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15 years ago today!
at 09:25 6 May 2021

Phil Parkinson's supremos clinched Promotion to the promised land at Huish Park Yeovil. May 6th 2006.

The greatest 0-0 scoreline in our history!

8,785 attendance of which we had about 1,700.

Dean Gerken

John White
Liam Chilvers
Pat (Rio) Baldwin
Greg Halford

Karl Duguid
Neil Danns
Kevin Watson

Scott Vernon
Chris Iwelumo
Jamal Campbell-Ryce

Subs
Kem Izzet
Tony Thorpe
Mark Cousins
Billy Clarke
Garry Richards

Andre Marriner was the ref!

Wessex will the random match selector do this justice this weekend!

Up the U's


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Freddie Sears returning?
at 14:23 4 May 2021

I see that there are increasingly strong rumours that Sears is returning to Colchester after leaving us in January 2015 for the Poorman Road outfit.

He has scored 34 goals in 217 apperances for Ipswich, whilst he scored 36 goals in 109 apperances for the U's. Sears is 5ft 7ins tall and is now 31 years of age.

By contrast I wonder if we would be better with a target man.

Scott Quigley plays for Barrow and has scored 35 goals in 72 appearances for the Cumbrian outfit. At 6ft 4 ins he is certainly a target man. Obviously he would come at a price whereas Sears is likely to be free.

Plenty more fish in the sea.

Up the U's

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Dirty Old Town - Super U's to prevail against the Ammies
at 10:32 1 May 2021

After an incredible game last night which saw Cambridge lose 5-4 at Harrogate, it shows that league Two this season has been the most unpredictable league. After all who would have thought that on Matchday 45 we were still strictly speaking not mathematically safe from the dreaded Relegation.

Yes, our Essex fiends must win both their games and somehow overcome a 12-goal difference and we have to lose both of ours. Unlikely of course but we still need one point to be absolutely certain of survival. Scunny are also in the frame and Southend only have to overcome an 8-goal difference in their case. Also, unlikely.

COLU 44 47 -18
Scunny 44 47 -22
Southend 44 41 -30 Virtually Relegated
Grimsby 44 40 -30 Relegated

So, Relegation is done and dusted. But what about Promotion?

Cheltenham 44 79
Cambridge 45 77
Bolton 44 76
Morecambe 44 72
Tranmere 44 72
Newport 44 69
Salford 44 68
FGR 44 67
Exeter 44 66

Our opponents today and next week are both in the top seven mix.

Fixtures today:

Barrow v Southend
Bradford v Scunny
Bolton v Exeter
FGR v Tranmere
Newport v Cheltenham
Walsall v Morecambe

Exciting stuff!

As far as we are concerned, I want to see Colchester finish the season strongly. Yes, we have had a lousy season, unprecedented after missing out in the Play Offs last year but today is not the time for recriminations, they will come during the summer when we have to persuade many of our better players to stay and to consider better times next year. Build back better as someone once said.

Incredibly in today’s programme I note that nowhere is Paul Tisdale mentioned in the personalities and positions list. His experience has been instrumental in securing the points to avoid the drop and his pairing with Hayden Mullins has been crucial. Why no mention. If HM stays on next season, it is unlikely that the influential PT will be there to support him.

Harry Pell tells it the way it is in his column. Pulling no punches and I hope that HP leads the team next season.

RC plans a full statement once we know the outcome of the season. He writes in today’s programme “With hindsight I could have done things better but as long as we start next season in the EFL on the same zero points as everyone else in our division and we haven’t deferred any payments to anyone then I will regard this season as mission accomplished. Next season could be another uphill battle against COVID-19 restrictions but at least we wont be climbing it with a proverbial piano on our back.”

Quite so!

The programme shows 31 players within the First team bubble. Some will leave but we must be looking to strengthen during the summer. More of this later after the Tranmere game.

So, who do HM and PT line up with today? Hopefully, the fewer changes the better. Brendan Wiredu may miss out through injury. He must be number one or two on the starting XI list next season.

So, what about in a 4,4,2:

George

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Clampin

Chilvers Pell Stevenson Harriott

Folivi Nouble

Subs:

Gerken Sowunmi Lapslie Tchamadeu Bohui Brown Cowan-Hall

Forget about relatively safe. We must be looking to finish strongly. After all, at one stage this season we looked to be competing for a top seven finish ourselves. I predict 3-1 to the Super U’s.

Weather in Colchester today is 12 degrees Celsius and sunny but some rain to come later perhaps as the game is finishing.

Salford are no mugs, however. Under Richie Wellens they won the Papa John’s Trophy and held the trophy for 24 hours! Quickly though Gary Bowyer took over and has guided them to seventh spot at present. Ian Henderson the 36-year-old former doyen of Colchester has scored some vital goals for the Ammies. John Ward described him as a wasp. In a week when Wasps have been given a lot of positive press versus Bees. Why?

So, plenty to look forward to and we should be able to play with an element of freedom today.

One thing is certain at least we know who H is.

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s


[Post edited 1 May 11:09]
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Heck of a game at Harrogate
at 21:07 30 Apr 2021

Now 5-4 against Cambridge
FT
[Post edited 30 Apr 21:09]
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Some people are on the pitch, they think it's all over.......
at 14:10 27 Apr 2021

It is Now!

Colchester may not be playing this evening, but the Relegation issue could well be done and dusted at 2100hrs.

Fixtures:

Newport v Scunny
Bradford v Salford
Cheltenham v Carlisle
Exeter v Grimsby
FGR v Barrow

Table
Top
Cheltenham 43 78 +20
Cambridge 44 77 +22
Bolton 44 76 +7
Morecambe 44 72 +7
Tranmere 44 72 +6
FGR 43 67 +6
Newport 43 66 +10
Salford 43 65 +17
Exeter 43 63 +19
Carlisle 43 61 +8

Bottom
COL U 44 47 -18
Scunny 43 47 -18
Barrow 43 46 -7
Southend 44 41 -30
Grimsby 43 40 -29

Each of the five games tonight affects both the top and bottom of the table.

If Grimsby lose or draw, they are virtually relegated (41 points means they must win both games and overturn GD of -11)
If Grimsby win, they live to fight another day and can still achieve 49 points

If Barrow win or draw the Southend are virtually relegated – GD will essentially relegate them
If Barrow lose then they have the fallback position of playing Southend at Holker Street on Saturday

Southend need to win both remaining games and make up -12 GD to stay up

Carlisle must win to retain hopes of the play offs
Exeter must win to retain hopes of the play offs

FGR must win to retain hopes of the play offs
Newport must win to retain hopes of the play offs

Scunny still need two points to be certain of avoiding relegation

Still all to play for!

I reckon Barrow will get the point they need, and Grimsby will lose or draw.

Southend and Grimsby thus relegated pending overturning up to -12 GD.

Regardless what happens we need to win on Saturday for pride and to finish the season strongly.

The team will have learned their lesson for an insipid second half against Cheltenham when a point was definitely on the cards.

