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Colchester to prevail at the Mazuma
at 20:38 22 Jan 2021

After an improved performance against Cambridge last weekend SB takes his charges to the Mazuma Stadium Morecambe on Saturday. Without a win in 6 games now it is time to secure another Away win and to begin to determine whether we are serious promotion candidates or not.

After Chuck Norris was allowed to leave to join Stevenage and Luke Gambin was loaned to Newport County, we have secured the services on loan of QPR striker Aramide Oteh who will take the Number 9 shirt.

Morecambe gave us a caning at the JSCS when winning 2-1 a few weeks ago. They looked a better team than everyone that I have watched this season except perhaps Carlisle United.

Our next games after tomorrow are:

Stevenage A
Scunny H
Salford A
Orient A

Our away record frankly is appalling this season and we simply have to start securing away points or we can look forward to another League Two campaign next year and of course we will lose even more of our promising players.

Morecambe have just signed on emergency loan a keeper from Reading who is Jokull Andresson. They will be no pushovers tomorrow and we need to start strong and take the game to them.

Now I simply do not know about the fitness of Folivi or Cowan-Hall or Welch-Hayes. Why do Colchester never divulge details of team fitness? It gives no advantage to the opposition at League Two level and makes no difference to team tactics, but the team will have been training during the week and must have an idea of who will be playing where and whether our new signing will be pitched straight into the fray as Centre Forward.

Now the club have made a mistake in letting Gambin go on loan (he will never play for us again I suspect) and if Newport don not sign him at the end of the season he will drift away perhaps to Stevenage. Everybody else seems to after all.

Courtney Senior should have gone on loan, perhaps to a National League club where he can toughen up. His challenges are weak, and he does not track back sufficiently well. He loses the ball with frustrating monotony and I have not seen him advance as a player this season rather he has regressed. Sorry, but that is the way it is and although the current management do not share those views, can anyone really say that he adds anything constructive to the team.

Now we have invested in Oteh so lets play him from the start tomorrow.

If Welch-Hayes is fit, then he should start at right back and the team should revert to a back four.

SB actually played the best midfield trio last week and they should also play at Morecambe.

Jevani Brown should revert to the Number 10 position and if fit Ainsley Harriott should play as the wide player. Aramide Oteh would make up the team.

So, play 4,3,2,1 as follows:

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Bramall

Pell Stevenson Chilvers

Brown Harriott

Oteh

Subs:

George Poku Clampin Tchamadeu Sowunmi Tovide Bohui

Tom Lapslie is unfit again. That leaves Cowan-Hall and Folivi unaccounted for (both of whom would have a place in my team, but their fitness levels are not known). Courtney Senior should be dropped. SB please do so, after all the world is not going to end if you do and he needs to take a long hard look at himself and decide what he can bring to the team, where he is going to play and what advantages there are in playing him.

I think that although pacy and tricky, he is lightweight and does not contribute goals or creates goal scoring opportunities.

Play Oteh as the (lone) striker with Brown for support and Harriott who creates opportunities and is not afraid to shoot. Cohen Bramall is long overdue a goal and one of his trade mark free kicks is overdue.

Do not be afraid to bring Samson Tovide on either. He may spring a surprise and the opposition will know nothing about him.

The weather is going to be 3 degrees Celsius and partly sunny which will be a welcome change after the rain, sleet, and snow which we have had this week. The pitch will be heavy, and this is another reason not to play Senior.

Table:

Cambridge 24 41
Newport 22 40
Carlisle 21 39
Salford 24 38
FGR 23 38
Cheltenham 23 37
Orient 23 36
Morecambe 22 35
Crawley 22 34
Exeter 21 33
Tranmere 22 32
Walsall 24 32
COL U 22 30

The table is not entirely accurate because of the games that some teams have in hand but the top four look strong and will not be a million miles away come the end of the season. We must make up 6 points just to get into the top seven.

Enjoy the game.

Score - 1-0 to Colchester with a debut goal from Oteh (if he gets the full 90 minutes).

Up the U’s

SB out

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Never mind the excuses we need to win today any win will do!
at 12:48 16 Jan 2021

Happy New Year. The vaccine is being administered to the most vulnerable and to date more than 3.5m doses have been given within the UK. At last, some encouraging news to combat this shocking COVID virus.

And of course, Colchester are unbeaten this year (we have not played a game yet!).

Today a local derby against Cambridge United, which will go a long way to determining how serious we are about challenging for any form of promotion this year.

A victory after 5 winless games is vital especially as we have slumped to 13th in the table.

Carlisle 21 39
Newport 20 38
Cambridge 22 37
FGR 21 37
Salford 22 36
Cheltenham 21 35
Crawley 22 34
Morecambe 20 34
Orient 22 33
Exeter 20 32
Walsall 22 30
Mansfield 23 29
COL U 21 39

Carlisle were exceptionally good when we played them at Brunton Park, Newport were fluky against us, Morecambe slaughtered us 2-1, Exeter are our bogey team, and Cambridge beat us when we should have drawn. Losing to Scummend was a disgrace.

Performances recently have been poor, no woeful. There has been no passion, no commitment, no effort, and no confidence. We were abysmal against Marine and that has cost us £250K this season in lost revenue.

Our real slump started at the Abbey Stadium and then we lost to an exceptionally good Morecambe side, we lost to relegation certainties Scummend and then clung on to draw with Cheltenham. Am I being too harsh, no definitely not? A lot of rubbish has been spoken this year about it will be a good season just to survive. The league is the weakest for years and however bad the finances may or may not be four teams will still be promoted. Why should it not be Colchester in the top seven mix.

Stevenage continue to be the Colchester B team with Chuck Norris the latest to depart to the Hertfordshire side. We wish him well. We could lose Cohen Bramall as well and that would be a disaster. He is valued at £225K and a decision will have to be made soon because he can leave at the end of the season for free. But would he go if we could guarantee League One football for him come August?

