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It’s a long time since Burnley signed midfielder Andy Farrell from Colchester, 36 years to be exact, but tonight he’s taking team back to his home town to play them in the Professional Development League.

The game ends an interesting seven days for the team. On Friday of last week, we were close to beating Cardiff in the league, only to concede an equaliser just a couple of minutes before the final whistle. Three days ago, we conceded similarly against Barrow in the Lancashire Senior Cup final, held over from last season, before winning the trophy on penalties.

That draw against Cardiff followed a defeat at Millwall which sees us go into the game in tenth place in our eleven team northern group of the league. Colchester, on the other hand, site third in the south with two wins and a defeat. They started with a 3-0 win at Peterborough and followed that up with a 3-2 success at home when Barnsley were the visitors.

Last Monday, they suffered a big 4-0 defeat at the hands of Crewe but Matthew Etherington is likely to be able to call up some experienced players for this game which will make it tougher for us.

In the 2017/18 season, we were beaten twice at Colchester. We were grouped with them in the Premier League Cup and won the home game 3-0 with a Nahki Wells hat trick and a goal from Tinashe Chakwana. Unfortunately, we were beaten 3-0 at Colchester in the away game, a result that meant we didn’t qualify for the knock outs. Later in the season they beat us 1-0 in the league, again at Colchester.

We got the better of them in the next season. This time the league game was at home; Rob Harker scored twice with Ben Woods also on the scoresheet in a 3-0 win. And it was all square in 2019/20 when both Ali Koiki and Lewis Richardson scored in a 2-2 away draw.

Last season, saw this fixture return with us dropping back to Category 2 and it was a Burnley win away from home again with Tom Tweedy and the currently injured Renaldo Torraj scoring in the 2-1 victory, the Torraj goal coming four minutes from time.

Our team for that game was Charlie Casper, Alex Healy-Byrne (Keelan Williams 57), Dan Sassi, Jack Turner, Brad Grant, Trialist (Renaldo Torraj 57), Joe Bauress, Jez Davies, Will Hugill, Tom Tweedy, Joe Westley. Subs not used: Harry Moss, Wiktor Gromek, Rohan Vaughan.

Colchester’s home game against Barnsley was played at Maldon & Tiptree but tonight the game will be at their Jobserve Community Stadium. It’s open to spectators with admission at £5 for adults and £3 concessions.

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