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Belated thoughts on the Exeter game and other Colchester matters! 19:05 - May 11 with 357 viewsdurham_exile

So, the sun has well and truly set on a most inauspicious season for the Super U’s. 13th place in League Two, the lowest finish for 24 years. 62 points and only 53 goals scored but just 52 conceded. 16 victories, 14 draws and 16 defeats. 13 points off the play offs, but 14 with our inferior goal difference. Essentially 5 victories short of where we needed to be. Simply not good enough.

Against the top seven sides we won 4 out of the 14 games garnering just 13 of the 42 points available. Narrow defeats in many cases, but defeats all the same and it all paints a depressing picture.

Can we take any positives from this shame?

Yes of course we can, the privilege of watching a really talented footballer in Ben Stevenson who was loaned from Wolverhampton Wanderers after a £500,000 signing from Coventry. The most exciting young prospect that I have seen for many years. I hope that he gets to grace the premier league next season.

The return from injury of Luke Prosser, he was sadly missed, but will he stay at Colchester. The fact that Brennan Dickenson is staying for another year (only because he sadly was injured for much of the season and other clubs didn’t get to see his obvious footballing talent). Brandon Comley who will surely only get better next season after impressive performances. Tom Eastman who remains a tour de force at the back. Kane Vincent-Young who has come on in leaps and bounds. Aaron Barnes who was loaned to Torquay and is a versatile defender.

Finally, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe and Ryan Gondoh who are both great prospects for next season.

It would seem that big Sam Walker has played his last game for the U’s and if Dillon Barnes is the replacement then we need to keep looking for another Goalkeeper.

Perhaps Rene Gilmartin could play because Barnes is as short as Walker is tall. Early days I know but I wasn’t impressed with his positioning, handling or shot stopping, the shot that found its way into the corner of the net (but fortunately the whistle had gone for an infringement – offside I believe) was not his finest hour.

The departures are not surprising – Doug Loft aka sicknote, Craig Slater and Denny Johnstone both preferred to be back in Scotland and Tommy O’Sullivan never looked to have the physical presence at this level.

What was surprising was that Drey Wright should join Johnstone at St Johnstone. Although their manager does see him as an out and out right winger and attacker. Please note JM.

Anyway, I made the short journey from North Cornwall to South Devon on Saturday along with 173 more of the faithful in a crowd of 4,615. Exeter were already secure in the knowledge of a play-off berth, but they didn’t know whether that would be 4th or even 7th. What a problem to have when you are 13th.

The weather was glorious, 24 degrees of wall to wall sunshine and the pitch looked immaculate. Two sides of the ground are being re-developed, and a curious 3 bay stand is being erected either side of the half way line. Apparently, there will be another 8 bays to follow when the £3.5m venture is completed.

When I was last at Exeter last season, when we lost 3-0, the Away fans were behind the goal and there was an older stand (the Grandstand) that ran for two thirds of the length of the pitch opposite the main stand. It is too early to really understand how the improvements will enhance the ground, but space is limited around the Exeter City Stadium. Away supporters will have improved terracing though when it is finished.

JM lined up 4,5,1

Barnes

Jackson Prosser Kent Vincent-Young

Gondoh Comley Murray Szmodics Senior

Mandron

Subs:
Walker Lapslie Wright Ogedi-Uzokwe Eastman Issa Sims

Brennan Dickenson sat with some of the faithful just in front of my seat and looked to be catching up on his tan.

Given the heat and the air of end of season that surrounded the stadium the football was fairly easy going. Too easy because after 12 minutes Frankie Kent totally missed his kick and allowed McAlindon to hook the ball over the onrushing Barnes and the ball contrived to be headed over by the Exeter forward.

Colchester’s attacking frailties were exposed once again when we failed to muster a shot on target during the entire first half.

I enjoyed a Pasty and a decent cup of tea during the interval.

JM acted decisively if that isn’t an oxymoron and replaced the ineffectual Mandron with Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe. Now I have opined before about Mandron. He is not a striker and should play just behind the striker in an attacking midfield configuration. He does his best work 25 yards from goal.

