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Colchester United 1 v 2 Northampton Town
SkyBet League Two
Saturday, 25th August 2018 Kick-off 15:00
U's Vs Northampton - Durham's Preview
Friday, 24th Aug 2018 20:37 by Durham Exile

After the Super U’s sensational performance and deserved result against Crewe on Tuesday evening, JM and his players prepare to welcome Northampton Town to the JobServe Stadium on Saturday.

But before we consider that, time for the contentious bit. I for one am heartily sick and tired of reading about and listening to David Artell telling everyone that his players will put their hands in their pockets to reimburse the 153 supporters who travelling from Cheshire to the stadium on Tuesday. (He of course didn’t know whether the cost per ticket was £10, £20 or even £30). The reality is that most adult supporters would have paid £22 per ticket and that amounts to £3,366 or divided by the 11 players that started the match £306 each. Not the best way to motivate the team in the future, especially as they did not come out and offer the reimbursement, but their manager did, and he certainly didn’t offer to put his hand in his pocket.

The point is that every team will at some stage during a season come up against a side that is superior to them on that afternoon or that evening. The manner of the defeat will depend on a number of factors, but it is significant that when we win well, opposition managers often come out and state that their side has played abysmally. The truth is usually that the other team has simply been better. Of course, a defeat whatever the scoreline is a defeat, but when a side is humbled as with Crewe on Tuesday, instead of looking for excuses or placing the blame David Artell should have accepted that his team were second best. His comment that his Crewe players made Brennan Dickenson look like Messi was absurd (we all know that he is better than Ronaldo!!!).

During the 47 years that I have supported the U’s, I have visited over 90 different grounds (league and non-league) to watch them play and amongst the biggest defeats that I attended and witnessed were:
17 January 1976 Brighton at the Goldstone Ground Lost 6-0
2 November 1993 Darlington at Feethams Lost 7-3
2 January 2010 PNE at Deepdale FA Cup Lost 7-0

Some of the biggest victories were:
7 September 1977 Blackburn Rovers League Cup at Layer Road Won 4-0 (still the best game that I have seen Colchester play in).
22 March 1980 Brentford Layer Road Won 6-1

I can also remember 59 of us making the trip to Hartlepool on a Tuesday night (easy for me because I only live 50 miles from Hartlepool) but respect to the Colchester faithful for that journey. Supporters travel using various means of transport, own car, supporter coach, train or plane in some cases.

They travel because they support their team. They do not expect a rebate or reimbursement depending on the result. Mr Artell should focus on his match at Carlisle on Saturday and forget all about making cheap newspaper headlines. After all Crewe have already experienced a 6-0 victory at home to Morecambe, who strangely enough defeated our opponents Northampton on Tuesday evening!

I do not want to take any of the gloss from an outstanding result against Crewe. Colchester were magnificent, some of the football was stunning and the goals were all memorable. JM has also stated that the team will be fully focused on Northampton and that no complacency will set in just because we have started the season well. That is absolutely the right approach.

Arguably the reason we won so handsomely was because we scored that late, late equaliser at Mansfield on Saturday, which lifted everyone at the club, management, backroom staff, supporters and ball boys. Defeat would have been met with, “Well, we were unlucky to lose the game,” but to restore parity in the 95th minute was not only well deserved, but also a vindication in taking the game to Mansfield for those last few minutes after Mandron entered the fray.

Sides at whatever level in professional football do not like to be attacked in their own backyard with pace and determination. Mansfield had no answer and they were flattened by the equaliser, just as we were lifted.

So, what does JM do against the Cobblers, led by Dean Austin and recently relegated from League One. They have started the season with two draws and two defeats. They are likely to be at full strength and could include former U’s favourite John-Joe O’Toole in their ranks. They must be respected, but Colchester know that there are more great performances and results to come this season and there is no reason why we should take the game to them early and press home the advantage.

Unfortunately, Rene Gilmartin has broken a bone in his hand, but Ross is understudy to Barnes, so we wish Gilmartin a steady recovery.

JM will be tempted to again play the same starting XI as in the last two league games, but he has two potential injuries to Dickenson and Norris which will require careful consideration. Should Brennan Dickenson not be passed fit, then Aaron Collins could step in. Norris would be replaced on the bench by Ryan Gondoh.

Team 4,4,2


Jackson Kent Prosser Vincent-Young

Senior Lapslie Pell Dickenson

Szmodics Nouble


Ross Eastman Wright Comley Collins Norris Mandron

If Dickenson doesn’t play, then bring in loanee Collins to replace him and if Norris is unfit, then bring onto the bench Ryan Gondoh. Mika Mandron has already been told that he must remain patient. Opportunities will come for all the strikers without doubt this season.

Weather in Colchester is likely to be 16 degrees Celsius and partly sunny, so cooler than of late but the pitch and the players will welcome the cooler temperatures.

Hopefully the faithful will be there in greater numbers on Saturday and whilst we cannot expect another 6-0 drubbing, can we, I would take a 3-0 win with Frank Nouble to score with Senior and Vincent-Young weighing in with a goal apiece.

Happy days to be a Colchester supporter. Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s

Photo: Action Images

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