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Olly Murs at WHCS
at 19:12 16 May 2017

Parking £15 per car at Stadium
£10 at Colchester (near WHCS) Park & Ride
£10 at Ardleigh

I am not going, and as a local resident now fear nuisance street parking.

These prices are just exploitive (notably Park & Ride; which is normally £3). Bet these won't pay for a new striker. Wonder what cut the borough council will get?
Opponents points per game
at 18:00 8 Mar 2017

Very interesting table this....

It shows the average points per game achieved by any team's remaining opponents.

It is perhaps a guide to the perceived difficulty of that team's run in. With a quarter of the season to go, it is obviously more statistically significant data than if only two games were left, and my appraisal below is just aimed at provoking debate!

Amongst the top nine in the league table, the U's will face teams with amongst the lowest average points per game (1.32). The cynic might suggest that is because they have not played us! But does it offer us an advantage?

If this is extrapolated forward, their average 1.32 might suggest 1.68 per game is likely for us. Sadly, we are going to have to do much better than that!

With 11 to play, that would give us 51 + (1.68 x 11) = 69.48 points.
We will evidently struggle to catch Doncaster already on 69!

But consider the others in play off contention above us.

Luton 57 + (11 x {3 - 1.47} = 73.83
Stevenage 55 + (11 × (3 - 1.50}) = 71.50
Exeter 54 + (11 x {3 - 1.35}) = 72.15
Mansfield 52 + (11 x {3 - 1.72}) = 65.75
Colchester 51 + (11 x (3 -1.32)) = 69 48

This is evidently going to be tough! But somebody is bound to slip up.

But we are third in the home form statistics across the season and with seven from eleven to go at home....fingers crossed.
[Post edited 8 Mar 18:01]
Essex Senior Cup
at 22:46 29 Nov 2016

U's 6 - 0 Witham
Bonne (hat trick)
Not sure about third.

Witham kick off, back pass to keeper, Bonne charges down clearance; regains control of ball; taps in after 15 seconds. There follows 89 minutes of showboating and U's arrogance. We hit the bar; hit post; miss three sitters and still score six. Should have been ten. Witham had one shot on target, from about 40 yards.

Witham fans outnumber us and at the death one is still singing "we gonna win 7-6". Fair play, Reminded me of me in past seasons. Keep the faith.

Olly Murs to perform at WHCS
at 14:03 28 Nov 2016

No disrespect to the lad, but he is hardly in the same league as Elton & Lionel.

We won't be bothering this year, notably at £40 minimum a ticket (n.b. we paid £70 last year). Maybe we would pay £20 to hear him in Castle Park, but this announcement is disappointing when we were expecting another rock-deity.

Last year Lionel made the stadium rock despite the rain; the overcast cold June evening. I just can't see Olly Murs raising the roof, oh....WHCS hasn't got one.......exactly!

I predict tickets will be available on the day. There are over 500 left for his Christmas Special at the O2 next week. Any Usual boarders likely to attend in June?
Notts County
at 15:55 23 Nov 2016

Today, second HMRC winding up order of the year.

So is the ELF's oldest club about to go into administration?
Problems too at Morecambe.
Others being investigated for Financial Fair Play irregularities.

10 point deductions looming?

U's under 23 4 - 1 Millwall
at 22:03 21 Nov 2016

What a delight, driven forward by a fit again Doug Loft and Dexter Peter (surely a future centre back) the U's youngsters produced an awesome performance.

Really looking forward now to the trek to Cheltenham having been inspired by this. Sat behind Kurtis Guthrie. Hope he too was similarly inspired....
Football League Survey
at 19:40 16 Nov 2016

Ho hum,

Yet again, COL U amongst most expensive season tickets; aand amongst most expensive pies etc.

Rubbish served up on pitch.....

A programme within a what?
at 11:49 19 Oct 2016

I don't collect programmes, so I never usually buy one on a match day; that is until last Saturday when a pal asked me to get him one from the Keepmoat Stadium. Whilst he has paid for it I had a sneaky peak.....

£3 for something apparently just as thick as a U's programme does seems par for the course; but then inside, I discovered that 50% of its content was a replica of the (40p) Donny versus U's programme in the equivalent Canon Division Four fixture of 1983.

OK, some people do like reading such nostalgic stuff (but an entire programme?????). It seems to me to be a pretty lazy way of padding out 2016 content to justify 2016 pricing. Would such practice be welcomed by U's programme collectors if regularly mirrored at WHCS?

But my mind then turned to value for money. If you apply the rate of inflation applicable since 1983 to its then £0.40 price the price of that original programme today should be merely £1.28. How times have changed! £3.00 is more normal today.

So let's compare the quality of the content of the 1983 programme to the (IMHO) rather hastily and weakly produced 2016 content that was wrapped around it. Frankly, I though the latter was largely marketing and promotional drivel and I much prefer the more factual format of 1983.

