (Cowan-Hallat 89'), Sarpong-Wiredu, Nouble (Folivi 81'), Brown.

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