Certainly, there is no movement in to the club. A striker is definitely required. Kurtis Guthrie has moved to Port Vale, but he would not have returned to the JSCS under any circumstances. We do not want Sears back; he is past his best. We want a decent striker preferably 6ft plus and a physical presence, but they are not queuing up to come and in truth availability of such players is slim.

A new manager is also required but that is also not going to happen. SB has no clue when it comes to tactics involving strikers and after the success of Jevani Brown as a make shift number 9 other teams have found out the perfect way to stop him and we have given him no service whatsoever in recent games.

The injury to Harry Pell has restricted our midfield options, but he should be back today. SB does not know his best XI and his obsession with playing Courtney Senior is bizarre in the extreme. Given our squad I would play 4,3,3 today and make that a genuine 3 up front.

Dependent on fitness I would go with.

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Bramall

Pell Stevenson Chilvers

Folivi Brown Harriott

Subs:

George Senior Lapslie Cowan-Hall Bohui Tchamadeu Tovide

We have had three weeks on the training ground to get the tactics right and to prepare for this game.

Stop the playing out from the back, which puts our defence under pressure, get the ball forward quickly and look to play the ball to the feet of our strikers, Brown and Folivi. When fit Harriott is our most skilful attacker and can deliver a decent cross plus he is not afraid to hit the ball from outside the box.

If SB is bold and the midfield is fit then Pell, Stevenson and Chilvers offer a combination of passing, intervention and linking up with the strikers.

Give Brown support from Folivi and play them as a genuine partnership. After all we cannot do any worse that we have been doing. But SB must be bold, adventurous, and confident.

Weather is 4 degrees Celsius and showery in Colchester. It is dry in Durham, but the view is seasonal with lying snow after two days of the white stuff.

Let us hope that the players can turn things around and deliver three points today. The supporters deserve it and after a miserable spell without any joy we are overdue a victory.

Try and enjoy the game.

2-1 Colchester (Brown and Bramall)

Up the U’s


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Big Sam is a Don
at 21:03 12 Jan 2021

Big Sam has moved to Wimbledon on loan until the end of the season.

Frankly his career has stalled since his ill fated move to the Royals.

Good luck to him

Up the U's
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The exodus continues......................
at 22:24 9 Jan 2021

Reading are preparing to sign Cohen Bramall.

Rather than lose him on a free in the summer, Colchester will look for a fee now.

OK so we have cover in the form of Ryan Clampin, but Bramall is one of our Crown Jewels.

Ben Stevenson must now stay at the club. But we are showing little inclination to push for promotion. In fact Scummend are now only 10 points behind us after another win for our Essex fiends.

Depressing times indeed at the JSCS.

Up what left of the U's

Ball OUT
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Southend to be overrun by the Super U's in Boxing Day encounter
at 11:58 26 Dec 2020

For the first time this season SB and his charges are under real pressure. As Gerry put it “pier” pressure as they make the short journey to Roots Hall to play the Shrimpers at 1pm.

Pressure because they face the prospect of three successive defeats and to lose even more ground in the promotion race.

Losing to Cambridge was bad enough albeit a game that we deserved to secure a draw, but we were woeful against Morecambe and if it possible to be thrashed 2-1 then we were most certainly thrashed.

Those games have gone and has the 6-1 thrashing of the Shrimpers earlier in the season. Boxing Day is all about three crucial league points, bragging rights and attempting to drop Southend closer to the trapdoor of relegation.

Incredibly the last time I went to Roots Hall was Boxing Day 1989 and we won 2-0 that day. Yes, I have been to many derby matches at home but 1989 was the last Away game. My abiding memory that day was many of the Southend faithful hurling their seat cushions onto the pitch at full time.

Anyway, today is all about an Away victory.

1. Newport 19 37
2. FGR 19 36
3. Carlisle 19 35
4. Cheltenham 19 33
5. Morecambe 19 31
6. Exeter 18 30
7. Salford 18 30
8. Walsall 19 30
9. Cambridge 18 28
10. COL U 19 28

24. Southend 18 13

SB must be decisive and brave in his team selection and tactics. Frankly, he has been inept and unconvincing in both for many games this season. Carlisle and Morecambe have been the best two teams that I have seen against the U’s this season. It is vital therefore that the defeats are stopped before more points are haemorrhaged, and we slide further down the League Two table.

This is our fifth season in League Two and if we are to get out of the basement league then three points against our nearest geographical rivals is essential.

But what team does he play. Well, it must be two strikers and two or even three bespoke midfielders. After all Tom Lapslie is available after his long injury lay off. Defence must revert to Welch-Hayes at full back.

So, I would go with 4,3,3

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Bramall

Chilvers Stevenson Lapslie

Harriott Brown Folivi

Subs:
Tchamadeu
Sowunmi
Norris
Clampin
Gambin
George
Senior

But SB will play instead:

Gerken
Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Bramall
Stevenson Chilvers
Harriott Folivi Senior
Brown

Subtle changes but important in the scheme of things.

Mark Molesley has John White and Greg Halford available for selection in a team that has started to play a bit. Two draws and two wins in the last four games.

The pitch will be heavy, but the weather will be cloudy and a mild 10 degrees Celsius.

Enjoy the game.

3-0 to the U’s today.

Up the U’s


[Post edited 26 Dec 2020 12:02]
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Shrimpers to be potted by the Super U's at the JSCS
at 13:13 19 Dec 2020

After three successive Away games where we won one, drew one and lost one, the U’s return to the JSCS to welcome Morecambe under the guidance of Derek Adams. The Shrimpers are having a good season and have won three out of the last four games (Orient 2-1, Harrogate 1-0, and Barrow 1-0). The only defeat 2-1 at Newport.