Up the U’s
[Post edited 27 Apr 14:18]
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Colchester to be the driving force at the Jonny Rocks stadium!
at 12:45 24 Apr 2021

After the euphoria of Tuesday evening and even though Phil “Orange” Brown, who actually resembled the Wild Man of Borneo appearance wise, tried to put a dampener on our celebrations, he was simply masking the fact that Southend United deserve to go down.

By contrast we deserve to stay in the Football league. Back to back wins have seen to that but it is the approach by HM and PT that have galvanised the team and given them belief.

The table never lies:
TOP
Cambridge 43 77 +23
Cheltenham 42 75 +19
Bolton 43 73 +6
Morecambe 43 72 +8
Tranmere 43 69 +5
BOTTOM
Walsall 43 49 -8
Scunny 42 47 -17
COL U 43 47 -17
Barrow 42 46 -6
Southend 43 48 -31
Grimsby 42 37 -30

Remaining Fixtures:

Colchester
Cheltenham A
Salford H 1/5
Tranmere A 8/5

Southend
Orient H
Barrow A 1/5
Newport H 8/5

Grimsby
Oldham A
Exeter A 27/4
PV H 1/5
Cambridge A 8/5

Now at Christmas I reckoned that 53 points was needed to stay up. 50 points would now ensure that we are mathematically safe with Southend already doomed and Grimsby only able to muster 49 points even if they won every game.

League Two football next season will ensure that players who were undecided about staying will show some loyalty. We can surely never have such a poor season again and instead should be challenging at the other end of the table.

HM and PT have worked wonders to ensure that those two home games against the Saddlers and the Shrimpers were Home Wins. The team has been playing with more confidence, relishing the more direct approach. It is worthy of note that Harry Pell resembles more of the player that he was before his injury. In those days he was virtually unplayable. Tuesday night apart from scoring a goal his range of passing was back and he shone like a beacon from midfield.

Where HM has been inspired is pairing Michael Folivi with Big Frank. These two complement each other so well and Folivi is quick and nimble, Frank strong and powerful. Can we re-sign him from Plymouth?

Callum “Ainsley” Harriott has put in Michelin three-star performances and cooked up a gastronomic delight for the supporters, who are hungry for more. He is undoubtably the MasterChef of the JSCS.

Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu has developed into a box-to-box midfielder and if only he could get his shooting boots sorted, he would be good to bag 10 goals per season. Charlton have a buy back clause and perhaps are thinking they made a mistake in selling him.

Noah Chilvers remains resolute and continues to keep Ben Stevenson out of the starting line-up.

All this means that the back four of Welch-Hayes Eastman, Smith and Clampin all look more assured and confident especially keeping a valuable clean sheet.

Shamal George (who surely must be the Colchester Number 1 next season), was in the news over a bizarre incident that occurred in March 2019 in Liverpool. He and his brother were assaulted by a character called Ross Gardner (yes, he can be named, it is the public domain) who was convicted of assault charges and sentenced to 18 months in prison, even though he absconded to Spain and is still believed to be in hiding there. For his part George looks assured and confident in goal and deserves his opportunity between the sticks. Dean Gerken would still be involved at the club perhaps more in a coaching capacity and as Number 2.

Regarding the bench warmers – Courtney Senior remains an enigma. After a spell on the sidelines he returned to show better form and more pace, ball retention and tracking back and then just as quickly went back to his old ways and obscurity beckons again.

Jevani Brown is on the cusp of a regular first team place. I want to see more from him now that HM and PT are getting the best out of their charges.

Paris Cowan-Hall looked as though he was back in the fold and then has been dropped again.

Kwame Poku after appearing for the Black Stars has not been able to force his way back into the team. Josh Bohui has simply disappeared from the scene altogether.

At the end of the season, we will surely say goodbye to loanees Josh Doherty and Aramaide Oteh.

Next season we can surely see more of Junior Tchamadeu, Marley Marshall-Miranda, Billy Cracknell, Harvey Sayer and breaking onto the scene Samson Tovide.

So, what about today. Cheltenham are where we should be, challenging for an automatic promotion spot. Led by Michael Duff they are not unbeatable and have already lost 11 league games this season. It says a lot for the openness of the league that Cheltenham apart, the top nine clubs have all lost 12 or 13 games each.

It is ultimately the number of drawn games (17) that have meant our position looked precarious for so long even four of those transformed into wins would have avoided the panic that set in. Looking back on the season there would also be at least four games that we lost but should have drawn and so instead of 16 defeats we would have looked at 12 not dissimilar to the top nine teams. An extra 20 points and we could have been there again challenging for promotion via the play offs. Still survival is the game in town.

In the final analysis we have survived, but it has been a shocking season. Marine, Exeter Away even the Boundary Park mauling when a draw was on the cards with less than 5 minutes to play has shown how fragile we have been. But ultimately all that will be forgotten once we secure those magical 50 points.

HM and PT look to have sorted the midfield and forward line. Two strikers are an absolute must. Big Frank and Folivi look secure in those positions. Jevani Brown could revert to his favoured Number 10 position.

So, the team today:

George

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Clampin

Chilvers Pell Wiredu

Harriott Folivi Nouble

Subs:

Brown Gerken Lapslie Sowunmi Senior Stevenson Cowan-Hall

Playing a consistent team is always favourite. The players rightly celebrated on Tuesday (Scummend would have done the same). I am not a betting man, but I predicted a Colchester win and Demetriou an early bath and frankly I will shed no tears over the Shrimpers demise.

Today is all about another victory perhaps 2-0 to Colchester, it will be tough, but we can do it.

Weather will be 17 degrees Celsius and sunny in Gloucestershire, ideal weather and plenty of water breaks needed.

I have ordered my replica (Southend game) Shirt, Beanie hat and scarf from the recent Colchester merchandise utilising my 39 loyalty points and demand has outstripped supply so more have been ordered by the club. It would be nice to wear those items in August.

It is a pity that we cannot go to the to the final game at Tranmere, but everyone must be patient and hope to return to the grounds at the start of the new season.

RC has been criticised by me over the past few weeks, he can at least take solace in the fact that his austerity measures have worked to a degree and that we should be in a stronger financial position next season.

Enjoy the game today.

50 points tonight would look very good for the League Two table.

Up the U’s


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Shrimpers to be potted by the Super U's at the JSCS
at 13:33 19 Apr 2021

The outpouring of emotion on Saturday night was tangible and full of considerable relief. A vital victory well deserved and so important to our ability to avoid relegation against a Walsall team who are themselves safe from the drop.

HM and PT fashioned a win which was essential to give a vital boost. It will of course count for nothing if we fail to beat our Essex fiends from Southend on Tuesday night. Phil “Orange” Brown has already ratcheted up the pressure by calling the game their most important game in their 115-year history. Of course, this is nonsense, it is only one game and only worth three points, but the difference in victory over unthinkable defeat is crucial for both teams.