Junior quickly got into the groove and proved much more incisive and after 60 minutes was upended in the box to win a penalty, unfortunately the ball was kicked towards the touchline near where the faithful were positioned and although Junior followed Szmodics and the crowd shouted for Junior to take it, Szmodics grabbed the ball and although Junior looked towards Prosser he was overruled and Szmodics shaped to take the spot kick.

Cue disaster waiting to happen.

Colchester have missed four penalties this season and Szmodics elected to kick it tamely down the middle of the goal allowing Pym to make a comfortable save. Result fury from the faithful and disappointment from young Junior. This was a pivotal moment in a closely fought encounter.

Worse of course was to follow; Exeter finally awoke from their slumbers on 71 minutes and from a deep cross Simpson headed past the stand in Keeper Barnes.

JM then made a double substitution with Lapslie on for the hapless Murray and Wright for Senior who had run out of steam on a hot and demanding day.

There was time for Exeter to hit the post and for Luke Prosser to head over after another decent Ryan Gondoh cross.

At full time the carnival atmosphere was finally able to start for the Grecians whilst the U’s had time to reflect on an abject season and another poor result.

I shook Brennan Dickenson’s hand wished him well for the summer and told him that we were looking forward to his return in August.

With the news of the departures this week comes encouraging news of an arrival in the shape of Harry Pell for £100K from Cheltenham. He will be the “Matic” of Colchester I am sure, but of course we need a 20 goal a season striker and that will be much more difficult to achieve.

Exeter will play Lincoln in the semi finals of the Play Offs while Coventry and Notts Co will contest the other game. But really who cares!!!!

I wish all Colchester supporters an enjoyable Summer of Cricket or whatever else you participate in. Apparently, there is a tournament in Russia this June as well.

Keep the faith.

Up the U’s


Durham_exile

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Belated thoughts on the Exeter game and other Colchester matters! on 11:39 - May 12 with 301 viewsPinault_Noir

The sun may have set on our worst finish for a very long time - and I have my doubts that the decline has bottomed out - but please do not let the sun set on your splendid reports Durham.

At least you have seen a win at long last, maybe next year your defeats will become the rarity - I hope so.
Thank you ever so much for all the time and effort you put in usually when you feel as we all feel after yet another poor result/performance, but it is hugely appreciated here in darkest France [6 degrees] and also all the way down in Melbourne where my son [The Viking] now works. You help the U's to retain their focus especially when I can only get to a handful of games.
I'd rather have kept Slater in his 2017 mode and not mis-manage him than buy Pell but time will tell and maybe Slater missed Scotland. We must stop this habit of losing players through sidelining them or not giving them a proper chance [perhaps the striker you demand Durham, will be sourced from Orient!!!!] - it keeps happening.

May you enjoy some cricket too Durham - I can watch it here on a live stream so do not feel too remote in my studio.
Enjoy the summer if it comes too, but most of all, Thanks a lot again!
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Belated thoughts on the Exeter game and other Colchester matters! on 18:50 - May 12 with 281 viewsdurham_exile

Belated thoughts on the Exeter game and other Colchester matters! on 11:39 - May 12 by Pinault_Noir

The sun may have set on our worst finish for a very long time - and I have my doubts that the decline has bottomed out - but please do not let the sun set on your splendid reports Durham.

At least you have seen a win at long last, maybe next year your defeats will become the rarity - I hope so.
Thank you ever so much for all the time and effort you put in usually when you feel as we all feel after yet another poor result/performance, but it is hugely appreciated here in darkest France [6 degrees] and also all the way down in Melbourne where my son [The Viking] now works. You help the U's to retain their focus especially when I can only get to a handful of games.
I'd rather have kept Slater in his 2017 mode and not mis-manage him than buy Pell but time will tell and maybe Slater missed Scotland. We must stop this habit of losing players through sidelining them or not giving them a proper chance [perhaps the striker you demand Durham, will be sourced from Orient!!!!] - it keeps happening.

May you enjoy some cricket too Durham - I can watch it here on a live stream so do not feel too remote in my studio.
Enjoy the summer if it comes too, but most of all, Thanks a lot again!


Pinault - many thanks for your kind comments.

Rest assured that I will be back watching the Super U's in August. As things stand and with Tranmere restored to the league there will be at least 15 away matches in the North and Midlands for me to take in.

Enjoy the Summer and I trust that the weather will be kind.

Up the U's

Durham_exile

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