Now courtesy of IFollow I have seen every league this season (as many on this board will have done also) and I have not been afraid to criticise SB for his one-dimensional tactics, but on Tuesday evening we should have secured a point at the Abbey Stadium. Cambridge wasted so much time second half and yet only 5 minutes was added on despite the number of substitutes utilised, plus that timewasting. We tried for one opportunity late into the game, but it did not come.

Of course, SB played defensively from the outset which is his biggest failing as a manager. Have confidence in the team to deliver the goods and let them express themselves. When we attack, we are dangerous, but this defensive passing back and sideways plus packing the defence and midfield with players who are often being played out of position is plain wrong.

Luke Gambin is a case in point. We signed him after he had singlehandedly defeated the U’s and scored two long range goals. When did he last have a shot at goal? Why play him in the midfield alongside Ben Stevenson when Noah Chilvers should be there. It is unfair on the player and frustrating for the spectators.

On Tuesday evening SB at last played Brown and Folivi together after both entered the fray on 59 minutes by which time, we were a goal down and chasing the game.

Cambridge went two up on 65 minutes before Folivi scored a penalty on 68 minutes to half the deficit. The equaliser would not come, however.

Today SB has a decision to make. He is home in a match that we should win and so can he be bold and play Folivi and Brown together with Norris as well. The stats suggest that he will unfortunately definitely not do so, and so instead bring Norris on from the bench but start Brown and Folivi as twin strikers. After all Brown was bought as the replacement for Szmodics and it was partly due to the injury to Chuck that Jevani Brown was played as a number 9 at the start of the season.

I would go with the following:

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Bramall

Harriott Stevenson Chilvers Gambin

Brown Folivi

Subs

George Sowunmi Clampin Tchamadeu Norris Poku Senior

The back four offer stability. Stevenson and Chilvers are proper midfield players, not inverted wingers or being played out of position. Harriott, when he is on song, is the most skilful winger and has the ability to change games. Gambin is long overdue a starting berth as a left side winger.

Brown and Folivi have pace, skill, ability and can both score goals.

I don't know what's happened to Josh Bohui, he must have walked under some ladders or run over some black cats.

That leaves Norris, Poku and Senior as possible replacements later in the game.
But give twin strikers a chance and they will come good.

The weather is likely to be 10 degrees Celsius, mostly sunny, and only a 10% chance of rain. Much better than of late.

2,000 fans will be allowed in today, as Colchester remains in Tier Two.

If Colchester do play 4,4,2 and go with early intent then I see the Shrimpers being outplayed and defeated 4-0. Anything else and we face a difficult game which we do not need with the old enemy on Boxing Day complete with Greg Halford!

It is about time that we beat another team in the top seven of the league.
Next fixtures:

26th Southend Away
29th Cheltenham Home
January 2nd Tranmere Home
9th Salford Away
16th Cambridge Home
23rd Morecambe Away
26th Stevenage Away
29th Scunny Home

Table:
Newport 18 37 (Away Lost 2-1)
Carlisle 18 35 (Away Lost 3-2)
Cheltenham 18 33
FGR 18 33 (Home Won 1-0)
Exeter 18 30 (Away Lost 6-1)
Cambridge 17 28 (Away Lost 2-1)
COL U 18 28
Morecambe 18 28

Enjoy the game today.

Have a Merry Christmas and an even more enjoyable Boxing Day!

Up the U’s


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There's only one CUFC and they hail from North Essex!
at 18:01 15 Dec 2020

SB takes his charges the short distance to the Abbey Stadium this evening to do battle against Cambridge led by Mark Bonner. This will be our 5th game in 14 days and identifies the tough schedule that the U’s have been given with a third Away game in a row.

After the Exeter debacle results have been improving and the win at Scunny was then backed up with a good point at Port Vale on Saturday.

SB has talked about using the squad and that is the right thing to do but he must also be prepared to freshen up the strike force. Bonner said that he set up wrong at FGR on Saturday and they lost 2-0. Cambridge played 4,4,1,1 and you can guarantee that they will not want to lose to Colchester this evening.

I went to the Away game at Cambridge last season and at 1-0 we were looking strong but then two moments of madness gifted a win to Cambridge. This was disappointing especially after they won at the JSCS earlier in the season .

Tonight, gives Jevani Brown the opportunity to add to his goals tally against his old team.

Table

Newport 17 36 GD 12
Cheltenham 17 33 GD 13
Carlisle 17 32 GD 10
FGR 17 32 GD 9
Exeter 17 30 GD 15
COL U 17 28 GD 2
Orient 17 27 GD 6
Salford 16 26 GD 10
Cambridge 16 25 GD 12
Morecambe 17 25 GD-7

Cambridge started the season like a bullet train but more recently they have been derailed by some wayward results. Forget about the past tonight is a grudge match and a derby to boot. We owe them after last season.

Our next fixtures are Morecambe H, Southend A, Cheltenham H and Tranmere H therefore points tonight are important as are goals. That 6-1 defeat at Exeter cost us dearly with GD but the U’s showed at the weekend that they are prepared to battle and put-up sterner resistance.

Team tonight

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Bramall

Stevenson Chilvers

Poku Brown Harriott

Norris

Subs:
George Sowunmi Clampin Senior Gambin Folivi Lapslie

I would prefer to see Folivi and Brown start up front, but Chuck has shown great determination recently and his fitness is improving. I think a better cut of red meat is being fed to him before the games.

Weather is set to be dry and 8 degrees at the Abbey Stadium this evening.

Scoreline – I reckon Colchester to shade it 3-2 in a tight and pulsating affair with Jevani scoring the winner.