A win for Colchester will put a nine-point difference between the two teams (goal difference included makes it ten) and essentially relegate Southend. Any other result is frankly unthinkable.

Despite their victory over Bolton – Grimsby have the most difficult remaining fixtures with Morecambe, Exeter and Cambridge all vying for promotion.

Southend and Grimsby remain favourites to leave the Football League.

Table:

Colchester 42 -19 44
Southend 42 -29 38
Grimsby 41 -27 37

Remaining fixtures:

Colchester:
Southend H (Relegation favourites)
Cheltenham A (Challenging for Automatic Promotion)
Salford H (Challenging for Play Offs)
Tranmere A (Challenging for Play Offs, possible Automatic Promotion)

Southend:
Colchester A (Favourites to avoid Relegation)
Orient H (Flirting with Play Offs)
Barrow A (Almost safe from Relegation)
Newport H (Challenging for Play Offs, possible Automatic Promotion)

Grimsby:
Morecambe H (Challenging for Automatic Promotion)
Oldham A (Safe from Relegation)
Exeter A (Challenging for Play Offs)
PV H (Safe from Relegation – midtable mediocrity)
Cambridge A (Challenging for Automatic Promotion - Possible Champions)

I do agree that it is the most important game ever played between the two teams (Southend have 33 wins, to our 27 with 17 draws) but there is obvious danger in applying so much pressure that the game becomes a negative, dangerous, and potentially explosive affair with at least one red card being issued to an errant player.

Nerves will play a big part at least early on, the psychological aspect that defeat is unthinkable will perhaps spoil the game as a spectacle. However as far as we are concerned it is all about getting three points to effectively condemn Southend to relegation.

It should be remembered notwithstanding our 6-1 victory earlier in the season we have not defeated Southend in the league since 2010. However, that matters not when we take to the field on Tuesday evening. It is all about the 90 minutes in this game.

So, what about our line-up:

An injury to influential player Callum “Ainsley” Harriott could rule him out in which case a replacement is required. I would bring in Ben Stevenson and that would free Wiredu up to make forays further forward.

George

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Clampin

Chilvers Pell Sarpong-Wiredu Stevenson

Nouble Folivi

Subs:

Lapslie Senior Brown Doherty Gerken Cowan-Hall Sowunmi

Phil Brown has White and Halford at his disposal to add some spice to proceedings.
They earned a valuable point at Exeter with following line-up.

Oxley
Bwomono White Hobson Hart
Demetriou Ferguson
Walsh Holmes Hackett-Fairchild
Akinola

Halford was an unused substitute. Demetriou is an excitable player and one who, if there is a red card flourished, could well take the early bath.

Make no mistake a victory for the Super U’s is long overdue against Southend and I believe that we can prevail with a handsome 3-0 win.

The weather tomorrow in Colchester is going to be dry and bright with some cloud and 11 degrees C at kick off.

Forget about the poor performance at Roots Hall at Christmas time. Take the game to Southend, get at them early doors, and do not get involved in the niggly and subversive tactics from their players. We all know what is at stake and we understand the importance of three points. Only one team in Essex.

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s

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Not the U's first rodeo against the Saddlers today!
at 13:43 17 Apr 2021

It will remain to be seen whether the blank Tuesday has improved the U’s chances with key players able to rest after a demanding schedule. Today HM and PT battered, and bruised charges play host to the Saddlers before the mother of all Essex derbies with Southend in town on Tuesday night. Frankly, our survival may well rest on these games.

These notes are being penned whilst the early kick offs are in play owing to the Funeral of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor.

Table as at 1.40pm 17 April: Southend drawing at Exeter, Grimsby winning against Bolton both at Half Time.

Colchester 41 -20 41
Southend 42 -29 38
Grimsby 41 -27 37

Remaining Fixtures for the three Relegation haunted teams after today.

Colchester

Southend H
Cheltenham A
Salford H
Tranmere A

Grimsby

Morecambe H
Oldham A
Exeter A
PV H
Cambridge A

Southend

Colchester A
Orient H
Barrow A
Newport H

The mauling at Oldham ( a ground where we hitherto have enjoyed reasonable results) was humiliating not least because having done the hard work and got the scoreline back to 3-2 we conceded two late goals to worsen our GD and leave the players bereft on the touchline.

Walsall our opponents today have achieved back-to-back victories. Exactly what we must strive for today and Tuesday. They are now safe from the spectre of Relegation and it is a three-way fight between the bottom three clubs for the drop.

The situation on the pitch is dire enough but the recent adverse publicity involving the Chairman has not helped our cause. Without rehearsing old arguments, Employment Tribunals, threats of Administration and Racism allegations have not helped our fight against the drop.

Many on this site have expressed their undying love for the club and I share those sentiments. I have supported the U’s since 1970 (previously supporting non-league Enfield and Chelsea before seeing the light). Almost 51 years later the torch for Colchester United burns as brightly. I am angry though. We are fighting for survival at the worst possible time with relatively little money coming into the club and disunity on and off the pitch. Three managers in the same season, poor signings, a lack of leadership and direction on and off the pitch does not bode well.

We may all purport to support the club in the Isthmian League (for many years I watched Enfield play in the Isthmian League) but the very survival of our club would be at stake if we were relegated.

It is crucial therefore that we secure six points from Walsall and Southend at home. Victories are non-negotiable.

3-1 to the U’s is the prediction this evening.

But what team does the Head and Assistant Coach go with. It is hoped that the full week of rest has galvanised the team and ensured they are ready to fight for survival.

Why not the following in a genuine 4,3,3 formation:

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Clampin

Pell Wiredu Stevenson

Harriott Brown Nouble

Subs:

George Chilvers Sowunmi Folivi Lapslie Senior Cowan-Hall

This is a five-game season, forget about everything that has gone before.

Weather in Colchester at match time 9 degrees Celsius, dry, and sunny.

No need for inspirational speeches. It is all about taking the game to Walsall.

Saddle up for victory.

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s

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I told 'em Oldham, the first time battery - U's to prevail at flat Boundary Park
at 16:20 9 Apr 2021

It is difficult these days to write solely about the football on the field. Colchester have had a wretched season on the pitch and perhaps an even worse one off. Culminating this week in conspiracy theories, messages, accusations, subsequently withdrawn statements, and assertions that we are not going into administration. RC has also said that he is not leaving the club for the foreseeable.

Now the dictionary considers foreseeable to mean it can be predicted or identified in advance. Foreseeable is the adjective form of the verb foresee, which means to see or know beforehand. Foreseeable is often used in the phrase the foreseeable future, referring to the span of time in the near future about which reasonable assumptions can be made.

What this all means no one knows, but it has caused further instability at the club at a time when we need confidence in our league future.

6 games to play against Oldham A, Walsall H, Southend H, Cheltenham A, Salford H and Tranmere A.

Quite frankly we need to garner points quickly ahead of the last three fixtures. Can we get 9 more points from these 6 games. The answer of course is yes. Our survival still remains in our own hands.

