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Happy League 2017/18 Week 3 (of 38) - Deadline Saturday 15.00
by mfb_cufc at 23:15 19 Aug 2017

Week 2 Results

LEICESTER 2 BRIGHTON 0

A straight forward win for Leicester. This was one of the weeks bankers, with just one member not going for a Leicester win. There was a massive 10 who got this spot-on, in what was the weeks most predicted score, with the other 13 having the outcome.

SOUTHAMPTON 3 WEST HAM 2
Southampton get a 93rd minute winner, after 10-man West Ham had come from two goals down to get level. Southampton end a run of nine hours and 15 minutes without a League goal at St Mary's. Since the start of the 2015/16 season West Ham have conceded more goals from the penalty spot than any other Premier League team, after two more here. Nobody had this spot-on, but 12 did get the outcome.

ASTON VILLA 4 NORWICH 2
A Hourihane hat-trick helps Villa to get their first League win of the season. Not surprisingly no 3 pointer for anybody here, but 12 did have the outcome.

FULHAM 0 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 1
Wednesday get their first League win of the season, while Fulham's search for a first win continues. Yet another game without a spot-on, and just 3 got the outcome. There were 16 who predicted a win for Fulham.

CHARLTON 4 NORTHAMPTON 1
Two stoppage time goals give Charlton a comfortable win in the end, as Northampton remain pointless. A 97th minute goal for Charlton foiled the 5 who had them to win 3-1. So with nobody having this spot-on, it is one point for them, and for the other 16 who got the outcome.

EXETER 1 LINCOLN 0
Exeter maintain their unbeaten start in the League, with this hard-fought win. There were 2 who had this spot-on, and a further 11 got the outcome.

With five games ending in home wins, and the other being won by the away team, we are still waiting for our first drawn game of the season. The five homes were all popular choices, and produced plenty of one point outcomes for everybody, but those important 3 pointers were more illusive, with only the wins for Leicester and Exeter being predicted. In fact there were two members who managed to predict both of those. They were gerry_us and Sector4. With three other outcomes it is gerry_us who got the honour of being the weeks top scorer, with an excellent 9 points. So Sector4 just loses out on being top scorer, but will still be pleased with a very decent 8 points. Of the other eight who got the Leicester 2-0 spot-on, the best performers were noah4x4 and BFG, who both got a very good 7 points.

In the Premier, it is last seasons champ mfb_cufc, with an unusual quick start, who is making the early running. In second spot there is another familiar face from the top end of the league, and Gate16 will be hoping to sustain his challenge this season. A decent week for Sector4 and noah4x4, puts them into contention at this early stage. An unfortunate missed week for Colukev, means he occupies bottom spot. A position he held early last season, before eventually gaining promotion.

In Division One, after his shock relegation last season, BFG has made an excellent start, and he is the early leader. After his break from the Happy League, a revitalized gerry_us moves into the other automatic spot, with his top scoring week. Just losing out on that spot, with the first to post rule, is Daniel, who is finally showing what he is capable of. The solid starts made by TheHappyGooner, concordman and basher2010, see them occupying the other play-off spots at this early stage. With OhOriOri making a very welcome appearance, it means this league now has thirteen members.

THE TABLES (12 out of 280 played)
(Tie-breaker: Most 3 pointers, and then the first to post)



Week 3 Fixtures

CARDIFF CITY v QUEENS PARK RANGERS
SHEFFIELD UNITED v DERBY COUNTY
GILLINGHAM v SOUTHEND UNITED
OXFORD UNITED v SHREWSBURY TOWN
BARNET v STEVENAGE
NEWPORT COUNTY v CHESTERFIELD

Good luck everybody.
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Set up to fail?
by Leadbelly at 21:26 19 Aug 2017

Following the (temporary) departure of Tony Humes the chairman said that perhaps he had set him up to fail. He also said he had learned from the experience and would have to do more to ensure such a situation wouldn't happen again.

Based on the transfer activity over the summer I had serious concerns for this season. I accept it's only three games played but I'm afraid what I've seen so far has done nothing to alleviate those concerns.

We don't look like scoring, we can't defend, injuries are a problem again. There is an absence of leadership on the pitch as well as limited experience. It feels to me that the momentum from the end of last season has evaporated totally. We have taken a significant step backwards when we were primed to move forwards.

