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|U's U23 4 - 4 Coventry U23|
by noah4x4 at 23:20 17 Feb 2020
Brilliant goal by Norris after 90 seconds. Looked lively, also bagged a penalty, hit a post and his work rate impressed.
By contrast, Senior looked disinterested. Along with Poku the pair repeated all their routine failings. Running into dead ends; selfish; losing Gallup etc. By the time they were substituted we were losing 2-4. Neither contributed anything in defence, in a game littered with defensive errors and gifted goals. Example, Sowhumi passed to their CF inside our area. Coventry much the better side until the substitutions (Norris, Senior and Poku were withdrawn).
The youngsters then showed determination and passion taking control of the last 20 minutes, albeit Coventry carved out some good chances too. Pulled back to 4-4 and might have won it with better fortune (twice hit post etc). Might be time to give a couple of youngsters their opportunity. They can't do worse than Senior.
|Do real fans wear gloves?|
by noah4x4 at 11:21 16 Feb 2020
Have you noticed that the U's are repeatedly awful in the cold, wind, rain, but in sunshine and dry conditions can be excellent? But whatever, the weather, real fans don't wear gloves? That is because muffled thuds offer no benefit to applause and chants and hence our contribution as "twelfth man"
So why do some lazy thud players wear gloves? Goalkeeper excepted!
To me that is a sign that they don't really want to be in the pitch in poor weather, and so that proved yesterday. Like the real fans, hardy players won't wear gloves or long skin pants or socks above knees.
Yesterday, just as at windy cold Cambridge, few had a good game (except Stevenson), but those wearing gloves were the stand out "not fit to wear the shirt" candidates. So get those gloves off them McGreal and pick those that actually want to play in the rain, wind and cold. Else fans will not venture out either.
|Happy League 2018/19 Week 29 (of 38) - Deadline Saturday 22nd February 15.00|
by mfb_cufc at 22:29 15 Feb 2020
Week 28 Results
SOUTHAMPTON 1 BURNLEY 2
Burnley are now unbeaten in their past seven Premier League meetings with Southampton. Nobody got this spot-on, and just mfb_cufc had the outcome. 23 predicted a win for Southampton.
WBA 2 NOTTINGHAM FOREST 2
Forest get a 91st minute equaliser to stop West Brom from going 9 points clear at the top of the Championship. That was good news for the 2 who had this spot-on, and the 3 who got the outcome. Not such good news for the 12 who had West Brom to win 2-1 in what was the weeks most predicted score.
CARDIFF 2 WIGAN 2
Cardiff closed the gap on the Championship play-off places despite being held to a draw. No points for anybody from this game with 27 predicting a win for Cardiff.
MIDDLESBROUGH 0 LUTON 1
Luton made it back-to-back wins in the Championship and ended a run of 12 away defeats in a row with the only shot on target in the game. Nobody got this spot-on, and only 2 had the outcome. 25 predicted a win for Middlesbrough.
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 0 READING 3
10-man Wednesday have now gone six league matches without a win. Nobody got this spot-on, and just TheHappyGooner had the outcome. 20 predicted a win for Wednesday.
BRISTOL ROVERS 2 BLACKPOOL 1
Rovers ended their 14-match winless run as they came from behind to beat 10-man Blackpool. A magnificent 7 had this spot-on, and another 5 got the outcome.
IPSWICH 4 BURTON 1
A first win in five matches for Ipswich as Burton take their winless run to six. Nobody got this spot-on, but 21 did have the outcome.
OXFORD UNITED 0 SUNDERLAND 1
Sunderland secured their seventh victory in nine games. It was also their seventh clean sheet in their last eight matches. A magnificent 7 had this spot-on, and a further 11 got the outcome.
PLYMOUTH 2 CREWE 1
Plymouth were another team to come from behind to win as they ended the four-match winning streak of promotion rivals Crewe. A massive 11 got this spot-on, and 7 more had the outcome.
STEVENAGE 0 SALFORD 1
Stevenage remained seven points from safety following this latest defeat. A great 8 had this spot-on, and a further 11 got the outcome.