We play Oldham at Boundary Park, a ground where we have a decent recent record, then two home games against Walsall and Southend. Surely, we must be able to take maximum points from at least two of those games. The Southend one simply is a must win at all costs.

Walsall 39 43 -7
Barrow 38 42 -3
COL U 40 41 -17
Southend 40 36 -29
Grimsby 39 34 -27

Oldham already have 48 points and sit in 17th position. They defeated a poor Crawley side 4-1 the other day and I expect that Crawley will roll over at Southend on Saturday therefore we must get something tonight at Oldham against the Latics.

Keith Curle will be relieved to be virtually safe and will know that a defeat tonight is not too costly but after a recent win they will be keen to do well. Do not forget the rumour about a League Two team going into administration is doing the rounds, it could be any of the bottom half teams unless it was deliberately calculated to cause instability at Colchester (which it certainly has done).

I think a 2-0 away win tonight will work wonders for the U’s it will ensure that the gap to Scummend even after they win tomorrow will still be 5 points (6 if you include the GD).

Earlier in the season we allowed a lead to slip twice against the Latics in a pulsating 3-3 draw at the JSCS. Late goals have been costly for us this season as was proven against the Bluebirds the other day.

HM and PT will be looking to improve upon their Easter haul and the team could well look something like this 4,2,3,1:

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Clampin

Wiredu Pell

Senior Brown Harriott

Nouble

Subs:

Lapslie Chilvers Stevenson George Folivi Poku Tchamadeu

Kwame Poku will be back this evening from the Black Stars.

Weather in Oldham will be 5 degrees C at kick off with some sunshine and then cloud but it will be dry again.

This season has been wretched, we are in the brown and pungent and we have the 24th worst Away record in League Two and the 15th worst home record. Oldham have the 22nd worst home record and the 5th best Away record. Statisticians would predict a draw; I am going for a Colchester victory.

We must get away from the trials and tribulations of the events off the pitch and concentrate solely on the football on the pitch. The players need to improve on that appalling Away record. Tonight, is the best chance for a win and to put pressure on our Essex fiends.

Try to enjoy the game.

Up the U’s

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Bluebirds will be grounded at the JSCS today
at 11:35 5 Apr 2021

The new era of HM and PT secured a crucial point at Bolton on Good Friday and now prepare to entertain the Bluebirds at the JSCS. Rob Kelly’s team are also struggling but have only a minus 3-goal difference suggesting that their games this season have largely been close affairs.

Table:

Barrow 37 41 -3
COL U 39 40 -17
Southend 39 35 -29
Grimsby 38 33 -27

Remaining Fixtures:

Barrow

Colchester A
Carlisle H
Exeter H
Orient A
PV H
Tranmere A
FGR A
Southend H
Exeter A

COL U

Barrow H
Oldham A
Walsall H
Southend H
Cheltenham A
Salford H
Tranmere A

Southend

Morecambe A
Crawley H
Exeter A
Colchester A
Orient H
Barrow A
Newport H

Grimsby

Cheltenham H
Bradford A
Bolton H
Morecambe H
Oldham A
Exeter A
PV H
Cambridge A

Make no mistake it is still too close for comfort and whatever happens we need to win at least three more of our games (Barrow, Walsall, Southend) and then any other points are priceless.

Grimsby and Southend are still very much favourites for Relegation.

HM had inspired the team in the second half on Friday and perhaps we were unlucky not to have secured all three points. Tommy Smith clocked up his 400th career appearance against the Trotters.

Ainsley and Kwame are back from International duty, but I do not think either will start today. They will be needed for the run in.

So, what about the team today:

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Clampin

Lapslie Pell Stevenson

Senior Wiredu Nouble

Subs:

George Tchamadeu Doherty Cowan-Hall Chilvers Folivi Brown

Now against Tranmere we should have scored four goals given the chances that we managed to squander. Gerry has already suggested a good omen for today after the wheel fell off his barrow. I reckon that it is about time that we won a game handsomely which will improve confidence, improve goal difference, and move us to 43 points, within touching distance of safety.

Something like 3-0 today will work wonders for the team.

The weather today will be 5 degrees c in Colchester with a 10% chance of precipitation and mainly sunny conditions. It is a gloriously sunny but cold day in Durham after a covering of overnight snow and so the match should be played in ideal conditions at JSCS.

Big positives; Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu who has been advanced to the striking role and a vastly improved Courtney Senior who has added more guile to his play. Ryan Clampin brings a real plus to the left back position and Big Frank is always able to put in a solid performance.

I remain optimistic after an improved performance at Bolton, and we should all enjoy the game today.

Keep the faith.

Up the U’s

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Super U's to defeat Trotters at a Canter.
at 00:20 2 Apr 2021

So, here is the thing we are now on our third Head Coach of the season, 2 wins in 24 games, and we go to the form team of the league Bolton Wanderers led by Ian Evatt with 11 wins and 2 draws in their last 13 games. So, what are the chances of a notable double for this miserable season. I am not a betting man and I would imagine that very few people would offer any chance of Colchester securing the three points.

But that is exactly the point, football is such a strange game. Hayden Mullins offers new Head Coach bounce and with Paul Tisdale now assisting in an advisory position for the final 8 games and at a stadium where we are not expected to get anything at all, a season enhancing victory at the University of Bolton Stadium for the U’s is my prediction by 3-2. The shock of the season no less at 1300hrs on Good Friday but why not. The Trotters will be expecting to win, complacency will have set in, and we are due a performance and result.

Table:

20 Walsall 37 41 -7
21 COL U 38 39 -17
22 Barrow 36 38 -4
23 Southend 38 35 -27
24 Grimsby 37 32 -27

Remaining Games:

Bolton A Win (yes really)
Barrow H Win
Oldham A Draw
Walsall H Win
Southend H Win
Cheltenham A
Salford H
Tranmere A

Realistically we need to win 3 of our next 5 games to ensure survival. Barrow, Walsall, and Southend offer our best chances of wins and look the favourite three games, but I do believe that we can beat the Trotters and that will engender the confidence required to get those other valuable victories. Yes I know there are 8 games, but we need the points now not later. Besides a safety net would then exist if we did not achieve the required victories against our fellow relegation candidates.

So, who will Hayden Mullins choose to kick an 8-game season off at Bolton?

I do not think he will make many changes. The players are good enough, it is all about gaining the confidence to turn performances into results.

In goal Gerken or George. Of the all the positions over the years Colchester have always employed a decent Goalkeeper. I think HM will just give the nod to Gerken.

The back four is likely to be Welch-Hayes, Eastman, Smith and Clampin (if fit) otherwise Doherty.

Midfield: Stevenson, Pell and Wiredu.

Strikers: Senior, Brown and Folivi.

