Snow blow for John-Joe

COLCHESTER United are facing up to the fact they will be without influential midfielder John-Joe O'Toole for their crunch match against Norwich City.

Stuart Watson

By Stuart Watson

COLCHESTER United are facing up to the fact they will be without influential midfielder John-Joe O'Toole for their crunch match against Norwich City.

The U's are scheduled to play at Yeovil Town on Saturday, but the chances of the League One tie going ahead is now down to just 30% according to Glovers boss Terry Skiverton.


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Should the game be postponed, the second game of O'Toole's two-match suspension would carry forward to the U's next game - the crunch visit of East Anglian rivals Norwich on January 16.

O'Toole - who signed permanently for the U's on New Year's Day - received his punishment after picking up his 10th booking in 19 games for Colchester in the recent home win over Southampton.

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The 21-year-old's was conspicuous by his absence in Colchester's humiliating 7-0 FA Cup defeat at Preston last weekend, his combative presence badly missed as the goals flew in.

U's fans had breathed a sigh of relief that he would be returning to the side for the sell-out visit of third-place Norwich, but the combination of heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures in Somerset has left the prospects of any play at Huish Park on Saturday very bleak.

“If I go out there now, then the game would definitely be off for the weekend,” said Yeovil boss Skiverton. “You never know with the conditions, but I'd say it's about 70-30 against that the game is going to be on.”

Yeovil's match at Leyton Orient last Saturday was postponed because of a frozen pitch at the Matchroom Stadium and it looks probable that the Glovers - whose offices were shut yesterday - will now have a second successive game called off.

Colchester have had just one game postponed this winter when their scheduled home match against Carlisle United was called off on December 19 due to heavy snow in Essex. That game has now been rearranged for Tuesday, February 2 (7.45pm ko), just six days before the visit of Essex rivals Southend.

An experienced U's side had been due to host Maldon Town in the Essex Senior Cup on Tuesday night, but the game at the Weston Homes Community Stadium was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Pat Baldwin and David Perkins both returned to Colchester following loan spells at Bristol Rovers and Chesterfield this week and had been due to play.

- For all the latest news on the U's, follow Stuart_Watson on twitter.

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