I'm thinking McGreal has a far tougher job than last season and I feel quite sorry for him. The question is can he turn things around or has he, in fact, been set up to fail?
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II Follow
by gsy163 at 15:46 19 Aug 2017

So how many people tried it out.
I'm watching my second game , quite impressed , compared with £40 a year just to listen thought £110 not a bad deal.
Only issue would appear to be a few second delay on sound so you hear the groans of another wasted change after the event. But overall quite happy , and £110 cheaper than one flight from Guernsey
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Hatters to be sartorially challenged by JM's blue and white Army today
by durham_exile at 12:00 19 Aug 2017

In yet another horrific terrorist atrocity in Catalonia this week, football has been put well and truly into perspective. Our thoughts go out to those affected by these outrages.

Meanwhile JM takes his walking wounded players to Kenilworth Road Luton to do battle with Nathan Jones’ Hatters on Saturday afternoon.

Before we establish the latest casualties at the WHCS, Luton themselves have injury concerns with Cuthbert and D’ath out and Isaac Vassal sold this week to Birmingham City whilst Craig Mackail-Smith has gone to Wycombe Wanderers. The good news for Jones is that striker Danny Hylton and defender James Justin will be available for selection against the super U’s.

Now it is evident that JM has walked under more ladders than you can shake a stick at and run over more black cats than there are Sunderland fans, such are the injury woes to befall the Super U’s.

The latest of these is loanee Kyel Reid who has injured his ankle and will miss today’s game. Cole Kpekawa is also injured and another promising youngster Dion Sembie-Ferris has been allowed to leave the U’s.

Long term injuries Luke Prosser, Kurtis Guthrie and Ben Dickenson will all be out for some weeks and possibly months yet. However, sicknote Doug Loft is back (at least for one game).

Kurtis Guthrie has been spending time at St George’s Park as part of his rehabilitation (Walker and Wright also spent time at the England HQ whilst they were recovering from long term injuries).

Colchester have also offered renewed contracts to five of their star names – Dickenson, Guthrie, Kent, Lapslie and Wright. Updates required on these five soonest.

Denny Johnstone is apparently wanted by Dundee and may wish to return north of the Border, we will have to wait and see.

JM may select the following side today 3,4,2,1:

Walker

Eastman James Kent

Jackson Lapslie Murray Kinsella

Szmodics Wright

Mandron

Subs:

Gilmartin, Vincent-Young, O’Sullivan, Issa, Loft, Slater, Johnstone

Safe journey to the travelling faithful to the Oak Road away end at Luton Town.

JM will of course remind his charges that last season we did a historic double over the Hatters and despite their crackerjack start against Yeovil, Luton lost narrowly at Barnet last week.

Some boarders are already drinking from the half empty glass, but I say keep the faith and support the U’s at this time.

Early days I know, but it is important to pick up points from each game and the super U’s will be looking to obtain their first maximum of the season.

Enjoy the game.

Up the U’s


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Luton away
by BlueStripes at 10:39 19 Aug 2017

Got a horrible feeling we're going to get thumped today. I predict 5-1 to Luton. Anyone think differently?
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Denny Johnston
by burnsieespana at 09:58 18 Aug 2017

Rumour from Dundee is they are keen on him. For my part it would make no sense for him.
Surely we would want to recoup the fee (allegedly £100000) we paid Birmingham and I can't think Dundee have that sort of money.
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Kurtis Guthrie
by bwildered at 18:53 17 Aug 2017

Centre forward Kurtis Guthrie has gone to St George for rehab . Most players recovering from a serious injury go there, so are we likely to see him back n the pitch before Christmas ?
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Bonne scores...
by gerry_us at 22:06 15 Aug 2017

but the opposition score SIX.
Oops!
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Under 23's
by burnsieespana at 18:45 15 Aug 2017

Anybody see the game against Birmingham as media seemed to rate our performance?
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Dion Sembi Ferris
by bwildered at 17:21 15 Aug 2017

Dion Sembi Ferris has contract cancelled by mutual consent .
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Kenilworth Rd on Saturday
by wessex_exile at 17:00 15 Aug 2017

For anyone maybe thinking about deciding on the day to travel over, the game is all-ticket, and sales end at 2pm Friday. It was fortunate I checked myself, as I was just planning to travel and pay at the gate.
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New contracts
by Leadbelly at 13:55 15 Aug 2017

https://www.cu-fc.com/news/2017/august/new-contracts-offered/

Is there any money left for the experienced centre half we need or does this signal the end of transfer activity?
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FLA
by Tropical_Us at 23:52 12 Aug 2017

I'd be interested to know the clubs' view of political posturing in the South Stand because I can certainly do without the far right 'Football Lads Alliance' parading their flag around behind the goal.