Subs:

George, Tchamadeu, Cowan-Hall, Chilvers, Nouble, Lapslie, Tovide

Our International players (Harriott and Poku) are still unavailable and so we must wait for their return. Big Frank has been a popular player at the club and when he first returned on loan, he showed glimpses of his old form. Recently he has been struggling for pace and has lost some impetus. I would play Michael Folivi who has pace and with Brown and Senior can offer real problems for the Bolton defence.

In the last games the team was beginning to gel because WB was playing a settled team without too many changes. 8 games for these players to secure the points to get us out of the predicament that we find ourselves in.

Football is all about confidence and after such a wretched run confidence is low, attitude has suffered and there has been a lack of belief. HM knows the squad and the set up. If he truly has been given a green light for the final 8 games, then he should be allowed to set the team up his way and to get his tactics right. Tisdale will be invaluable here, he took an Exeter City team with limited resources and achieved consistent performances and promotions.

RC has given them both 8 games or 720 minutes to achieve the points to save our season and give us a chance to remain a league club.

Some years ago, I went to Notts County who themselves were struggling to survive (they played the theme to the Great Escape before the game) and they showed, effort, commitment, and endeavour to play us off the park and to win the game. Having achieved that miracle that season they made the mistake of failing to consolidate and look where they are now. We must survive and build back better for next year.

We need to take total commitment to Bolton tomorrow and to play with enthusiasm and belief. There should be no necessity to encourage the squad. The players know what is expected of them and they understand the implications of failure.

Ironically earlier in the season we defeated the Trotters by 2-0 and whilst they had plenty of the ball, we deserved the victory. It is a long time since we scored early doors and took the game to the opposition. Recently we have almost been waiting for the opposition to score and then have been chasing the game.
Our Away record is lamentable but one of the reasons for that is that SB played 4,5,1 or 5,4,1 and our single striker was isolated and marked out of the game. More recently against a decent Tranmere team, we should have scored 3 or 4 goals in the first half and the effort that night suggested that we had the nouse to get out of the relegation mire. Sadly, the effort and commitment was not there against Bradford after another slow start and once again conceding the first goal.

No one gives Colchester a hope against Bolton, so let us go at them early doors and get players forward. The players must do this for the Coach, for themselves but also for the faithful who have suffered tremendously this season. I do not believe that we are a bad team. I think instead that the players have been mis-managed this season and expected to play often out of position and ultra-defensively.

As a result of iFollow I have been able to watch every league game this season and like many am heartedly sick and tired of the poor results, the criticism from the pundits and commentators and the air of depression that then envelopes the board and the faithful. It is so frustrating to lose to some of the sides that we have been beaten by this season. Now the league table never lies but think about losing to Cambridge, Scunny, Crawley, Port Vale and Bradford. Absolutely shocking.

Now I am not advocating the Kevin Keegan school of management, but let the players express themselves and see what they can achieve over the next eight games. If we fail, then let no one turn round and say that we did not try to achieve the required results.

RC took an early decision from a business rather than football perspective. The writing was on the wall when the Colchester four or rather five if you include Ethan Ross were let go after the Exeter play off defeat last season. He has been in charge for 15 years and frankly the last 5 years have been increasingly difficult. We may well remain in the black at the end of the season, but that will count for little if we face life outside of the Football League. We simply must survive.

We initially looked good value for a promotion spot, then more realistically a play off berth and then the rot set in after Marine and the mauling at Exeter. Morecambe cruised to victory against us, but we lost some games to poor teams as well. See above.

Weather in Bolton will be 9 degrees c, sunny and dry at 1300hrs. Remember an early kick off for Good Friday. A victory will shock all the teams around us and put them under pressure. The determination of the final places is still in our own hands. We still have to play Barrow, Walsall, and Southend. The players owe the supporters for that shocking performance at Roots Hall on Boxing Day.

Tomorrow though is all about springing a surprise. How much does the team want this? Are they able to produce a match winning performance at the University of Bolton stadium? I believe so.

Try and enjoy the game.

Keep the faith.

Up the U’s

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Bantams to be consumed by voracious U's
at 11:23 27 Mar 2021

WB is beginning to influence the U’s performances, more attacking intent, a more settled side and valuable points. Tranmere Rovers were a good side, and we did well to secure a point regardless of the fact that we had been 2-0 up.

It is clear to see why Charlton have a buy back clause in Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu’s contract. He is a powerful box to box midfielder and once he gets his shooting boots on will score some more valuable goals.

The other player who played well and merits a mention was Courtney Senior. Now I have long been critical of his work rate, failure to track back, weak challenges and appalling shooting. But on Tuesday he got forward and put in three decent crosses which should have yielded more. He deserves his place today against the Bantams.

Big Frank, though still a legend in my book seems out of sorts at present. He was largely anonymous. I would like to see Michael Folivi or Paris Cowan-Hall get a start today.

WB mentioned that he had a difficult decision to make when dropping George and restoring Gerken to the line-up. Gerken did make a superb save to deny a certain goal and on balance will start today against Bradford City.

The point was valuable and today we really need to press home advantage against a Bantams side that has not won for 5 games. Mark Trueman has transformed the Yorkshire outfit, but they are going through a difficult spell at present.

They do have Charles Vernam in their ranks (the hattrick villain from Grimsby last season at the JSCS. I reckon though we should see them off 2-1.

News about our International starlets. Ainsley played for Guyana against Trinidad and Tobago, but they lost 3-0. Matt Briggs also lined up with Ainsley. Kwame Poku however received some incredible criticism from the Ghanaian Media (unfairly) and in the end he did not play against South Africa, but he could feature for the first team this weekend. Ghana have qualified for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations so expect the youngster to get some valuable first team action for the Black Stars in due course.

Table:

Port Vale 37 41
Walsall 36 40 -7
COL U 37 39 -16
Barrow 35 38 -3
Southend 37 32 -28
Grimsby 36 31 -27

Remaining Fixtures:

Bradford H
Bolton A
Barrow H
Oldham A
Walsall H
Southend H
Cheltenham A
Salford H
Tranmere A

Now opinion is divided over the number of points needed to be safe. As far as I am concerned it is all about 53 points. If we secure that total, then relegation is dead in the water. Forget about 47 or 48 we must get as many points as possible if we are to go to Tranmere on the last day free of the threat of relegation.

Whatever happened Southend must be put to the sword on Tuesday 20 April. Nothing else will suffice for the faithful. We also owe them, and the players owe us for such a shocking performance at Roots Hall.

So, let us go with the following side today:

Gerken

Tchamadeu Eastman Smith Clampin

Stevenson Wiredu Pell

Senior Brown Folivi

Subs:

George Welch-Hayes Doherty Oteh Cowan-Hall Chilvers Nouble

Weather today in Colchester cloudy, some sunshine 9 degrees C and continuing dry.
Woke up to a covering of snow in Durham this morning. Now gone but cold and dry and sunny here.

Enjoy the game.

The U’s to prevail 2-1 and therefore give us 42 points. That would leave 9 more points needed from 8 games.

