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|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - U's v Swans 3/4/01|
by wessex_exile at 13:14 5 Apr 2020
Good afternoon everyone, North Wilts calling. We’ve all no doubt heard (and used) variations of the expression “strange times we’re going through” during this crisis. They certainly are, and without a doubt the term crisis is apt, with deaths and positive tests seemingly rising almost exponentially at the moment. But we’ll get through this, and when we do, I firmly believe as a society we’ll be better for it. We’ll be a society better connected to our family, friends and neighbours, and more caring for those that need support. More so, we'll be a society in tune with the concept that we don’t have to burn fossil fuels to conduct business, we do have the technology available to avoid it, we’ll all be pretty adept at using it, and will all be far more comfortable with using it. It's an ill wind...
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - U's v Macclesfield 4/4/92|
by wessex_exile at 14:33 29 Mar 2020
Good afternoon everyone, I sincerely hope you are all doing well? Today would have been a vital home match against Mansfield, struggling at the wrong end of the league this time after a couple of seasons flattering to deceive at the sharp end. Since the last blog, we now know that all football below the National League is cancelled, and the season expunged from records. A tough break for the likes of Jersey Bulls in the Combined Counties League Division 1, who had won all of their 27 matches and already promoted, but then these are very strange times indeed. I sincerely hope the EFL season can be completed somehow, but I’m increasingly pessimistic about whether it will be.
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - Wycombe v U's 6/3/99|
by wessex_exile at 14:44 21 Mar 2020
Here we are again, so greetings to all you social distancers and self-isolationists, I sincerely hope you are all well. This would have been our third fixture since the suspension of all football in the UK, and with more and more measures being implemented by the government to minimise social gatherings, including extending the football league break until at least the end of April, one wonders whether we’ll ever finish this season? There have been numerous measures announced, including £50m from the EFL, to minimise the financial burden on us smaller clubs, but Robbie Cowling has gone on record stating that “…to really survive and go forward there is going to be help needed from the Premier League or elsewhere” – quite right Robbie.
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - U's v Bournemouth 27/4/99|
by wessex_exile at 19:50 17 Mar 2020
Tonight would have been our home fixture against table-toppers Crewe, and a chance to avenge the draw at Gresty Rd which really should have been a victory. However, what’s really interesting about it for me is that myself and probably a considerable number of you out there would have been watching it on i-Follow – exactly what our chairman suggested should have been the first option the EFL considered before deciding to postpone league fixtures. Ho hum, wonder how we would have got on…
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - U's v Yeovil 15/8/09|
by wessex_exile at 15:04 14 Mar 2020
…and so we enter the start of the coronavirus-enforced football league postponement period for 2019/20. As things stand, we will emerge on 4th April away at Bradford City, with nine fixtures (some teams, including Swindon, Crewe and FGR have ten) still to complete over the following 21 days, though I’m sure the end of the season could be extended if needs be. Whether we do restart on 4th April only time will tell.
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - Swindon v U's 23/8/08|
by wessex_exile at 11:52 7 Mar 2020
Another very busy week at work, so apologies this is a little later than usual. For once I look out on a Saturday with bright skies and the sun even occasionally peeking out – will it be shining on John McGreal and the U’s by 5pm though? It’s at times like this I need the sage words of Doris Day (and latterly Wivenhoe resident Captain Sensible) “Happy talk – keep talkin’ happy talk”.
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - Posh v U's 11/10/97|
by wessex_exile at 19:28 28 Feb 2020
Another Saturday, another storm – this time Storm Jorge (pronounced ‘hohr-heh’, the Spanish Met Office apparently beat us to the punch on naming this one, so Storm Ellen will have to wait). After the horizontal blasting we received from Storm Dennis at Salford last weekend, I’m rather hopeful the U’s are learning to adjust to these conditions, and at least the JCS pitch ought to hold up better than the Peninsula’s did last Saturday – will it ever stop raining though…
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - Yeading v U's 12/11/94|
by wessex_exile at 21:40 21 Feb 2020
I had a chat earlier this week with my neighbour, Head Groundsman at Forest Green, lamenting the interminably dreadful weather we’ve been experiencing, and he wryly asked the rhetorical question ‘do you know when it last wasn’t raining – October!’. Not literally, but it does feel like it right now, and all but the most pristine of surfaces are really starting to creak at the seams now. The news that there’s a pitch inspection at 9am tomorrow does not fill me with hope, particularly as I’ll be halfway to Birmingham by then…
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - Northampton v U's 24/4/99|
by wessex_exile at 18:13 14 Feb 2020
Well, here we are going through the exhilarating highs and despairing lows of what it is to follow the U’s rollercoaster journey this season – one wonders what Saturday will bring, apart from yet another storm (Dennis this time). Vale Park is a tough enough place to go at the best of times, so will howling winds and lashing rain be the great leveller for the U’s? We shall see, but in the meantime, how about we go back to a time when our perennial concentration around this time of the season always seemed to be at the wrong end of the table, maybe put things a little bit into perspective…
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - Bees v U's 11/3/03 (eventually)|
by wessex_exile at 20:51 10 Feb 2020
It was noted that Saturday’s stunning defeat of promotion rivals Plymouth Argyle was the first time we had beaten them since our League Cup victory back in 2003. Well our record against tomorrow night’s opponents Grimsby can challenge that – if you’re wondering ‘not another Tuesday night trip to Blundell Park’, the last time we played at Grimsby on a Saturday was also back in 2003…and the last time we won there? Over 40 years ago believe it or not, on 22nd September 1979, winning 2-1 thanks to two goals from Trevor Lee, with the U’s managed by none other than Bobby Roberts on that day.