Storm Dennis made sure all today's games were played with strong winds and heavy rain affecting them. At least all our 10 games survived the conditions, but they produced a mixed bag of results. Five games had some shock results and only produced 13 points between them, but that was more than made up with the other five games going very much to form, and we ended with a decent return of 35 spot-ons in total. Considering there was only five games producing a 3 pointer it was a great effort from basher2010 to get four of them, the wins for Bristol Rovers, Sunderland, Plymouth and Salford, and with two outcomes he is this weeks top scorer with a brilliant Gerryesque 14 points. Three members also did well to have three 3 pointers, they were mfb_cufc and thrillseeker who both had the wins for Bristol Rovers, Sunderland and Plymouth, with the former getting a superb 12 points, and the latter an excellent 10 points. The third being noah4x4 who got the wins for Bristol Rovers, Sunderland and Salford to also give him an excellent 10 points. Best of the seven members to get two 3 pointers was BFG who had the 1-0 wins for Sunderland and Salford, and three outcomes to give him a very decent 9 points.
Champions League The competition starts on 18th February, and just Daniel and Blue4U2 are to post their predictions before the Tuesday 20.00 deadline.
In the Premier Another excellent week for noah4x4 extends his lead to 33 points, and is now very long odds on to be the first member to win back-to-back Premier titles, and at the same time create a new record for 3 pointers in a season currently standing at 38. Having the Salford 1-0 spot-on made sure Sector4 held onto second spot, and getting the wins for Bristol Rovers and Salford spot-on has sevebalo returning to the final Charity Shield spot after one week away. A third double-figure score for the season keeps thrillseeker well in contention for a top three finish. "Is the bubble about to burst" said gerry_us. Well after a solid 6 points I would say not quite yet. A seasons best score for mfb_cufc moved him a couple of places. Having the 2-1 wins for Bristol Rovers and Plymouth spot-on helped to move eagledares out of the bottom three.
In Division One Having the Salford 1-0 spot-on maintained a healthy lead for Blue4U2, but there is now a new member in the other automatic spot as the brilliant top scoring effort from basher2010 moves him up four places into there. After getting the 1-0 wins for Sunderland and Salford spot-on Daniel has to settle for a close third this week. Two more 3 pointers, the West Brom 2-2 and the Bristol Rovers 2-1 keeps Lewis_1 well in contention for a first season promotion. As does GOSBTS, who had the Plymouth 2-1 spot-on to remain in the play-off places, along with blueeagle who also benefited from having the Plymouth 2-1 spot-on. Further down the league the very decent week for BFG raised his hopes of making the play-offs. Two 3 pointers for gsy163 and durham_exile will give them hope as well. In the latter's case it is for the second week running, and the decent 8 points were needed to raise his spirits after earlier events at Vale Park. A decent 8 points also for burnsieespana, as he keeps his good recent run going.
THE TABLES (204 out of 280 played)
(Tie-breaker: Most 3 pointers, and then the first to post)
Week 29 Fixtures
CRYSTAL PALACE v NEWCASTLE UNITED
LEICESTER CITY v MANCHESTER CITY (17.30)
CHARLTON ATHLETIC v LUTON TOWN
FLEETWOOD TOWN v PORTSMOUTH
NEWPORT COUNTY v BRADFORD CITY
NORTHAMPTON TOWN v EXETER CITY
Good luck everybody.
by wessex_exile at 18:32 15 Feb 2020
So, after a disappointing result at Port Vale, our mission is clear, and has three simple objectives:
Objective #1 - stay in the Play-Offs
Pretty straightforward really, with goal difference on our side, we just have to do as well as the best performing team below us. Currently, and realistically, that means Northampton and Bradford City, with Forest Green 6pts adrift at the moment. We've still to play away at both of those two, which makes those games absolutely massive. If it proves necessary, we also have the luxury of FGR at home for the last game of the season.
If we manage that...
Objective #2 - finish 4th or 5th
Much trickier - Plymouth and Cheltenham both have two games in hand, and Plymouth might be too far ahead to be caught already. However, we still have Cheltenham at home to come, win that and we'll be right on their heels. The Play-Offs are a complete lottery, but if I had the choice, I'd rather go into the second leg of a semi-final, knowing what we had to do, at home.
If we manage that...
Objective #3 - pinch 3rd place
Dreamland, obviously - it would need us to win almost all of our remaining fixtures. I thought 80pts might be enough, Durham thought 82pts, and I reckon it'll be somewhere around that mark - certainly not less than 80pts. If we accept that our games at Bradford and Northampton are must-win because of Objective #1, and we win all of our remaining home matches, that's eight victories. Notwithstanding what teams around us do to each other, that leaves us needing a couple of good results at Salford, Carlisle, Newport or Walsall.