Up the U’s

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Wirral rubbish!
at 14:00 23 Mar 2021

Today 23rd March marks the first anniversary of the first national lockdown and the Nation observed a minute’s silence at 12noon to remember all those who have died from the COVID virus. That puts football sharply into focus.

Now anyone (including myself) who thought that we would be safe from the threat of relegation needs to be aware that we are firmly in the brown and pungent.

Defeat to a poor Port Vale side at the weekend really brought it home that we are struggling like never before. The goals have dried up, the performances are poor and if it were not for the fact that Southend and Grimsby are both woeful, we would already be staring at the prospect of another spell outside of the football league. Not a pleasant thought. The club has been advancing backwards for the last 5 years and we face a real scrap if we are to survive.

The elation following the Carlisle victory (they were as woeful when we played them at the JSCS as they were good at Brunton Park earlier in the season) has long dissipated and I am sorry but losing to Port Vale after the recent draws against Grimsby and Salford City has signified that we are quite simply appalling at present. One win in the last 20 games says it all unfortunately.

Table:

Walsall 35 39 -7
Barrow 34 38 -2
COL U 36 38 -16
Southend 36 31 -28
Grimsby 35 28 -28

Barrow have shown how it is done with recent results giving them a way out of the mire. Our task is simple now. We must better Southend and Grimsby’s results to stay up.

Remaining Fixtures:

Tranmere H
Bradford H
Bolton A
Barrow H
Oldham A
Walsall H
Southend H
Cheltenham A
Salford H
Tranmere A

Tranmere under the guidance of Keith Hill come to the JSCS just outside the automatic promotion places and this will be another tough game, but then so were Marine!

It is so depressing and downbeat at present.

WB has as Interim Head Coach the opportunity to walk away at the end of the season if we do go down. Long suffering supporters do not have that luxury. We have to somehow find more enthusiasm to hang in there and show belief in the team.

Prior to the Port Vale game, I thought that we would be safe, I am not so sure now. Ten games to save our season. Potentially 30 points and we still need 15 points from those 30 available to be absolutely safe. Grim times indeed.

Team:

George

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Clampin

Wiredu Stevenson Pell

Cowan-Hall

Brown Nouble

Subs:

Gerken Doherty Oteh Cracknell Tchamadeu Chilvers Tovide

I would definitely bring Samson Tovide into the 18-man squad and give him 20 minutes game time.

Otherwise, the only change would be to bring Cowan-Hall into the side in place of Chilvers, not because the youngster is playing badly but Cowan-Hall offers experience where it is needed.

Tranmere have veteran David Nugent in their ranks and will offer a sterner challenge than the Valiants did.

Weather tonight 6 degrees Celsius and dry with clear conditions. The pitch has had some ideal conditions to recover, and it is pleasing to see more dry weather.

Now I have never predicted a Colchester defeat and I am not going to start today so let us try for a 1-0 home victory with Jevani Brown getting back into the scoring charts!

Try and enjoy the game. Hang in there.

Keep the faith.

Up the U’s

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Valiant U's to overcome the team from the Potteries
at 09:58 20 Mar 2021

Darrell Clarke brings his Valiants to Town today for the start of three successive Home Matches. The Port Vale game will be followed by Tranmere and Bradford. All difficult games, but then when you are 21st in the table they all are.

First though International call ups – Congratulations to Callum “Ainsley” Harriott whose Michelin star performances have quite rightly seen him get the call from Guyana.

But many congratulations to Kwame Poku, who at the tender age of 19 has been called up to the Black Stars squad and could be playing for Ghana against South Africa. A magnificent achievement.

It would be remiss of me though not to mention a milestone for Colchester’s Mr Consistency Tom Eastman who has clocked up 400 appearances for the U’s. Despite our woes he has been an ever present and his performances have always been toward the upper range of the scale. Well done Tom.

WB is also beginning to weave some magic for his charges. Normally back-to-back 0-0 draws would not set the pulses racing, but when we are trying to eke out every point for survival the Away games at Grimsby and Salford show the commitment and effort that he is instilling within the team. Importantly he played a settled team for consecutive games which we have not seen this season. Of course, at least one change is required today but we have players ready to step up to the plate.

I must also pay tribute to Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu who is becoming the number one on the team sheet. He gives us the steel in midfield but also, he links up with the forward players. I reckon that Harry Pell and Ben Stevenson should play alongside him today.

Table:
Walsall 34 39 -6
PV 36 38 -6
COL U 35 38 -15
Barrow 33 35 -3
Southend 35 30 -28
Grimsby 34 27 -28

Remaining fixtures:
PV H
Tranmere H
Bradford H
Bolton A
Barrow H
Oldham A
Walsall H
Southend H
Cheltenham A
Salford H
Tranmere A

I still think to be absolutely safe we still need 15 points and milestones are 40 and 50 points. Incredibly were we to win our next three home games then 47 points would already be touching distance of survival and the team could then play with confidence and push up the table with perhaps 60 points a possible finishing tally. Still not good enough but considering the wretched season that we have had a minor miracle.

WB would not only then be given the job on a permanent basis but would be considered for Canonisation. There is already enough pressure on the team, but it is about time that we not only scored a goal but also won a game handsomely. So why not defeat Port Vale by 4-0 to really boost the goal difference and also give that confidence for the forthcoming home matches.

Possible team 4,3,1,2:

George

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Clampin

Wiredu Pell Stevenson

Brown

Folivi Nouble

Subs:

Gerken Chilvers Tchamadeu Senior Oteh Cowan-Hall Tovide

Critics might question the lack of Wingers but Folivi, and Big Frank can play on the wings whilst Jevani Brown can play through the middle. Pell and Stevenson can play in the centre of the park leaving Wiredu to foray behind the strikers.

Josh Bohui appears to have disappeared off the radar but when he did play, I was disappointed with him and his apparent boast to get back to Manchester United did not fill me with enthusiasm that his heart lay in North Essex.

I would like to see Samson Tovide get 20 minutes if possible. He is relatively untested, but his raw enthusiasm is worth the opportunity to see what he can do. The opposition certainly do not know anything about him.

One thing is clear our activity in the final third has been sadly lacking and it is time to rectify that. The prospect of 13 0-0 draws may give us 51 points but the hotline to the Samaritans will be working overtime, I fear.

The weather today in Durham is beautiful with blue skies and dry sunny conditions. Colchester will experience 9 degrees and cloud but dry conditions. The pitch should be beginning to improve and needs to stand up to three games in one week.

And yes, I do believe it is time to remove the shackles and get that forward line ticking over. Get the ball to feet and give plenty of service to the front three.

However, you watch or listen to the game, enjoy it, and look forward to the U's breaking the 40-point barrier at 1650hrs today.

Up the U’s

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FA Fine U's
at 22:41 17 Mar 2021

Colchester have been fined £2k by the FA and FGR fined £1k for the fracas at the New Lawn.

They accepted the charge we didn't.

We simply must survive this season.