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s

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He who would Valiant be - U's to prevail at Vale Park
at 13:48 12 Dec 2020

Encouraged by their first away win of the season at Scunny on Tuesday where the Alamo, Rourke’s Drift or the Battle of the Little Big Horn were all conjured up in a 45-minute second half SB takes his charges to Vale Park today.

Yes, it was backs to the wall but unlike at St James’s Park the defence remained resolute and in truth Scunny offered little real goal scoring chances despite their lion’s share of the possession.

The goal when it came saw the brilliant Cohen Bramall deliver an inch perfect cross to Tommy Smith who headed firmly past the Iron keeper.

I do hope that Ben Stevenson is able to return today (getting team news from Colchester is like getting blood from a stone) because the excellent Noah Chilvers has been fighting a midfield battle on his own with inverted wingers and makeshift midfielders no match for the genuine article.

Now John Askey’s Valiants have just won their last two games, a 6-3 away win at Bolton and then a game in the Micky Mouse trophy and they will be confident but then so should the U’s after Grimsby and Scunny victories with the monkey of failing to secure an away win now off our backs.

In February we lost 3-0 at Vale Park with the following team:

Gerken
Jackson Eastman Prosser Bramall
Senior Pell Stevenson Comley
Robinson Nouble

Today only five of that eleven are likely to start. Although Robinson could play for Port Vale.

Now as stated earlier I simply do not know who is fit, suspended or eligible to play and so whilst I truly hope that Ben Stevenson is fit and able to play after a one match ban.


SB is likely to go with the following:
Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Bramall

Chilvers Gambin (but I hope Stevenson)

Harriott Brown Senior

Norris

Subs:
George Sowunmi Clampin Poku Miranda Tchamadeu Folivi

I have given up requesting that Senior be dropped. SB is not listening . Besides, he likes his inverted wingers!

Harry Pell is injured and is Paris Cowan-Hall also injured?

Josh Bohui is out of favour. The problem is without Stevenson young Chilvers has too much to do in the centre of the park. Tom Lapslie could be recalled but I am not sure whether he is truly fit.

The weather will be dry and 7 degrees Celsius with cloud cover.

The stadium will be empty Port Vale is in tier 3.

I reckon a 2-1 to the U’s in on the cards today. Cohen Bramall is overdue a goal and so is Tom Eastman.

Table:
Newport 16 36
Cheltenham 16 32
FGR 16 29
Carlisle 16 29
Exeter 16 27
COL U 16 27
Cambridge 15 25
Salford 15 25

Enjoy the game

Up the U’s




Oh what fun it is to see Col U win away!
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Colchester to prevail against the rusty old Iron tonight
at 17:33 8 Dec 2020

After a much-needed victory against the Mariners at the weekend, SB takes his charges to the Sands Venue Stadium this evening to take on Neil Cox’s improving Iron.

Scunny have won their last two games, and our record at Glanford Park is not the best, but I expect Colchester to secure another 2-1 victory. Last season I saw the U’s come back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2, but we need to go one better this evening.

Unfortunately, I must mention the unsavoury aspect to the game on Saturday. Now at the time I did not pick up on any boos, but it was only when I saw the Chairman’s statement, that I became aware of the controversy.

I deliberately did not respond to the diatribe on the site from certain sources, suffice to say that the adverse publicity was not needed on a day when our supporters returned to the stadium and generally acquitted themselves well. Whatever people’s views on BLM, the JSCS was not the correct place to air them. The sight of a disconsolate Cohen Bramall on National TV with a Col U shirt on should be more than enough for the minority of people who feel that way to keep their counsel.

One of the finest players ever to wear the Colchester shirt was Trevor Lee who ironically won the game at the Old Den some years ago and received tremendous abuse from the Lion’s fans. In my experience such disrespect always works against the team and I do hope that we hear no more of it at the JSCS. Enough said.

The weather tonight will be wet and 4 degrees Celsius. The pitch will be greasy and likely to cut up.

Now what team will SB play.

I am going to suggest three changes. The return of Welch-Hayes and Stevenson after suspension and dropping Senior! Clearly after such a suggestion I will keep away from black cats, ladders and so on but enough is enough.

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Bramall

Harriott Chilvers Stevenson Gambin

Brown Norris

Subs:
George Sowunmi Tchamadeu Poku Bohui Folivi Lapslie

Yes, I know I have omitted Senior, but this is my predicted line up and I am allowed to suggest who I like to play in the Colchester kit.

Mention of Junior Tchamadeu who made a superb debut for the club and looked far more mature than his tender 16 years of age. Callum Ainsley Harriott also cooked up a Michelin starred performance and it is hoped that he can give the Scunny defence a roasting this evening.

One thing is sacrosanct, Brown needs support and either Chuck or Folivi should supply it.

League Table

Newport 15 33
Cheltenham 16 32
FGR 16 29
Carlisle 16 29
Exeter 16 27
Cambridge 15 25
Salford 15 25
Orient 16 24
COL U 15 24
Tranmere 16 24
PV 16 22

This is our game in hand, and we need the points, not only to close the gap but also to improve on a woeful Away record this season. We do not want to be constantly chasing the top seven we need to be right amongst them.

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s

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Mariners all at sea against the Super U's tonight
at 15:30 5 Dec 2020

After a stuttering draw on Tuesday night against the Reds of Crawley, SB and his charges entertain Ian Holloway’s Mariners on Saturday evening 1730hrs kick off at the JSCS.

Now I am keeping this short because frankly I am swamped with things to do at present.

Weather in Colchester mostly cloudy dry and 4 degrees Celsius.

Team:

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Sowunmi Bramall

Stevenson Chilvers

Harriott Bohui

Brown Folivi

Subs:

George Gambin Lapslie Miranda Norris Cowan-Hall Poku

Of course, I will be wrong Senior will play and Poku will start. Do not know about Pell’s fitness.