Stranger things have happened - I'll be there at Salford to see how the run-in starts.
Up the U's!
|He who would Valiant be, Super U's to prevail at soggy Vale Park |
by durham_exile at 09:03 15 Feb 2020
JM takes his inconsistent U’s to Vale Park today for another key game in the battle for Promotion from League Two. Inconsistent because after their long unbeaten 16 game run, they have recently defeated Swindon and Plymouth but inexplicably lost to Cambridge and Grimsby.
It is this puzzling dilemma that most concerns me as a Colchester United supporter. Looking purely at League Games, we have played 33 games, won 13 drawn 13 and lost 7 with a GD of +16 and 52 points.
We lost 5 out of the first 14 league games and then have only lost 2 out of the last 19 games (but of those disturbingly have lost 2 out of the last 3 games).
We now embark upon the first of 13 cup finals with 7 Away games and 6 Home matches. In total we will have played 56 League and Cup games this season.
Our magnificent Carabao Cup run will have garnered £1M in the coffers. The transfer deals brought in almost another net £1M after the Brown transfer. So, it has already been a successful season, but if we fail at the last and languish in the basement league for another season it will have been a failure.
The 13 “Cup Finals”
Port Vale A
They will of course determine our fate this season. Colchester must still strive for one of the top three positions. The Play Offs are a lottery and we can do without squeaky bum time in April/May.
Swindon 33 63
Crewe 32 61
Exeter 32 60
Plymouth 31 57
COL U 33 52
Northampton 32 52
Cheltenham 31 51
Bradford 33 51
Port Vale 33 51
Today we travel to another promotion contender Port Vale at Vale Park Burslem. John Askey’s side have only lost one of their last six games but will be without three players today all serving suspensions. James Gibbons the second of a two-game ban, Mitchel Clark the first of a three-game ban and talisman Tom Pope a one game ban for two yellow cards in their win on Tuesday at FGR. Ill discipline could cost them for this big game today against the Super U’s.
However, forget all about the players who will not be playing, it is the XI that take to the field that need concern us. Port Vale, like Cambridge and Grimsby have all hit form as they take on the Super U’s. Frankly there are no easy games and we will have to play superbly well between now and FGR (last game) to garner sufficient points to achieve a top three position. We probably need 30 points from 13 games, a tall order but 82 points should be enough for third position.
JM is still frustrated by the fact that Paris Cowan-Hall is out. Tom Lapslie has now picked up an injury playing against the Farmers U23. He says that one or two other players are carrying knocks. Worrying times indeed.
We now know what our best starting XI is:
Jackson Eastman Prosser Bramall
Harriott Stevenson Nouble
But it is the optimum use of those from the subs bench that will ultimately determine our success or otherwise:
Ross, Sowunmi, Norris, Poku, Clampin, Gambin, Senior
JM must use all his 18 squad players and probably two or three other fringe players. It was unfortunate that we failed to bring in another striker or a replacement for Jevani Brown despite stating that we would.
The weather in Burslem today will be 10 degrees Celsius with rain and a stiff breeze (the Start of Storm Dennis). The pitch will drain well (it was laid on tons of crocks from the pottery factories) and it is big at 114 x 77 yards. The last time I went to Port Vale it was also very wet and we prevailed 2-1. I believe we will do the same today in similar conditions.
Safe journey to those travelling and enjoy the game.
Today is all about three points and getting our promotion wagon back on track.
Up the U’s
|Matches of Yesteryear - Northampton v U's 24/4/99|
by wessex_exile at 18:12 14 Feb 2020
Well, here we are going through the exhilarating highs and despairing lows of what it is to follow the U’s rollercoaster journey this season – one wonders what Saturday will bring, apart from yet another storm (Dennis this time). Vale Park is a tough enough place to go at the best of times, so will howling winds and lashing rain be the great leveller for the U’s? We shall see, but in the meantime, how about we go back to a time when our perennial concentration around this time of the season always seemed to be at the wrong end of the table, maybe put things a little bit into perspective…
Northampton Town v Colchester United
Saturday 24th April 1999
Nationwide Football League Division 2 (Tier 3)
Match #44 of the series, and we go way back to 1998/99, and at the tail end of what was our first season back in Nationwide League Division 2 (that’s Division 3 in old money). Steve Wignall had left in January, with Mick Wadsworth taking over, and despite a fairly ropey time in March and early/mid-April we were doing just enough to avoid getting sucked into the relegation dogfight. Northampton Town weren’t quite as fortunate, sitting in the fourth and final relegation slot. They weren’t by any means adrift, and had been on a fairly decent run through April, but desperately needed points from their last four games if they were to escape.