Up the U's
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Super U's to prevail against the Ammies at the Peninsula Stadium
at 17:54 16 Mar 2021

A third successive Away game tonight at 1900hrs for the Super U’s, this time against a Salford City team fresh from their EFL Trophy win against Pompey which cost Kenny Jackett his job. They won 4-2 on penalties and held the trophy for 24 hours. Sunderland ended 48 years of hurt with a 1-0 win against Tranmere Rovers.

Salford under Richie Wellens are handily placed in league two and amazingly are unbeaten at Moor Lane (The Peninsula Stadium) since a certain Colchester United won there with Ainsley Harriott and Kwame Poku on the scoresheet. Poku had his best game in a U’s shirt that day in the most horrendous of weather conditions. This game will be for the third time of asking tonight after two earlier postponements owing to the weather.

There is the possibility that Ian Henderson at 36 could be in the starting line up for the Ammies tonight after missing Wembley through illness. The man that John Ward called a wasp and who was productive for the U’s but really found his mettle at Rochdale now plays for Salford City.

Table:
Walsall 33 38 -6
COL U 34 37 -15
PV 35 35 -7
Barrow 32 32 -5
Southend 35 30 -28
Grimsby 33 26 -28

For all their success Salford are not prolific scorers (ok neither are we) so tonight must offer the U’s the chance to secure a second Away win this season. That would give us 40 points and real confidence with the final 12 games to come. The famous 53 points would then be very much in sight.

Our fate is still very much in our own hands and the players must strive for that elusive Away win.

I would not change the team this evening:

George

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Clampin

Wiredu Pell Cowan-Hall

Brown

Harriott Nouble

Subs
Coulter Stevenson Chilvers Folivi Cracknell Tchamadeu Poku

The weather in Salford will be 7 degrees Celsius at kick off, dry and cloudy. The pitch should be ok.

Ben Stevenson should get some minutes today, Dean Gerken is nearing a comeback but Shamal George has acquitted himself well. Paris Cowan-Hall played well at Grimsby. Harry Pell will be stronger but must curb his temper at key times. Jevani Brown needs a goal and very soon. Tonight, would be nice. I would also like to see Michael Folivi back in the matchday 18.

If WB holds his nerve, then we can definitely see the wood from the trees and the U’s will be confident going back to the JSCS at the weekend for another relegation six pointer against Port Vale. Then Tranmere and Bradford. Put simply another two or three wins from those games and we will be almost home and dry.

Can we keep a clean sheet tonight it will be difficult but a handy 2-0 Colchester victory against a team distracted after the weekend would be brilliant? Harriott and Brown to see off the Ammies.

“Dirty Old Town” you better believe it!

Enjoy the game

Up the U’s


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Mariners to be all at sea against Super U's at Blundell Park
at 11:33 13 Mar 2021

Blundell Park Saturday 13th March 2021 at 1730hrs will not decide our fate this season but it will determine whether we deserve to be in the bottom two. Grimsby are rock bottom and although picking up a point midweek will consider the last-minute Carlisle equaliser as a kick in the teeth at a time when they like the U’s are fighting for every point.

It is a must win for the U’s in order to put some space between us and the bottom two and also to give some much-needed confidence ahead of the difficult game at Salford on Tuesday.

Indeed it is a relegation six pointer just to further ratchet up the pressure.

Table
18 Scunny 32 39 -9
19 Walsall 33 38 -6
20 COL U 33 36 -15
21 PV 34 35 -6
22 Barrow 32 32 -5
23 Southend 34 29 -28
24 Grimsby 32 25 -28

Goal difference is becoming a real issue for the U’s and Walsall’s defeat to Barrow midweek is dragging them into the relegation dogfight.

Remaining Fixtures:
Grimsby A
Salford A
PV H
Tranmere H
Bradford H
Bolton A
Barrow H
Oldham A
Walsall H
Southend H
Cheltenham A
Salford H
Tranmere H

To put things into perspective this will not be an easy game. We last won at Blundell Park in 1979. I have been several times since and we have either drawn or lost. I normally meet up with Gerry, we enjoy Papas’ Fish n Chips on Cleethorpes Pier and then walk it off enroute to the ground.

The irony this season is we have actually been selected by the computer to play Grimsby on a Saturday afternoon. Shock horror, the famous Tuesday night condemned to the annals of history. Of course, we hope that a victory today will finally give us the confidence to think about securing 53 points and safety. Yes, I know that fewer points will probably suffice but we must secure safety as soon as possible. There can be no messing about when we are struggling for points with the last three games all potentially difficult.

So, three points today is not only crucial but also will send out the message to our relegation bedfellows that we are fighting to avoid the drop.

Do we really want to visit Sutton, Hartlepool, Torquay, Stockport, Wrexham, Notts Co, Chesterfield, Yeovil, Dagenham, and Barnet next season (two of which will replace the relegated teams)?

Paul Hurst took over the Mariners after Ian Holloway was sacked, and he has found things difficult but as with all teams until it is mathematically impossible, they will feel that they are in with a shout of avoiding the drop.

This is not the time for recriminations, that will come later, the simple truth is that we have been advancing backwards for the past 5 years. WB has been brave enough to take over after we were left adrift by the previous administration. WB has been returning players to the fold who had been frozen out by SB and the one that I have banged on about for weeks is Paris Cowan-Hall. A player capable of playing in Defence, Midfield, or Up front and he gives great flexibility.

WB blooded some of the youngsters and perhaps they were not quite ready, but they have potential for the future as does Samson Tovide who must surely be in contention for a start towards the end of the season.

The three at the back with wing backs did not work the other evening. A flat back four seems favourite. We have missed Prosser this season but as with the other players who were allowed to leave, we must move on.

Team:

George

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Clampin

Sarpong-Wiredu Pell Cowan-Hall

Brown

Harriott Nouble

Subs:

Coulter Stevenson Sowunmi Chilvers Folivi Poku Sayer

Ben Stevenson is back but only trained on Thursday therefore expect no more than 20 minutes today. I recommended leaving Chilvers out a few games ago for the simple reason that he looks burned out having been expected to play virtually every minute of every game. He has talent and potential and should be used as an impact player at the moment. Tom Lapslie similarly has had a frustrating season with injuries and false starts.

Big Frank was sorely missed and although stupid to be sent off (frustration being the main reason for his two offences) he will be needed at Blundell Park tonight.

Kwame Poku has not made the transition that he threatened to make last season and needs more time. Courtney Senior has been weak and ineffectual this season end of story.

Regardless of what people think about Jevani Brown, he is our best striker when he receives the service and up until mid-November was on fire. He needs to start, and the goals will come again.

The weather at Blundell Park will be 6 degrees Celsius at kick off, only a 5% risk of precipitation and a light breeze.

Colchester to prevail 3-1 for a much-needed victory and three vital points.

Enjoy the game (if you can).

Up the U’s


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Super U's hunting for valuable double over Town
at 18:03 9 Mar 2021

Well, we can forget all about the euphoria and however unlikely, a top seven slot after the Carlisle result because the U’s were brought crashing down to earth after a lack lustre final third performance against Newport on Saturday.