So if the value of the 1983 insert is £1.28 in today's money; was the 2016 content wrapped around it worth £1.72 to make up the current £3.00? Frankly, I thought it was overall pretty awful, but is this likely to be a trend mimicked by other clubs (e.g. padding out new programmes with old)?

Would programme collectors that were not around in (say) 1983 welcome finding a 1983 replica in today's programme? Might it even foster "fakes"? After all. if you remove the poor outer 2016 'wrapper' the gullible might pay silly money to acquire an apparently mint copy of a rare or notably interesting programme!

I just thought that our programme collectors out their might have some interesting comments... or might there be a rush to try to sell Matt Hudson copies of your old (pre-cold war) programmes so he can replicate our glory years?
Standard of Division Two Refereeing
at 14:38 17 Oct 2016

This weekend, I saw Doncaster v U's (live) then Saints v Burnley (live); then (TV) Match of the Day. It might be just my opinion, but referees seem to be applying completely different standards. Shall we debate....?

The level of shirt pulling, blatant pushing and other skullduggery that goes unpunished in League Two is ruining the game. Both Newport and Donny were shocking. It's small wonder Chris Porter doesn't have a neck injury and a ripped shirt. The U's were also denied a clear penalty in both. But are the U's just "too nice"? Do we not roll about, dive and cheat enough? Both Newport and Donny had defensive thugs on a yellow card that might have later seen second yellow/red, but the referee bottled it. At Carlisle the ball-boys were a disgrace too. I would yellow card them too and "send any manager to the stand" and fine the club after two misdemeanours by obviously coached blatent time wasting ball-boys.

Yet in the above Premiership match at St Marys referee Mike Dean, who has awarded more penalties than any other in the Premiere League since 2015-16 (19), had evidently made it quite clear he was having "no nonsence". True to form, he awarded two penalties. But the absence of shirt pulling, holding and cheating was pretty obvious to me and to my companions that saw these same games. Admittedly MOTD is only highlights. But my impression is that most Premiership referees are not afraid of awarding yellow cards; red cards and penalties. Yet in Division Two it's a lottery.

But to some extent I wonder is it OUR own (fans) fault? The level of abuse heaped on referees (and players) in Division Two is appalling. The difference is that amid small crowds this highly personal abuse can be heard. In the Premiership whilst collective boos can be heard, the most horrible personal abuse that is in abundance at our level is largely obscured. I personally think our typically skilful players deserve far more protection from referees, or "is it a man's game"?


Men v Boys
at 22:02 30 Aug 2016

Most U23 sides lost tonight and too much dependence on youth cost us too. Crawley simply wanted the ball more and outmuscled our kids. KVY, Drey Wright, Sembie- Ferris, Bonne were all out classed by a skilful home team; or not strong enough in tackles; or ran up blind alleys.

But is our black away strip a problem? Under Crawley's poor lights it was hard to pick out players and the number of stay passes that found opposition feet was shocking.
Iceland clap
at 20:25 11 Jul 2016

No, not some Nordic affliction;

You know the one; clap....clap....clap..clap, clapclapclapclap.

Shall we be the first fans to do it?

It's the only worthwhile thing to come from Euro2016, like the Mexican wave in the past. Whoa! Can't we devise our own trademark clap?

Suggestions for a suitable clapping rhythm

How about (fast) dot dot dot, (slow) dash dash dash; (slow) dot dot dot?
Edwards and Gilbey arrested in town centre fracas
at 23:32 26 May 2016

Allegedly arrested for "assault, criminal damage and affray". Pub landlady injured, another man knocked unconcious (according to the Gazette).

When my wife read this news her instant reaction was "should be suspended from playing professional football immediately and if guilty must be sacked = terrible role models". This mirrored typical female reactions to the earlier arrest and conviction of Ched Evans. Here, I am not proposing that we debate that notable case again, nor debate the relative impact of the crime on the victim of a rape compared to a victim of other forms of serious bodily harm.

But today, is a conviction for ANY serious violent crime sufficient justification to end a footballers career? At the very least, I wonder, to what extent these two might have screwed up a potential move to another club? If guilty, what are the appropriate steps? There are some inconsistent past precedents; Marlon King? Joey Barton? Lee Hughes? But has the Ched Evans case dramatically changed public opinion about the responsibilities of footballer role models (albeit that he has since been granted a retrial, but having already been driven out of a footballing career by public opinion). Let's hope they are innocent.
[Post edited 26 May 2016 23:58]
JPT southern area final (first leg).
at 18:12 14 Jan 2016

At Millwall v Oxford tonight.
Freezing cold night.
Ate in superb "Millwall Cafe" in the ground.
Match tickets only £5 admission for seniors
Seniors are from age 60 (U's require age 65)
Adult tickets only £10 (match is on Sky 1).
We told stewards we are neutrals (and U's fans).
Spontaneously invited into the Millwall 'members only' bar.
Millwall unfriendly?...gerrof!