Always a pleasant surprise when I find these things, as this is another match that I discovered I still had my ticket stub for - £10.50, nice! Mind you, I needed one, as the match (certainly for the U’s supporters) was an all-ticket affair – the U’s had been allocated 800 tickets, and over 500 had been sold by the middle of the week before, with most of the rest expected to go by close of sales at 5pm on the Friday.
I travelled over to this match on the train, meeting up in Northampton with my brother-in-law Steve, his parents Joyce and Dennis, and my nephew and niece (Steve had bought my ticket for me). I’m not 100% certain, but I think we met at the Sixfields Pub – I know they don’t normally allow away fans in, but I know I’ve been there once, and pretty sure this was the occasion. Given the significance of the game for both clubs, there was a very decent crowd that day, with the allocated 800 places more or less filled by the noisy faithful from Essex, and all in excellent voice. I know Joyce and Dennis were very rare travellers for away games, so that gives a measure of the level of support for the U’s that day.
The U’s lined up:
9….Jason Dozzell (Steve Germain 87’)
10..Neil Gregory (David Gregory 60’)
11..Paul Abrahams (Karl Duguid 60’)
Northampton Town were at the time managed by our very own Ian Atkins, who had spent a season at the U’s as player-manager failing to get us out of the Conference at the first attempt. His career thereafter was a largely unsuccessful mismatch of player-manager, player-coach and assistant manager appointments at various clubs, including Birmingham City, Cambridge United and Doncaster Rovers. He eventually arrived at Northampton Town in 1994 – where he finally hung up his playing boots – and had already managed the Cobblers to two Wembley appearances (winning one) and promotion to this league.
That Mick Wadsworth was developing a penchant for Frenchmen is nought but a scurrilous rumour, but having already signed Stephane Pounewatchy, Fabrice Richard and Steve Germain, he had added a young 17-year old Thomas Pinault (from AS Cannes – same club as Steve Germain) to the squad during the week leading up to this game. Pinault had gone straight into a reserves game at Oxford United on the evening of the day he signed, though didn’t make the matchday team for this game. Also not on the team sheet was talismanic and mercurial Lua Lua, who thanks to a moment of madness at Burnley on Easter Monday, was starting a three match ban for the straight red card he’d earned. With points vital to ensure survival, that was not a smart move…
Before we get to the match itself, we encountered a very sorry ‘health and safety gone mad’ moment, whilst queuing to get into the ground. Steve’s elderly and quite frail parents (sadly no longer with us) had a small bottle of water each to take into the ground. Regrettably, the stewards were having none of it, and insisted that they had to be either drunk there and then or tipped out on the floor. All very unnecessary, and quite distressing for Steve’s parents to be honest, but that’s jackboot stewarding for you.
And so to the match. Whilst there was much about the day and matters leading up to the game that I remember very well, there’s hardly a thing about the actual match itself I can recall. If anyone else has any recollections of the game, I’d be delighted to hear them – might even flush out things I’d thought I’d forgotten.
What I do know from the stats is that Paul Buckle got us off to the perfect start, scoring in just the third minute, with Dave Savage equalising in the 18th minute. Then came the Tale of Two Penalties – Carlo Corazzin converted from the spot just before halftime to put the Cobblers 2-1 up in their quest to avoid relegation. Not to be outdone, Warren Aspinall returned the compliment from the spot straight after halftime (in front of the travelling faithful), to bring the U’s back level – and great merriment in the away end.
With an hour gone, Wadsworth was the first to mix things up, making a double substitution – David Gregory for his brother Neil, and Doogie replacing Abrahams. Not sure if that really worked at the time, as Northampton restored their lead a few minutes later when Lee Howey scored their third. However, something must have eventually clicked, because substitute Doogie again levelled the scores in the 71st minute.