The team looked well balanced, but we just did not make any inroads into the Exiles defence. It was a disappointing defeat coming after what I thought was the beginning of a new era under WB.

We now start three successive Away games starting with a first ever visit to the EnviroVent Stadium at Harrogate. Of course, I am furious because this is yet another new ground and a relatively close fixture for me (just 52 miles) that I cannot make because of the restrictions still in place.

I still cannot understand why we were so ineffectual up front because the team was set up to attack. Newport is one of those teams that I dislike intensely, and I loathe their manager even more still enough sour grapes we move on.

Can the U’s secure a double over the North Yorkshire side after a 2-1 home victory earlier in the season? I think we can.

Frank Nouble whether through frustration or something else was stupid and got enough sent off and misses tonight’s game. However, I think that WB will simply bring Jevani Brown into the team instead.

We therefore are missing; Gerken, Nouble, Pell, Stevenson and Lapslie.

George

Tchamadeu Eastman Smith Clampin

Harriott Wiredu Chilvers

Brown

Folivi Oteh

Subs:
Welch-Hayes Sayer Sowunmi Cowan-Hall Poku Bohui Coulter

It has been a decent day in Durham, dry, overcast but milder. Harrogate will experience 7 degrees c and be mostly cloudy but dry at kick off. The storm is coming later in the week.

Table (still looks grim but good to see Southend in the bottom two)

20 COL U 32 36 -12
21 PV 33 34 -6
22 Barrow 31 29 -6
23 Southend 33 29 -26
24 Grimsby 31 24 -28

Sadly, I am also going to miss out on Fish n Chips on the pier at Cleethorpes on Saturday (makes a change from Tuesday night matches) and the twice rearranged Salford City fixture as well. Perhaps we might win them all which will cheer me up!

14 games and were we to gain 9 points from the next three well that would be just peachy.

Simon Weaver says that Harrogate should show no mercy to ailing Colchester United, well I think we should do the double over them.

3-2 to the U’s.

Enjoy the game

Up the U’s


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U's Exiles to enjoy U's victory over the Exiles today!
at 10:16 6 Mar 2021

Well Tuesday night was not only a shot in the arm, but also it showed us a few things and taught us some valuable lessons plus there are some other issues to address.

WB was the ideal short-term appointment.

RC was right to dispense with SB’s services, although HM has been retained as the number two again.

The worth to the team of Big Frank is incalculable, even though I felt he was disappointing in the first half on Tuesday!

WB has made an inspired selection in Junior Tchamadeu, even though the youngster has already occupied three different positions in the team. He should play right side, possibly as a wing back.

Shamal George made one of the most outstanding saves you could ever wish to see the other evening and performed superbly well.

Two strikers is a must and the way forward.

Despite what some might think Callum “Ainsley” Harriott is still our most potent attacker prepared to shoot from distance and with the ability to change game. He possesses all the ingredients to cook up the perfect Michelin starred creation.

WB must decide whether the strike pairing is Oteh and Nouble or Brown and Folivi or a combination of any two of them.

Courtney Senior must continue to ponder his future in the team from the sidelines. He has been woefully ineffective this season.

WB must decide whether 3,4,1,2 or 3,4,3 or 4,3,3 or 4,4,2 or 4,3,1,2 is his preferred formation.

Does Paris Cowan-Hall have a future at the club, I think he should be allowed some game time, but his injury record is poor.

When Ryan Clampin is fit then Josh Doherty should be returned to Crawley.
Sarpong-Wiredu is growing in influence each game.

It is good to se the youngsters like Sayer and Cracknell given their opportunities.
I would like to see Samson Tovide make an appearance soon.

WB will also have the same midfield issues when Stevenson and Pell are fit. A pairing from Chilvers, Sarpong-Wiredu, Stevenson, Lapslie or Pell.

Will Josh Bohui ever feature again.

With the U’s staring down the barrel after 14 games without a victory, WB finally instilled some confidence and ironically it was probably Trevor Kettle who was restored to the Christmas Card list of many U’s faithful for his courage in reversing a decision to award a penalty with the U’s already 1-0 down after an insipid first half. Omar Sowunmi made a great challenge, but Kettle signalled a penalty only to reverse his decision after speaking with his Assistant. It was the right call.

Admittedly at times the game was played in pure farcical conditions as the fog swirled around the pitch, but it was significant that the fog lifted after our reprieve and Kettle then gave a genuine penalty for a foul on Big Frank before Harriott’s double (his penalty going in off both posts) before Kettle once again awarded a penalty after Jevani Brown went to ground only to again reverse his decision after consulting his other assistant.

But take nothing away from the team who played with great fortitude and WB should be applauded for his inspired substitutions.

WB started with:

George
Eastman Sowunmi Smith
Welch-Hayes Chilvers Wiredu Tchamadeu
Harriott
Nouble Oteh

Subs: Folivi and Brown for Welch-Hayes and Oteh on 68 minutes and then Cracknell for Nouble on 90 minutes.
Unused Doherty, Senior, Poku, Coulter

Table:

COL U 31 36 -10
PV 32 34 -5
Southend 32 28 -26
Barrow 30 26 -8
Grimsby 30 24 -27

Now here is the thing. We have 15 games to play and 45 points to strive for.

Realistically we need 17 more points to achieve 53 points, which will absolutely guarantee survival, but with rose tinted specs on if we achieved 35 points from the 45 on offer then we would have 71 points, which could see us sneak into seventh place.

Is it beyond us, perhaps, but in this season of such incredible shocks and unusual results who knows:

Just look at the remaining fixtures:
Harrogate A
Grimsby A
Salford A
PV H
Tranmere H
Bradford H
Bolton A
Barrow H
Oldham A
Walsall H
Southend H
Cheltenham A
Salford H
Tranmere A

We are capable of winning 10 of those games and picking up the occasional draw. If we can go 14 games without a win then we can go 14 without defeat. Wishful thinking perhaps but looking at those fixtures nothing is impossible.

Anyway, unless we win today against the Exiles it simply is not possible. Now we owe Newport big time. We lost 2-1 earlier in the season at Rodney Parade conceding a last-minute winner.

I think our new found confidence will result in a 2-0 U’s victory.

But what team does WB play. Given that the injury list is still unchanged.
Well let us not tinker too much with a winning formula:

George

Eastman Sowunmi Smith

Welch-Hayes Chilvers Wiredu Tchamadeu

Harriott

Nouble Brown

Subs:
Coulter Poku Folivi Cracknell Oteh Doherty Marshall-Miranda

Weather continuing dry, 5 degrees c and cloudy at kick off.
The pitch is being given time to recover which is all good.

Let us maintain the confidence and improved form and go for back-to-back victories.

2-0 to the Super U’s

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s


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Unwanted records
at 22:08 4 Mar 2021

Liverpool have now lost 5 consecutive home games for the first time in their history.

And we think we've got problems!

Up the U's
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durham_exile


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