U's to note. Opening the soul-less breeze block south stand bar is not the way to extract the £50 we have already spent in this superb Millwall facility. We will drink in a pub until WHCS has a members bar.

Would the current U's beat England 1966?
at 09:03 5 Jan 2016

Just watched a (Sky TV) re-run of the 1966 WCF for the first time in 50 years.

I was staggered by the incredible amount of 'space' afforded to players when in possession; poor marking; the very slow pace of the game; modest skill; formations utterly predictable; weak goalkeeping (notably his dealing with crosses by Tilkowski). Leather balls, clunky boots. Less crowded penalty area at corners. Four attackers; four defenders; two midfield. No shirt pulling or like skulduggery. Looked little like the modern (far more defensive?) game.

Whilst not suggesting that our heroes of '66 could not individually improve to meet modern criteria, my perception at a team level is that the current U's might run rings around them despite England '66 being World champions. The modern army of coaches; sports scientists, nutritionists, mentalists and similar now create footballers that are vastly superior. Similarly, I played County Rugby in 1974 and whilst I suppose that I could have developed with modern (professional) techniques I wasn't remotely close to modern playing standards (notably fitness).

But in 1966 the game was a better spectacle. Every fan with scarf, rattle and rosette. Much more goalmouth action. More direct play. Also highlights the tactical value of modern manager in the current paradigm (n.b no disrespect to Alf Ramsey who was the first of the new breed). Thought we might reminisce, debate and generally evaluate these (deliberately) provocative thoughts....?

[Post edited 5 Jan 2016 12:32]
Lionel Ritchie
at 10:59 2 Dec 2015

Just got two £70 tickets - which will please Mrs Noah.

Was easy to book via the exclusive system set up for season ticket holders. Information in the email sent to them. General public sales start on friday. But how can they justify adding a further £19 in booking fees and ordinary first class postage!!!!!!

Humes gone
at 20:33 26 Nov 2015

Well folks, you have your wish. What next?

12 months ago Humes made some fantastic signings to temporarily sort out our defence and keep us up. He then made some awesome forward signings in the Summer transfer window to give us the most exciting forward line in many years. Walker gets injured, Parrish doesnt deliver, so he secures Jamie Jones in goal. Humes knows where to source talent.

Then yet again an even worse injury crisis wrecks our defence. The absence of Brindley and KVY being our primary weakness. I would have backed him to make further quality defensive signings in the next transfer window that will open soon. Instead fans drive him to resignation, just as they did Dunne, and probably the next and his successor.

I predict we will be in exactly the same position in 12 months time; and probably again after 24, 36, 48 if this merry go round of managers doesnt stop. We need continuity over at least three transfer windows. But will we give the next incumbent time? I doubt it.....
Meet Chris Porter at the Victoria Inn
at 12:57 18 Nov 2015

Chris Porter will be meeting U's fans........ and also a Blades fan (landlord Andy) for a photo-shoot.

18:00 Thursday 19th November. Victoria Inn, Station Road.

Red Card Roy's medal is also now on display.

Colchester Cricket Captain to Row the Atlantic
at 14:39 22 Oct 2015

Sorry for yet another charity appeal so soon after the Nepal Earthquake; but in December Colchester cricketer Joe Barnett is planning to row the Atlantic for the Rob George Foundation.

Talented local fast bowler Rob George unfortunately died at merely 21 from Leukaemia and the charity launched in his memory does quite fantastic work.

Joe has built his own Ark (having sensibly taken no advice from me). It will take him a million pulls of an oar to cross the 3,000 miles over 60 days whilst encountering 50’ waves. One hopes that he safely sees a dove at the end of his voyage.

The story of his ‘Ocean Reunion’ quest so far is quite remarkable and I promise that the supporting video will move you to tears. The courage that this will take is immense. Please support Joe and this worthy cause.

To learn more please visit and then please share the article with others via social media.
[Post edited 22 Oct 2015 14:43]
Wigan 5-0 U's Noah's Report
at 11:12 18 Oct 2015

Even my psychologist step-daughter couldn’t answer the question “what do you say to survivors of a second major train crash in two weeks”. …but here goes….

After his awesome under 21 performance on Monday it was sad to see Dion Sembie-Ferris completely snuffed out by a full back that cost £1M; and then wave after wave of attacks pour down exposed full back Olefumi’s flank. Yes, inexperience was in evidence, but Tosin perhaps unfairly took the blame from many fans. He can’t ever succesfully defend solo when it’s two/three attackers on one. So how did this debacle happen?