/rant
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Happy League 2017/18 Week 2 (of 38) - Deadline Saturday 15.00
by mfb_cufc at 22:35 12 Aug 2017

Week 1 Results

CRYSTAL PALACE 0 HUDDERSFIELD 3

Huddersfield make a dream start, playing in the top flight for the first time since 1972. Nobody predicted this surprise result spot-on, and just sevebalo and Pinault_Noir got the outcome. There were 16 who predicted a win for Palace.

WEST BROM 1 BOURNEMOUTH 0
A Hegazi goal on his Premier League debut, wins it for West Brom. There were 4 who got this spot-on, and a further 9 had the outcome.

HULL 4 BURTON 1
Hernandez scores a hat-trick, as Hull thrash 10-man Burton. Well done to Pinualt_Noir for being the only one to have this spot-on, but 22 did get the outcome, in what was the weeks biggest banker.

BLACKBURN 1 DONCASTER 3
Doncaster have the greater bite in this battle of the Rovers. Nobody got 3 points for this shock result, and just BFG was brave enough to have the outcome. There were 19 who predicted a win for Blackburn, with 11 going for a 2-1, in what was the weeks most predicted result.

GRIMSBY 0 COVENTRY 2
Coventry are the only team in League 2 with a 100% record, after this win against a Grimsby team that ended with 10 men. Just basher2010 and TheHappyGooner had this spot-on, and there were 9 who got the outcome.

MANSFIELD 2 FOREST GREEN 0
Two second-half goals win it for Mansfield, as Forest Green lose their first Football League match. There were 5 who got this spot-on, with another 8 having the outcome.

With all twelve Premier League members registering for this season, I can now confirm there will be three relegated from this division, with three going up from Division One (two automatically, and one through the play-offs). With ethicsgirl and OhOriOri not posting their predictions, Division One also has twelve members at the moment. Though both are still welcome to register by posting their predictions for Week 2.

I thought I would start the season with some"easy looking" fixtures, to give everybody a chance to put some points on the board. Well, everybody did manage to get off the mark for the season, but the defeats for Crystal Palace and Blackburn reduced the chances of getting a decent score. In the end we had twelve 3 pointers, and only mfb_cufc managed to get two, the West Brom 1-0, and the Mansfield 2-0, and with two other outcomes, he is the seasons first top scorer, with a useful 8 points. Of the ten who had one spot-on, the best were RSCOSWORTH, BFG and Daniel who all got a very good 6 points.

THE TABLES (6 out of 280 played)
Tie-breaker: Most 3 pointers, and then the first to post.



Week 2 Fixtures

LEICESTER CITY v BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
SOUTHAMPTON v WEST HAM UNITED
ASTON VILLA v NORWICH CITY
FULHAM v SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY
CHARLTON ATHLETIC v NORTHAMPTON TOWN
EXETER CITY v LINCOLN CITY

Good luck everybody.
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Super U's entertain Stevenage at fortress WHCS this weekend
by durham_exile at 21:37 11 Aug 2017

After a much-improved display in the televised Cup Tie against Aston Villa, JM will be looking to secure the Super U’s first league points of the season at home to Darren Sarll’s Stevenage Borough.

Last Saturday the U’s were woeful at times, on Wednesday they earned some much-needed plaudits against a very good Villa team. The pitch was superb given the weather conditions and much credit goes to the club for deploying the covers during the day and to David Blacknall for preparing such a good surface which neither team objected to given the conditions.

Now I believe that JM missed a trick in not playing Gilmartin on Wednesday. Walker did not have the best of games at Accrington and he was badly at fault with the first Villa goal. Gilmartin should have played to leave Walker to look after the league programme.

Despite his horrible penalty miss Mandron played well again, but must convert chances into goals. Frankie Kent was unlucky with the own goal and more than redeemed himself with a smart deflection from Kyel Reid’s initial shot. Sammie Szmodics could have taken the game into extra time but for Steer’s excellent fingertip save.