Now do not get me wrong I like Poku I just think he has not advanced as much as he should have done after last season.

Just a plea to SB, please play two strikers and let Brown have some decent support if you want him to score more goals. Aimless high balls to him when isolated and surrounded by three defenders is no good at all.

Score 3-0 to Colchester

Frankly, this is a must win and a must win handsomely. Especially so after Scunny warmed up with another win today.

Up the U’s

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Time to stand up and be counted against Crawley tonight
at 14:24 1 Dec 2020

The shellshocked U’s entertain the reds of Crawley at the JSCS this evening but before we focus on this must win game a consideration of the dreadful events at St James’ Park last Tuesday evening.

Now try as I can I am unable to banish the truly horrendous images from my mind. But then I thought am I overthinking this. Is it really as simple as Exeter City are simply our bogey team? After all every side has another team that has the Indian sign over them. But no however easy that is to consider, it was the manner of the defeat that knocked the stuffing out of Colchester. So, what is the real reason, is SB simply tactically inept. I reckon that he is and what proves it for me was the manner of our capitulation.

Now at Half Time however little of the game that we had enjoyed for the first half it was only 1-0 but then SB made three substitutions. The team then became so disjointed and ill at ease that it became a turkey shoot.

SB got his starting line-up wrong, simple as and no excuses because we have been crying out for weeks for a second striker. Jevani Brown is isolated and alone like someone in Tier 3.

SB plays 5 at the back with Pell just above or alongside the back four.

Stevenson and Chilvers are then holding midfield players with his favoured two wingers who are bizarrely “inverted” wingers leaving Jevani Brown all on his own.

Result we are too defensive minded and Exeter (even though I do not like them) had done their homework. We were pressed back from the outset and forced to play mainly in our own half. Jevani Brown managed one shot on goal which might have gone in but for a decent save.

Jay for Exeter played superbly well and scored on 20 minutes and that is how it stayed until the end of the first half.

This is when SB panicked. He disrupted the defence by taking off the excellent Welch-Hayes and replaced him with Harriott (who is still not fully fit). Poku was replaced by Chuck and the industrious Chilvers was replaced by Folivi. So, in one move SB weakened the defence and the midfield and played three at the back but still kept Pell in defence and then expected Ben Stevenson to singlehandedly take on the four Exeter midfield players who could not believe their luck.

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Bramall

Pell

Stevenson Chilvers

Senior Poku

Brown

Then on 45 minutes we moved to:

Gerken

Eastman Smith Bramall

Pell

Stevenson

Senior Bohui Harriott

Brown Norris

Senior was weak and ineffectual, Harriott was unfit, the formation was clearly one that none of the players had contemplated let alone play on the training ground.

Randall then scored on 53 minutes and at 2-0 the game was up.

SB then did his Alec Guinness impersonation at the Bridge over the River Kwai – “What have I done?” And exacerbated the problem by thinking why did I take off my Right Back at half time and brought on an out of form and inexperienced Scarlett on 56 minutes for the disappointing Senior.

Result Bowman (who will never score an easier hattrick) scored on 57 minutes after Scarlett had been dispossessed on the right. At 3-0 the team were shell shocked and looked leggy. No one was receiving any service up front at all. Bowman scored another tap in to make it 4-0 on 71 minutes.

Only then did we see some interplay between Brown and Folivi who scored with a sharp shot on 73 minutes and it was 4-1. I thought at this stage that we had another goal in us and perhaps could have made it even 4-3.

However, SB brought his talisman Brown off on 74 minutes and replaced him with Josh Bohui. The team continued to labour and without Brown there was even less attacking threat. Poor Ben Stevenson was injured and eventually had to go off. Leaving Exeter to score twice more on 90+3 (Bowman) and Jay (90+5) to leave the scoreline 6-1. Frankly, it could have been 10.

In truth the game was over at 2-0.

So, we finished with:

Gerken

Scarlett Eastman Smith Bramall

Pell

Bohui Harriott

Folivi Norris

(Stevenson injured)

A weakened defence, no midfield and forwards who had never played in this formation ever before.

I felt sorry for Bramall who did not deserve to play in such a pathetic team and for Brown who surely cannot be sending SB a Christmas Card this year for the way that he has been treated and played out of position and without cover or support.

To make things even worse Marine eked out a 1-0 win at the weekend and have drawn Spurs in the third round. We have as a club have lost £250K this season because of our inability to beat the part timers from Crosby.

Phil Parkinson should be welcomed back with open arms.

Not only was the defeat so damaging to our confidence, but also it has destroyed our positive goal difference and forced us down to mid-table again. Once you quickly get off the pace in this league you are always playing catch up and this is the situation that we now find ourselves in.

I make no apology for the damning indictment we were abysmal, and SB must accept the blame for the tactical mistakes and disgraceful performance. Much has been made about Klopp’s annoyance at the lack of 5 subs in the premier league. Maybe SB needs to telephone the German and ask him about deploying 5 substitutes tactically and with nouse.

So, this evening we play Crawley at the JSCS. Led by John Yems they have just secured a lucrative third round cup tie against Leeds United after defeating Wimbledon at the weekend. They will not be short on confidence and could leapfrog the U’s if they win tonight. This is a must not lose and definitely a must win game now for Colchester.

SB must play the following starting XI:

The one doubt is Ben Stevenson who was injured but hopefully he will be fit. If not, then Paris Cowan-Hall or fit again Tom Lapslie could play midfield.

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Sowunmi Bramall

Pell Stevenson Chilvers

Bohui Brown Folivi

No messing about, a genuine 4,3,3 with Bohui on the flank and Folivi and Brown, who have a good understanding on the pitch, to play as two strikers.

Subs:
George Cowan-Hall Smith Lapslie Poku Senior Norris

This season we have played poorly at times but won. Dreadful against Marine we were woeful against Exeter. SB must be on borrowed time.

