|Matches of Yesteryear - U's v Lincoln 26/8/95|
Written by wessex_exile on Tuesday, 13th Aug 2019 13:22
Colchester United v Lincoln City
Saturday 26th August 1995
Division 3 (4th tier)
For Match #3 of the Matches of Yesteryear series, we go all the way back to 1995/96, and what was my first home match of a season that was to turn out to be a fairly eventful one. It had already started quite brightly, beating Plymouth Argyle 2-1 at home, then Bristol City by the same scoreline in the Coca Cola Cup, and then a solid 1-1 draw at Barnet the previous Saturday. After losing the 2nd leg of the Coca Cola cup 2-1 at Ashton Gate, we went to penalties, and it will come as no surprise to long-suffering U’s fans that it was another penalty shoot-out we were to lose (5-3).
I don’t have the functionality right now to upload my own photos on to the internet (hopefully to come soon), so for now I have linked to the above image on Graeson’s excellent ColuData website ( https://www.coludata.co.uk/) – definitely worth a look if you haven’t done so already.
The Lincoln match was one of many that I have managed to attend in August over the years because they fall reasonably closely to my birthday, and were therefore a flimsy excuse to head over to Colchester to see my Mum and family for my birthday – sort of “Hi Mum, I’m here – just off to the football, back in a couple of hours”. Me and my brother-in-law went to this one, standing on the barside terrace for the match.
In the days before squad numbers, the U’s lined up:
8….Tony Dennis (the programme says Tony English)
11..Michael Cheetham (always the first player I sold playing Championship Manager)
14..Steve Mardenborough (programme says Robbie Reinelt)
15..Robbie Reinelt (programme says Tony Dennis)
Pre-match drinks were taken in the Drury, and if ever anyone wants to write an article on the lost football pubs of yesteryear, the Drury has to feature very prominently – never a pub you might pop down to for a quiet pint midweek, or take the missus out for a meal to, but what a place on a matchday! Drinks in the Drury often meant missing the first few minutes of the match, but fortunately not in this case, as Tony Dennis banged two in in quick succession to put the U’s 2-0 after just eight minutes.
Most of the remainder of the game was a bit of a blur to be honest, just one of those wonderful afternoons spent on the barside terrace watching the U’s win comfortably. In the 74th minute, up popped Steve Mardenborough from the bench to score on his debut for the U’s (he’d been signed the same day), to really put the cherry on the cake.
Colchester United 3 (Dennis 2’; Dennis 8’; Mardenborough 74’) v Lincoln 0
First and foremost, and to put the following into context, I had travelled over to the Barnet game at Underhill the previous Saturday, and after a bit of argy-bargy with their stewards about whether or not we could stand on the roofed terrace down one side (rather than sit in the roofless stand behind the goal, which was already over-crammed), I had the pleasure to be part of a very noisy contingent of U’s fans creating an almighty racket for the remainder of the game from the terrace – probably one of the better atmospheres I have experienced, given it was a sub £2k crowd (and easily 6-700 U’s fans). For that reason, I was immensely proud to read in the Lincoln City programme the following from Steve Wignall “Your support at Barnet was greatly appreciated by the players and they felt that you helped pull them through the game, especially later on”. You’re very welcome Steve!
The season was to end as it started, playing Plymouth Argyle again – only this time in the play-offs, and against the backdrop of the ever-charming Colin who declared “little teams like Colchester shouldn’t even be on the same pitch as big clubs like Plymouth”. If they're such a big club, how come we seem to play them surprisingly often?
...oh, and we went out of the FA Cup 1st round against Gravesend & Northfleet
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Although not an avid collector, I recently catalogued my collection of football memorabilia and I have 175 items, mostly programmes, some fanzines, and a few ticket stubs which aren’t accompanied by anything else. I have no idea how many more may have been misplaced during house moves, clear-outs etc., but the collection spans nearly 30 years (the earliest is the programme from our 1990 Boxing Day game against Barnet at Layer Rd), and is almost universally Colchester United related (though not quite all of it). I have decided to try and put this to some use, by choosing one at random prior to each match and writing a short article about the match, maybe the programme, and even any personal recollections I have of the game (notwithstanding enforced enfeeblement due to excessive libation). I will try and do this ahead of each game this season, but my apologies in advance if I don’t quite achieve that.