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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's 21:01 - Sep 11 with 658 viewsdurham_exile

After the disappointment of a narrow defeat to Exeter City in the play offs, Colchester United, now under the new management of Head Coach Steve Ball and Assistant Hayden Mullins, start their fifth successive season in League Two away to one of the favourites for promotion Bradford City at Valley Parade.

The Bantams are managed for the fourth time by Stuart McCall and include some well-known players Lee Novak, Billy Clarke, and everyone’s favourite pantomime villain Kurtis Guthrie. Normally a 14,000 attendance would have been willing them on, but COVID-19 has put paid to that. Even Cambridge United’s 2,000 supporters will not be present at the Abbey Stadium after the Government’s new restrictions on social gatherings.

All of this is bad news for Colchester United Exiles like me who will miss vital away games in the coming weeks. Still restricting the possibility of a second wave must take priority however disappointing for the spectators at various sporting events.

I will be considering a “prospects for the season” in the coming days but for now must content myself with a preview of this Bantams game only.

Pre-season injuries to Chuck Norris and Tom Lapslie have affected the team, but after the loss of six first teamers we have redressed the balance somewhat with new arrivals in the form of Shamall George, Martell Taylor-Crossdale and Tommy Smith. There is the further possibility of another striker from Pompey Reeco Hackett-Fairchild but competition from Hull City.

Now I am totally clear about the U’s starting XI in a 4,4,1,1 formation and squad numbers:

Dean Gerken (1)

Miquel Scarlett (17) Tom Eastman (18) Tommy Smith (5) Cohen Bramall (3)

Noah Chilvers (14) Harry Pell (8) Ben Stevenson (24) Kwame Poku (23)

Jevani Brown (10)

Martell Taylor-Crossdale (15)

Subs:
Shamal George (29), Miles Welch-Hayes (2), Omar Sowunmi (6), Courtney Senior (7), Luke Gambin (26), Callum Harriott (11), Paris Cowan-Hall (12)

Thinking - the back four has had a reshuffle with Scarlett and Smith coming in. Miles Welch-Hayes would be another possible right back, but I think Scarlett just has the starting XI nod over him at present.

In midfield Noah Chilvers is a definite with new club captain Harry Pell and my favourite Ben Stevenson with Kwame Poku giving a youthful look.

Playing in the 10 position that he was originally bought to occupy is Jevani Brown (revitalised after three early goals) and then as the lone striker Martell Taylor-Crossdale who simply must start tomorrow.

The weather tomorrow will be 14 degrees Celsius and mostly sunny. The advantage of playing at Valley Parade early in the season means that the playing surface will not resemble a battlefield or beach as it does later in the season.

Now after some difficult pre-season games and two tough cup ties Bradford offers the opportunity for the U’s to test themselves against a potential promotion rival. After all the comings and goings, the prospect of league action is to be warmly welcomed. And I reckon we can prevail in a close encounter by 2-1 with Brown and Taylor-Crossdale on the scoresheet.

Enjoy the game whether watching on iPlayer or listening to the radio.

Up the U’s



Durham_exile

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 23:36 - Sep 11 with 444 viewsGOSBTS

Nervous for this one Durham! With the loss of mainstay names over the late summer (including McGreal), tomorrow will be the first real test of what Ball's squad is made of and how it stacks up against other League Two sides. Trepidation, apprehension, but also excitement that football is back! As I think promotion is unreasonable to expect this year, I'm just hoping we're competitive and can finish comfortably mid-table whilst the nation still sees coronavirus out.

Up the U's!
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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 14:11 - Sep 12 with 386 viewsPinault_Noir

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 23:36 - Sep 11 by GOSBTS

Nervous for this one Durham! With the loss of mainstay names over the late summer (including McGreal), tomorrow will be the first real test of what Ball's squad is made of and how it stacks up against other League Two sides. Trepidation, apprehension, but also excitement that football is back! As I think promotion is unreasonable to expect this year, I'm just hoping we're competitive and can finish comfortably mid-table whilst the nation still sees coronavirus out.

Up the U's!


Grand to have these predictions back Durham - so comprehensive. Thank you, they keep us going!
Hopefully the season can take place despite the rise in the virus so predictably. Why oh why were holidays not cancelled!
France has given a clear line all through and we've had masks since March but I still find the new line of 'we are going to be living with this virus' hard to follow and it's put me off going down the road to see some decent non lg (National lg level) for the time being even though it's a) properly distanced and b) free.
I'm crossing my fingers that we get a season in but as for your getting to some games I can't see that this year.
Love your optimism after a lousy preseason leaking goals and barely scoring any.
But who knows you may be right! Guthrie will be key....