Stop the lone striker, take the game to the opposition. Stop the five at the back. Play Pell in a more advanced role and give Brown the safety blanket of Michael Folivi. Jevani Brown will only get back to scoring ways if he has service and support. I do hope that SB has learned something from the mauling against the Grecians.

Weather tonight will be dry, 4 degrees and partly cloudy. The pitch will be good, and we need to get the ball down and play. SB has had one week to address his deficiencies.

I am not showing a league table we dropped to 11th and that is embarrassing enough to know.

Enjoy the game if you can – prediction 2-0 to Colchester but only if SB is brave and tactically savvy.

Up the U’s

Rumour is Parky is attending the match tonight.


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Essex Tier 2
at 11:49 26 Nov 2020

NT

Co Durham tier 3

[Post edited 26 Nov 2020 12:03]
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Grecians to have hair raising experience against Super U's
at 13:47 24 Nov 2020

Colchester travel to St James’ Park Exeter tonight for another difficult game. The Grecians are turning into our bogey team following our 3-1 defeat in the Play Off Semi Final second leg. Although we were close to a famous win when Kwame Poku had a chance near the end of the game which would have put the U’s through.

Still that is in the past as is Exeter’s defeat to Oldham at the weekend which handed them their first loss in 13 games. Matt Taylor wants his players to take out their frustration on Colchester, but the pressure is largely on the Grecians and their star Randell Williams.

SB has made much of the fact that we have yet to secure an away win this season. 4 draws and 2 defeats is a disappointing return so far, the draws coming at Bradford 0-0, Barrow 1-1, Walsall 1-1, and Mansfield 1-1 with the two defeats at Carlisle 3-2 and Newport 2-1.

Now the old maxim is win at home and draw away, but an Away win is worth no more points wise but psychologically, particularly tonight, it is worth significantly more. Especially as we have no game this weekend because of that pathetic game against Marine.

Now SB started on Friday night with the following team:

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

SB was using what is becoming known as “inverted wingers”.

Harriott replaced Poku on 61 minutes and then Mansfield scored their goal on 67 minutes. SB then made some positive substitutions Bohui and Folivi for Senior and Stevenson on 70 minutes and then Norris for Welch-Hayes on 80 minutes.

The team then looked like this:

Gerken
Eastman Smith Bramall
Pell Chilvers
Harriott Folivi Bohui
Brown Norris

The attacking line up was successful with Norris scoring a “Brownesque” goal on 85 minutes and then we could have won the match with Folivi close near the end. But SB would ordinarily not make such drastic changes in a game. The alternative of course would have been another dismal defeat.

Now a number of us on this site have been pleading for a second striker. Jevani Brown cut a forlorn figure on Friday because he simply had no support and was given little opportunity. Often receiving the ball and he usually had the attention of two or sometimes three Mansfield defenders around him.

So, what can SB do to offer more support, simple play a second striker but who. Jevani Brown must start and then who supports him. Either Chuck Norris or Michael Folivi. I favour Folivi who offers similar pace and trickery as opposed to the wily Norris who has experience but lacks pace. Chuck can be used in the last 30 minutes as an impact player.

Given that the defence is largely determined that leaves midfield and one winger.
Try as I can I cant get away from the midfield triumvirate of Stevenson, Pell and Chilvers. This means that SB cannot play his inverted wingers. But with Brown and Folivi he must choose between Senior, Poku, Harriott and Bohui.

When he is on his game, Harriott is the natural choice. Skilful and always able to create chances for others, he is often let down by his failure to stay on his feet. Courtney Senior is frustrating. He often plays well but takes on one too many defenders or gives the ball away cheaply or fails to track back or all of the above.

Kwame Poku is an enigma. His best game for the U’s was that thrilling victory at Salford last season when in horrendous weather conditions he scored an absolute scorcher and almost got a second shortly afterwards. He has in my view failed to push on this season and whilst he is talented, he needs to channel this energy far more productively.

Josh Bohui is one of my favourite players. Yes, he missed a penalty against Marine, but everyone was pants that day except Bramall. He would be first change if Harriott is replaced.

Brown and Folivi could be the ultimate striking partnership both young, pacy and have goals in them. We have lacked a strike partnership for years now. Norris is a real old-fashioned striker; he scores goals and has bags of experience. He also gets frustrated and often pummels the floor after hitting the deck or gives away cheap fouls when annoyed about a failure to convert a chance.

Paris Cowan-Hall is another player who has had almost as many clubs as Jack Nicklaus, but he has been unlucky with fitness. His best game was against Spurs when he kept Son in his pocket for most of the game.

Therefore, the following to start at St James’ Park in a 4,3,3:

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Bramall

Stevenson Pell Chilvers

Harriott Brown Folivi

Subs:
George Cowan-Hall Sowunmi Senior Bohui Poku Norris

A look at the table:

Newport 12 28
Cheltenham 13 25
Cambridge 12 24
Carlisle 13 23
FGR 13 22
Exeter 13 21
COL U 12 20
Salford 12 19

Our game in hand is the Scunny game.

On Thursday we will find out which Tier we are going to be in and ultimately that will determine whether we can have 4,000 (T1) or 2,000 (T2) supporters at the JSCS. Colchester is likely to be tier 1, Co Durham could be Tier 3 where no supporters will be allowed. There is a massive difference and we do not know whether away supporters will be allowed into the stadia.

I suspect that I will continue to be reliant on iFollow.

The weather in South Devon this evening will be 12 degrees Celsius and mostly cloudy but dry. The pitch will be better than Field Mill, where the surface was greasy, and the players footwear caused many slips and trips.

I reckon that we will prevail in a keenly contested game by 3-2. Cohen Bramall is overdue a goal and he will be supported by goal machine Brown and his strike partner Folivi.