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - Southend v U's 17/2/04|
by wessex_exile at 21:51 7 Feb 2020
“…Parky couldn’t quite keep the momentum from September going in the league, and we finished 11th at the end of the season. However, for the entertainment of the faithful, he was just about to embark with the U’s on two successful runs in both the FA Cup and the LDV Vans Trophy, the latter just about to start the following Tuesday (14th October) at Cheltenham”.
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - U's v Blackpool 11/10/03|
by wessex_exile at 18:26 31 Jan 2020
Ahead of our upcoming match at the Abbey Stadium tomorrow, we again go back to the Parky era, and for this match his first full season in charge at Layer Rd. It’s funny, when I first started following the U’s in the 70s, matches against local rivals Cambridge United always seemed to be a really big thing, up there with Southend in many ways – they just don’t seem to have quite the significance these days?
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - U's v Wivenhoe 23/2/91|
by wessex_exile at 18:46 27 Jan 2020
And so the unbeaten run goes on. Ahead of yet another vital match against a promotion contender on Tuesday night, we pay our first visit to a yet to be featured competition, going back nearly thirty years in the process. Last time in the Matches of Yesteryear series we explored our furthest distance for a ‘local derby’ match at Wycombe, this time we reflect on what must surely have been the shortest distance ever between the U’s and opponents for a competitive match?
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - Wycombe v U's 23/3/02|
by wessex_exile at 16:18 24 Jan 2020
Ahead of another vital match in our bid for promotion back to League 1, this time at t’other St James’ Park in Devon, we return to our previous spell at that level, and dip again into one of the odder football rivalries (given that over 100 miles separates us from them).
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear Special - U's v Bradford City 30/12/61|
by wessex_exile at 13:57 20 Jan 2020
This one is a special for the Matches of Yesteryear series, as we step slightly outside the original concept of blogs related to my football memorabilia collection. I am delighted that our very own pwrightsknees approached me with an absolutely fantastic idea just before Christmas, and an idea that really deserves this specific slot in our football calendar. It is also particularly appropriate given the terrible coincidence that Martyn King sadly passed on Christmas Day, the all-time record league goal-scorer for the U’s with 130 goals (1959-64).
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - U's v Lincoln 27/10/18|
by wessex_exile at 12:59 18 Jan 2020
Firstly, my apologies that this is a bit later than usual – it’s been a pretty hectic week at work, and by the time I got home last night, I was ready for a few beers and not a lot more. As we approach a vital double-header at home for the U’s promotion challenge, and on 12 games unbeaten, we come right up to date with an equally vital home game from last season.
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - Cheltenham v U's 22/2/03|
by wessex_exile at 19:25 10 Jan 2020
The U’s travel to the Globe Arena tomorrow, aiming at the very least to keep the unbeaten run going – though in truth after three somewhat disappointing draws against Exeter, Crawley and Stevenage, surely nothing less than three points is acceptable? Ahead of this trip, the Matches of Yesteryear random number generator has chosen a match which for me has a particularly bitter-sweet poignancy.
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - Newport v U's 14/1/17|
by wessex_exile at 16:07 3 Jan 2020
Ahead of tomorrow’s match at Stevenage, the Matches of Yesteryear random match selector has chosen one with some familiar faces in, one or two of whom we will see tomorrow, and one we probably won’t.
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - Notts County v U's 21/3/98|
by wessex_exile at 18:23 31 Dec 2019
And so we come to the end of 2019 – halfway through a season that promises much, so it seems appropriate that we dip into the 1997/98 season for this blog. May I take the opportunity to wish you all a very Healthy, Prosperous and most of all Happy New Year, starting of course with three points for the U’s against Crawley tomorrow.
|Blog ||Matches of Yesteryear - Brighton v U's 27/10/01|
by wessex_exile at 13:38 29 Dec 2019
A little later than usual for this one, as I was actually in Colchester yesterday seeing family. Not particularly good timing given the U’s are at home today, but we’re all fairly far flung these days, so the opportunity to get a sizeable amount of the family in one place at the same time couldn’t be overlooked lightly.