Up the U's
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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 14:14 - Sep 12 with 385 viewsdurham_exile

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 23:36 - Sep 11 by GOSBTS

Nervous for this one Durham! With the loss of mainstay names over the late summer (including McGreal), tomorrow will be the first real test of what Ball's squad is made of and how it stacks up against other League Two sides. Trepidation, apprehension, but also excitement that football is back! As I think promotion is unreasonable to expect this year, I'm just hoping we're competitive and can finish comfortably mid-table whilst the nation still sees coronavirus out.

Up the U's!


No sign of Martell Taylor-Crossdale not even on the bench

Team

Gerken
Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Bramall
Gambin Pell Chilvers Stevenson Poku
Brown

I'm being generous with 4,5,1
It's really 4,6,0
Up the lack of attacking intent U's

Durham_exile

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 14:34 - Sep 12 with 378 viewsPinault_Noir

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 14:14 - Sep 12 by durham_exile

No sign of Martell Taylor-Crossdale not even on the bench

Team

Gerken
Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Bramall
Gambin Pell Chilvers Stevenson Poku
Brown

I'm being generous with 4,5,1
It's really 4,6,0
Up the lack of attacking intent U's


Just noticed the weird selection Durham, presumably Taylor-Croasdale is the new Jevani Brown?
So many strange things at the moment - no Scarlett either?
Can't feel confident but trying.....
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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 14:56 - Sep 12 with 369 viewsdurham_exile

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 14:34 - Sep 12 by Pinault_Noir

Just noticed the weird selection Durham, presumably Taylor-Croasdale is the new Jevani Brown?
So many strange things at the moment - no Scarlett either?
Can't feel confident but trying.....


Pinault

All David Gregory has said is that Taylor-Crossdale is not in the team no reason given

The pitch looks good for once.

Enjoy

Cautiously optimistic

Up the U's

Durham_exile

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 14:59 - Sep 12 with 368 viewsdurham_exile

Harriott injured

16 year old Samson Tovide on the bench

Up the U's

Durham_exile

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 15:10 - Sep 12 with 364 viewsdurham_exile

Great double save by Gerken from Guthrie who should have scored

Durham_exile

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 15:34 - Sep 12 with 346 viewsgsy163

32 mins not 1 shot
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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 15:43 - Sep 12 with 340 viewsdurham_exile

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 15:34 - Sep 12 by gsy163

32 mins not 1 shot


Poku should have scored after great approach play from Brown.

Up the U's

Durham_exile

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 15:47 - Sep 12 with 339 viewsdurham_exile

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 15:43 - Sep 12 by durham_exile

Poku should have scored after great approach play from Brown.

Up the U's


HT 0-0

Durham_exile

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:00 - Sep 12 with 330 viewswessex_exile

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 15:47 - Sep 12 by durham_exile

HT 0-0


Southend 2-0 down at home to new boys Harrogate :-)

Up the U's
Poll: How will we do in 2016/17
Blog: Letters from Wiltshire #04

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:10 - Sep 12 with 324 viewsdurham_exile

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:00 - Sep 12 by wessex_exile

Southend 2-0 down at home to new boys Harrogate :-)


What a shame

Durham_exile

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:13 - Sep 12 with 321 viewsdurham_exile

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:10 - Sep 12 by durham_exile

What a shame


Playing a striker and we would have taken the lead then following good work by Bramall and Gambin

Up the U's

55 mins

Durham_exile

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:19 - Sep 12 with 318 viewsGOSBTS

3-0 to Harrogate
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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:28 - Sep 12 with 311 viewsdurham_exile

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:19 - Sep 12 by GOSBTS

3-0 to Harrogate


No 4-0 to the newcomers

Durham_exile

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:30 - Sep 12 with 309 viewsdurham_exile

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:28 - Sep 12 by durham_exile

No 4-0 to the newcomers


Senior on for Gambin who was very disappointed to be replaced

We must play a striker it's so basic I do not understand the reasoning

Up the U's

Durham_exile

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:55 - Sep 12 with 292 viewswessex_exile

Finished 0-0 - good point on paper, and a much better second half. Bit concerned that Smith needs to show a bit better judgement at times, but otherwise not a bad performance I reckon.