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s


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Grecians warm up with home defeat
at 17:17 21 Nov 2020

The Latics won 2-1 at St James' Park today.

SB take note our bogey team are not unbeatable at home and we should take the game to them on Tuesday.

Up the U's
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Super U's to ensure Stags remain in a rut tonight
at 10:33 20 Nov 2020

The promotion chasing U’s, under the guidance of SB head to Field Mill this evening (7pm kick off) for an intriguing game against rejuvenated Mansfield Town, who are now managed by Nigel Clough.

The first of an away double header that sees us travel to St James’ Park next Tuesday. But first having risen to seventh in the table, we have the chance to keep our league winning sequence this time against the Stags. Now Field Mill is one of those grounds where I normally watch the U’s draw but last season, we managed a 3-2 victory and a similar scoreline tonight would be most satisfying, but it will be difficult simply because Mansfield are in a false league position languishing in 21st. Mansfield must be respected because they have recently triumphed at the Stadium of Light in a FA Cup match.

But this is a strange season not only because of the COVID restrictions but also because we have unearthed a striker who could eclipse 20 goals in a single season for the U’s for the first time since JC and RM.

What Jevani Brown has added to the team is a confidence in front of goal, the ability to score from acute angles and to demonstrate an assuredness that he will create and convert chances either ones that he has made himself or that have been provided to him. It is well documented that we failed to get anything from him last season, but SB should be applauded for giving JB the opportunity and it has worked spectacularly. His pace is frightening, probably only Cohen Bramall in the team is faster over 30 metres.
But he does need support and it seems that Michael Folivi is the player to supply that. SB relented and played the two from the start against Orient (even if there was confusion in the COLU Twitter feed that Josh Bohui was both starting and occupying the bench). They combined effectively and that is what always works well.

I have never been a fan of a single striker, especially away from home where the feeling of isolation is akin to self-isolating at home during lockdown. I know because I have been there!

SB has stated that he is not afraid to tinker with a winning team. I hope the only tinkering that he is considering is the welcome return of Ben Stevenson. Chuck has been a good servant but I see him as a sub to be given 20 minutes or so in the second half unless SB can see an opportunity for him to play as the Number 9 with JB as the number 10 but would SB countenance Folivi as well in the same team. I suspect not.

Perhaps Smith was preoccupied about playing for New Zealand against England at Wembley but once that was squashed because of you know what, he does seem to have played some solid games after some woeful ones. Welch-Hayes and Bramall could become two of the best full backs that we have ever had. Have we truly forgotten about Ryan Jackson already? Also, when we played Stevenage Luke Prosser was anonymous during the match and Brandon Comley was quiet when we played Bolton Wanderers. Only Big Frank seems to still be creating headlines with his shot which was turned into the net by a luckless defender for Plymouth against Pompey in the recently televised Dockyard Derby.

What I am saying is that many of us, myself included, were disappointed when the Colchester four were summarily dismissed at the end of last season. Ethan Ross also left for Lincoln but has only managed only two appearances for the Sincil Bank outfit. The side has been resilient since then and replacements have at least been equal to or more properly greater than their predecessors.

Tom Eastman remains a colossus at the back for Colchester and despite his inconsistency Tommy Smith shows promise. Omar Sowunmi has proved a confident deputy when the opportunity is given to him and perhaps was unlucky not to start against Orient.

In midfield the main difficulty is that SB will not drop his favourite wide midfield players like Senior when the dream team is Stevenson, Pell and Chilvers who has been a revelation this season.

Up front I would like to see Brown, Folivi and Poku or Bohui. Harriott and Gambin are both good players but both drift in and out of games.

Substitutes become even more important this evening with up to five allowed in a league game.

So, starting XI tonight:

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Bramall

Pell Stevenson Chilvers

Poku Folivi

Brown

Subs:

George Sowunmi Cowan-Hall Clampin Norris Bohui Senior

Tom Lapslie is close to returning and we also have Miquel Scarlett and Ryan Clampin waiting in the wings. Similarly, Marley Marshall and Samson Tovide.

Greg Halford should not trouble the judges in the Luxembourg Jury, he is yesterday’s player, and we could not justify dispensing with seasoned pros simply to bring someone in who has not played for months.

The weather this evening in Mansfield will be 10 degrees Celsius and sadly more light rain. The pitch will be greasy and possibly heavy but at this time of the year we can expect such surfaces.

The league table looks more promising:

Newport 11 25
Cambridge 12 24
Cheltenham 12 22
Exeter 12 21
FGR 12 21
Carlisle 12 20
COLU 11 19
Port Vale 12 19

Our game in hand is the Scunny match rescheduled for Tuesday 8 December.

And the encouraging news does not just stop with up to 5 subs allowed in a game, there are official noises that supporters could be allowed back into stadia before Christmas. The Morecambe Home game could be a starter for ten, but the prospect of a feisty Boxing Day clash against Southend at Roots Hall with many of the faithful present would be the ultimate Christmas present.

Do not forget the action tonight starts at 1900hrs at Field Mill and Colchester to win a close affair 2-1 to maintain the promotion challenge. Enjoy.

Up the U’s


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Super U's to be full of Eastern promise against the Orient
at 20:25 13 Nov 2020

The U’s entertain Ross Embleton’s Leyton Orient side on Saturday in the final of four successive home games. It has certainly been a curate’s egg with victory over Stevenage 3-1, a disaster against Marine 1-1 and 5-3 defeat on penalties, then a much-changed side won 6-1 against Southend. Colchester are left with only the league to battle for and so this Orient match must produce three more home points.

Special mention must be made of Jevani Brown with his two hattricks against Stevenage and Southend. What price a third against Orient.