It was then Atkins’ turn to try to change things to their favour, making his own double substitution in the 80th minute, bringing Ally Gibb and Duncan Spedding on. However, the U’s held firm, and after sacrificing Jason Dozzell for the young Steve Germain in the 87th minute, we held on for a 3-3 draw – almost there for the U’s, a point really not enough for the Cobblers.
Northampton Town 3 (Dave Savage 18’, Carlo Corrazin 41’p, Lee Howey 63’) Colchester United 3 (Paul Buckle 3’, Warren Aspinall 47’p, Karl Duguid 71’)
This game marked a number of milestones for Colchester United – it was both Paul Abrahams' and Neil Gregory’s last appearances for the U’s, and as it turns out Paul Buckle’s last goal for us as well. The vital point gained left us one point short of the magical 50-point mark. Not quite mathematically safe at the time, that would come the following Tuesday night at home to promotion chasing Bournemouth.
Remarkably, although Northampton Town went unbeaten for all of April and May ’99 – nine matches in a row – there were only three victories in that lot, and they couldn’t garner enough points to avoid relegation. Ian Atkins carried on in charge into the following season, but after a poor start finally left in October 1999.
Wadsworth, after decimating the club (and the team spirit) over the summer, thankfully resigned in August 1999. After a reasonably positive start to his managerial career at Carlisle United and then Scarborough, his time at the U’s would probably be considered by neutrals broadly as a success – certainly compared to the dismal litany of failure that followed. Just goes to show that stats aren’t everything…
Up the U’s
|MAN v FAT Football|
by DanChurch at 17:37 14 Feb 2020
Anybody here involved in the MAN v FAT Football leagues?
New one opening up at Shrub End Sports Ground starting Thursday.
|Mariners all at sea against the Super U's tonight|
by durham_exile at 15:12 11 Feb 2020
After the euphoria of that famous victory over Plymouth Argyle at the weekend, it is back to League business at the JSCS this evening when Ian Holloway brings his Mariners to Town. Now it would be easy for our team to switch off after deservedly earning three points at the weekend, but there is much to be done to keep pace with the top three sides.
Earlier in the season I went to Blundell Park with Gerry and after enjoying fish “n” chips at Papas on Cleethorpes Pier, we watched the U’s throw away a two-goal lead to eventually draw 2-2. It was literally a game of two halves, where Nouble and Norris deservedly cemented a 2-0 lead at half time only for the U’s to gift a penalty early in the second half and then to concede the equaliser with only three minutes remaining.
This evening there can be no sentiment or concession made, it is all about being ruthless and putting the Mariners to the sword. I predict 4-0 to the Super U’s.
I was delighted that JM played the dream midfield on Saturday and he must replicate that line up this evening:
Jackson Eastman Prosser Bramall
Harriott Stevenson Nouble
In truth this XI is probably our strongest position by position at present and in Ben Stevenson we have the ideal replacement for Jevani Brown at number 10. More importantly though we should have played all three in midfield some weeks ago (as I have been saying), but JM does like his wingers. However Senior and Gambin are often better as impact players from the bench. Kwame Poku may also be better and stronger next season (don’t forget he is a prodigious talent and still only 18) possibly at number 10, we will see.
Ross Sowunmi Senior Clampin Poku Norris Gambin
It would be encouraging to be able to identify a firm timeframe for Paris Cowan-Hall to make an appearance after his injuries, but perhaps Easter might be the optimum time. He has been missed.
Swindon 32 60
Crewe 31 58
Exeter 31 57
Plymouth 30 54
COL U 32 52
Northampton 31 52
Cheltenham 30 48
FGR v Port Vale, Northampton v Swindon and Salford v Plymouth are all intriguing games this evening. The “Vegans” have slipped off the pace of late and the Valiants are hitting some form (just before we play them this weekend at Vale Park). Similarly, Salford have invested in more attacking options recently (Darron Gibson and James Wilson, both ex United) before we play them at the Peninsula Stadium on Saturday week. So, the tough games keep coming but if we can keep our form going then promotion beckons.
Remaining League fixtures after tonight:
Port Vale A
Weather tonight will be 4 degrees Celsius and breezy but dry. After Storm Ciara things are settling down for a day or so before the cooler temperatures return.
Hopefully the crowd will be buoyed by Saturday’s victory.
Enjoy the game.
Up the U’s