Shame about Southend though

Up the U's
Poll: How will we do in 2016/17
Blog: Letters from Wiltshire #04

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:56 - Sep 12 with 291 viewsdurham_exile

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:30 - Sep 12 by durham_exile

Senior on for Gambin who was very disappointed to be replaced

We must play a striker it's so basic I do not understand the reasoning

Up the U's


FT 0-0

A stupid foul from Smith right at the end of the game created some excitement but in truth we could have won the game.

Up the U's

Note to Ball play a striker to support Brown

Durham_exile

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:56 - Sep 12 with 291 viewsPinault_Noir

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:30 - Sep 12 by durham_exile

Senior on for Gambin who was very disappointed to be replaced

We must play a striker it's so basic I do not understand the reasoning

Up the U's


Agree Durham - so weird, impossible to fathom.
Didn't expect us to score obviously but didn't expect a point either.
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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 17:27 - Sep 12 with 266 viewswessex_exile

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:56 - Sep 12 by durham_exile

FT 0-0

A stupid foul from Smith right at the end of the game created some excitement but in truth we could have won the game.

Up the U's

Note to Ball play a striker to support Brown


Shades of Plymouth on the opening day last season, but this time we did get the point we (at least) deserved.

Up the U's
Poll: How will we do in 2016/17
Blog: Letters from Wiltshire #04

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 17:28 - Sep 12 with 265 viewsgerry_us

A point away against promotion favourites is a pretty good result.
0-0's all season will NOT be good enough though. Maybe away if all wins at home may be enough but as Durham has said ....repeatedly...where are the goals coming from?
Onwards and upwards.
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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 17:30 - Sep 12 with 262 viewsbwildered

Against a star studded L1 side away, would take a excellent goalless game. Taylor - Crossdale not yet match fit and Harriott had slight hammy twinge .
Decent first points for Ball, just need now to back them up .

Poll: Likely finishing place 20/21 - So where ?

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 17:36 - Sep 12 with 256 viewsGOSBTS

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 16:55 - Sep 12 by wessex_exile

Finished 0-0 - good point on paper, and a much better second half. Bit concerned that Smith needs to show a bit better judgement at times, but otherwise not a bad performance I reckon.

Shame about Southend though


I agree Wessex. I listened to the game on the radio, so granted didn't see it with my own two eyes, but sounded like a resolute performance where we got better and better the more the game went on. Brown seemed to be mentioned frequently (and positively) by the BBC Essex commentators.

I have low expectations for this season, so I'm delighted that we got a point, considering it would have been an excellent result last year when our squad was evidently stronger. We're relying on players like Brown, Gambin, Cowan-Hall, Welch-Hayes and Chilvers to all come good, under a new manager - that's a tough ask. With all that considered, up the resilient U's!
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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 17:37 - Sep 12 with 255 viewsdurham_exile

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 17:27 - Sep 12 by wessex_exile

Shades of Plymouth on the opening day last season, but this time we did get the point we (at least) deserved.


Wessex we deserved to win the game. We were better than Bradford second half and with a striker on the pitch would have converted at least one chance.

I really do not understand why Ball didn't play MTC. There was no mention from Gregory as to why he was missing.

Jevani Brown played the best game I have seen in a Colchester shirt and could have scored and also set up Poku.

But without the support of a striker we will struggle. Unless MTC picked up an injury on Tuesday there is no reason why he should have been omitted.

If I were the manager I would surely want to play my best team and that must include a striker.

The truth is out there.

Up the U's

Durham_exile

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Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 17:55 - Sep 12 with 247 viewswessex_exile

Bantams would do well not to count their chickens against the resurgent U's on 17:37 - Sep 12 by durham_exile

Wessex we deserved to win the game. We were better than Bradford second half and with a striker on the pitch would have converted at least one chance.

I really do not understand why Ball didn't play MTC. There was no mention from Gregory as to why he was missing.

Jevani Brown played the best game I have seen in a Colchester shirt and could have scored and also set up Poku.

But without the support of a striker we will struggle. Unless MTC picked up an injury on Tuesday there is no reason why he should have been omitted.

If I were the manager I would surely want to play my best team and that must include a striker.

The truth is out there.

Up the U's


I suspect the fact he wasn't even on the bench but a 16 year old was hints at there being a good reason - could be match fitness, could have picked up a tweak or knock, maybe even isolating because someone in his bubble tested positive - I'm sure it'll come out during the week?

Up the U's
Poll: How will we do in 2016/17
Blog: Letters from Wiltshire #04

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