Before we move on a mention of the shocking performance and appalling result against Marine AFC. SB played a strong team who certainly should have prevailed against the non-league outfit, but we imploded in spectacular style to leave another failure in the premier Cup competition. Pell, Chilvers and Brown converted their penalties and Josh Bohui missed but there were other more senior players who should have taken that fourth penalty. Anyway, it changes nothing, and we lick our wounds fail to count the coffers and move on.

Southend are a poor side on a par with Stevenage and the margin of victory was very good, but I would have rather seen three goals go in against Marine and three against Southend.

That brings us to Orient.

SB is likely to change things around squad wise on Saturday.
I would like to see the following start:

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Sowunmi Bramall

Pell Stevenson Chilvers

Folivi Brown Bohui

Subs
George Cowan-Hall Marshall Miranda Poku Senior Clampin Smith

I am unclear whether Ben Stevenson is fit to start and if not then Poku to start instead.
Harriott is likely to be missing and so is Chuck.

Play a 4,3,3 formation take the game to Orient and lets look for three more points.
Senior and Smith should be rested they have both gone off the boil and the bench is the best they should aim for at present.

Weather is set to be mild 13 degrees Celsius and light rain with occasional sunny intervals.

The table remains a close affair:

Newport 11 25
Cambridge 11 23
FGR 11 21
Exeter 11 20
Carlisle 11 20
Cheltenham 11 19
Port Vale 10 19
Crawley 11 17
Morecambe 11 17
Salford 10 16
COL U 10 16
Walsall 11 16
Orient 11 15

Enjoy the game.

U’s to prevail 3-1

Up the U's

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Colchester to enjoy FA Cup success against Marine at the JSCS
at 21:55 6 Nov 2020

After the excitement of a rare Colchester United hattrick courtesy of already a strong contender for Player of the Season Jevani Brown against Stevenage Borough on Tuesday evening the Super U’s play host to Marine AFC on Saturday at 3pm in the 1st Round Proper of the FA Cup.

As I mentioned earlier in the other FA Cup thread, I went to Marine’s ground in 1972 for the FA Amateur Cup tie against Enfield which the London side won 3-0.

Marine are managed by Neil Young and will present more of a challenge than Stevenage offered the other evening. They have reached the 1st Round Proper for the first time in 25 years and will be keen to cause an upset.

We will certainly be hoping that Colchester approach the game professionally and do not give the impression that they are On the Beach. Similarly, we need to go after them Like a Hurricane and make sure that we do not offer them charity in the form of a Heart of Gold. Well they are managed by Young and they hail from Crosby.

Chuck Norris is injured and will be out until the beginning of December therefore the signing of Michael Folivi was particularly opportune.

Now SB is at least consistent, on Tuesday he made three substitutions with less than 10 minutes to play. Josh Bohui got his customary 7 minutes of action, Chilvers replaced Poku on 85 minutes and new striker Folivi got two minutes replacing the outstanding Jevani Brown on 88 minutes.

It would seem that he is not to be dissuaded from only playing one striker even at home.

This is a mistake but while results are positive the policy will remain unchanged.
Therefore, he is unlikely to make many starting changes from Tuesday evening.

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Bramall

Stevenson Pell

Senior Poku Harriott

Brown

Subs:
George Sowunmi Chilvers Scarlett Gambin Bohui Folivi

I would start Bohui instead of Senior, but the latter is simply undroppable.

Given that Marine will offer more attacking threat than Stevenage, SB will err on the cautious side, but these are the sort of games where the opposition must be put to the sword. Over the years we have had enough cup upsets, Yeovil Town, Wycombe Wanderers, Dover Athletic, Bedlington Terriers are just some that spring to mind over the years.

Now that the FA Cup offers the only realistic big money-spinning opportunities the U’s must be after the Goldrush and a 4-0 scoreline is realistic in order to avoid any embarrassment.

The weather in Colchester is set fair tomorrow with 12 degrees Celsius and clear dry conditions. Some sunshine will be in evidence.

Frankly, a home tie against a Northern Premier League side who play in the 8th tier of English football is one not to be sniffed at. We must take full advantage.

The match is available through the BBC Red Button and Online services, live at 3pm. Both teams will enjoy a financial cup windfall, but it is the homeside that will progress to Round Two.

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s

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C'est Bonne
at 10:04 5 Nov 2020

A late winner for QPR last night.

Opinion has always been divided on this site but one thing is indisputable the lad scores important goals.

Let's not make the same mistake with Josh Bohui and Michael Folivi.

Up the U's
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Stevenage to be put to the Sword by Super attacking U's
at 16:39 3 Nov 2020

Very short and sweet tonight.

Stevenage to be annihilated tonight by Super U's 4-0

Team

Gerken

Welch-Hayes Eastman Smith Bramall

Stevenson Pell Chilvers

Brown

Norris Bohui

Subs:

Folivi Poku Harriott George Sowunmi Senior Scarlett

SB has had a week to mull over his folly to play only one striker against Newport and with the signing of Michael Folivi there is at last competition for places.

SB will play Norris and Bohui from the start with Brown tucked in behind.

Take the game to Stevenage bring Folivi on with 30 minutes to play.

More in depth analysis and consideration ahead of the Marine cup tie. Suffice to say I dont have time for more this evening.

Stop the 4.5.1 and play with two strikers home and away. This league is weaker this season and it is about time that we wised up to that fact.

We have nothing to fear except fear itself.

Up the U's

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Michael Folivi signs until the end of the season
at 16:12 2 Nov 2020

Former Watford striker 22 year old Michael Folivi who has been training with the U's has signed until the end of the season.

My concern is where does that leave Josh Bohui who I rate highly and in his cameo performance has looked sharp.

Does this mean a change of emphasis from SB who might now play two up front with Brown in the number 10 position.

We will wait and see.

Perhaps he could play against Stevenage.

Up the U's
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