In the absence of Garvan and Massey; personnel changes had to be made. We seemed to start at 4-4-2 (or was it supposed to be 4-4-1-1?) with Porter and Sordell jointly leading the line; sometimes getting in each other’s way; and it simply didn’t work (but at least we were attempting a “Plan B”!). I fast lost count of the number of stray passes from Gilbey that missed Sordell by ten yards and/or the number of hoof-ball lobs from our back four to Porter that a powerful home defence brushed aside like flies. We saw Eastman and Kent pulled into defensive duties very high up the pitch as our forwards uncharacteristically surrendered the ball too cheaply (as they did against Shrewsbury). This was nothing like our normal 'shape' or pattern of play; and once again a very physical side took us apart over 90' (in between two half decent 45' periods).

This suggests to me that those fans that clamour for 4-4-2 are mistaken. It requires too much physical presence (which we don’t have) and leaves our full backs that must get forward to offer width exposed. It was horrible for fifteen minutes during which time we conceded three goals including a somewhat unlucky second. Wigan’s 3-5-2 choked our midfield; the Latics were a yard faster and miles more skilful, as one might perhaps expect from the Premier League/F A Cup winners of 2012-13. The Latics are not a Portsmouth or Blackpool strangled by debt. It’s still a wealthy club enjoying parachute payments; with a playing depth reflected by Grant Holt being on the bench; a player with 74 goals in 196 Premier league/Championship appearances. Frankly, I reckon they will now go on to win the league having recovered from injuries and misfortune (example; Holt had been out until yesterday for 10 months with a cruciate ligament injury). They have recently been putting together some recent good results to challenge the league pace setters (versus Bury; Walsall etc.) and I reckon that the U's won’t be the last to be slaughtered by them this season. Just surprised that they had so little momentum in August.

We ultimately reverted to our normal “Plan A” (4-5-1) in the second period and then gained some composure. At times, it even looked as though we might even “win” the second half; albeit that the game was long lost (after 4-0) on 33’. We were certainly much better (but not the better team) after Moncur and Ambrose came on for Sembie-Ferris and Porter. We then got the ball onto the deck and played some decent football; whilst Kent; Briggs and Eastman did some excellent defending. It was simply a very bad (first half) day at the office; a better second and we can’t argue that that Tony Humes didn’t have a Plan B given that we improved (but perhaps he should have perhaps stuck with Plan A from the outset!).

Once Garvan and Massey return (for Sembie Ferris and Gilbey), I believe that we will again hit the winning trail. But Gilbey has had two consecutive shockers and must make way; and Drey Wright hasn’t been back to his best in the Under 21s. So if neither Garvan or Massey are fit for Tuesday (Port Vale), then I feel that Ambrose must start; along with one of (either) Lapslie or Szmodics to in inject more pace and midfield ‘bite’. Szmodics (or Lapslie) might not have the skill of Garvan but his snarling nasty approach might compensate if Ambrose (playing narrower) and Edwards can play the currently missing quality through balls to Sordell and Moncur (who must start rather than Porter).

But my major fear is our full back crisis. Shrewsbury and Wigan have both cruelly exploited Olefumi/Elokobi; and we don’t have the excellent Vincent Young; or Wynter or Brindley (or O’Donahue) as alternative (fit) options; albeit that I am not convinced that they might have done any better. It was our awful ball retention and being a yard slower in midfield that resulted Tosin being utterly over whelmed (similarly Big George last week). Tosin hasn’t suddenly gone from M.O.M to a bad player, but nobody can’t defend solo against two/three on one. But his confidence must now be shattered. Edwards at full back might be an option? Maybe put Elokobi in at centre back to then move the excellent Kent to full back? Frankly, I am glad that I am not Tony Humes; as I really don’t have an answer to this conundrum; but remain confident that we can take three points on Tuesday if the Boo Boys stay at home and the truly loyal fans vocally support the team as we did against Bury.
[Post edited 18 Oct 2015 11:17]
See the whole of U's v Bradford on video
at 22:06 1 Oct 2015

In addition to the usual 10 minute highlights the Bantams have now posted a video of the entire game on their HD Player (e.g on their official website).

If a subscriber to U's Player, you should be able to watch this on the Bantams Player using your normal user name and password (as it did for the Blades game). Clever this as now about 12000 fans will see the adverts! But excellent for global exiles too.

It is described as ALL the match action; and it is posted seperately frim the highlights; but both seem to have exactly the same running time. I suspect they have posted (just) the highlights twice possibly in error (about an hour apart). If so sorry to excite you. Might be worth checking again after a day or so as the entire game was beamed back to Valley Parade and may appear.

Worth a visit to the Bantams site to listen to Parky's ungracious comments.
[Post edited 1 Oct 2015 22:22]
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