It was good to see the U’s on TV and the £75,000 fee plus decent gate of 6,603 (incl 1,559 Villa) will have swelled the coffers somewhat.

JM is unlikely to make any changes from Wednesday. Kyel Reid was very impressive and more so when played as an out and out winger rather than having to solely play wing back.

Thrillseeker has criticised the fact that I keep leaving Marmite out of the starting XI and so he is included in midfield. That means that Craig Slater is on the bench (again) but JM must find a way to include perhaps all three in the team but mindful of the fact that the back three is very popular and allows wing backs to be deployed particularly at home.

Prosser, Eastman, Dickenson and Guthrie will all certainly return to the team in due course and so the problems will mount up for team selection. That debate is for another day however.

Team 3,4,1,2 v Stevenage

Walker

James Kent Kpekawa

Jackson Lapslie Murray Reid

Szmodics

Wright Mandron

Subs:

Gilmartin, Vincent-Young O’Sullivan Slater Kinsella Issa Johnstone

Stevenage too have had their injury problems but Sarll will be welcoming Godden back into the starting XI and he is a dangerous opponent.

The weather is set fair in North Essex which will be a welcome relief for all concerned and will mean that our good home from can continue unabated.

The U’s will need three valuable points tomorrow, with the next three league games involving Luton, Forest Green and Cambridge all looking tough on paper.

Enjoy the game. Keep the faith.

Up the Super U’s

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Should we have signed an experienced replacement for Porter ?
by ColuFan at 23:31 9 Aug 2017

Does anybody else understand the mandron signing ? Surely we would of been better to go for an experienced striker to fill the void that porter has left ! Mandron should be given time to bed in however the signing made no sense when we have an abundance of young talent in the youth team that could do a similar job !
Does anybody else agree ?
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Dillon Barnes
by burnsieespana at 15:20 9 Aug 2017

See he has gone on loan to Welling United.
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Super U's v Aston Villa at the WHCS and on the box!
by durham_exile at 13:17 9 Aug 2017

After Saturday’s considerable disappointment JM is able to pit his youthful side against one of the fancied Championship sides in Aston Villa at the WHCS in the first Round of the Carabao Cup.

I went to the Quarter Final Tie at Layer Road in 1974 when we narrowly lost 2-1 to a very good Villa team. Tonight, will be equally tough, but Steve, Bruce if he is honest, is more concerned about challenging for a promotion spot than thinking of winning the league Cup.

First a word about last Saturday. I do not intend to repeat my post-match thoughts but I do feel that a comment is due after the Chairman’s “Great Expectations” piece on the official club site.

He considered the club’s aims as opposed to their expectations. The reality is that Colchester’s playing budget in financial terms is 78th out of the 92 league clubs and that we are averaging a finishing position of 56th out of the 92 sides. However, we are actually averaging a finishing position of 56th out of 72 EFL clubs in League Two.

Let us stop all this punching above our weight nonsense and thinking that the fans have unreasonable expectation of success. We are entitled to our views and after 46 years of supporting the U’s, I have witnessed every high and every low during that time. Promotions, Relegations, Cup victories, the Conference, the Championship, Layer Road and the WHCS. The fact remains that over the past 8 years we have been declining as a football club. League Two is not acceptable to the fans and neither should it be to the Manager, Directors or Chairman of the Club. There is too much focus on settling for what we have and we desperately need to advance as a club, not continue to stagnate.

A word also on the boo boys, the majority of whom were teenagers and they stood just behind the goal about 5 yards from where I was standing at Accrington. Most of the abuse was banal rubbish and language born out of frustration with the scoreline. I did not witness the personal attacks on JM or his family. Such behaviour however is unacceptable and cannot be condoned by either the club or true supporters.

Football is a results based sport and this boo boy culture sadly is present at every level and manifests itself at the Emirates or Victoria Park equally, the only difference is the number of protagonists. What we have largely eliminated (thank goodness) are the shocking scenes of the 70s and 80s, where fighting and much worse was prevalent inside and outside the grounds before, during and after the game.

Returning to the Super U’s and without wishing to adopt too negative a stance, I think that perhaps Bleak House rather than Great Expectations is a more apposite Dickensian theme for the Chairman’s comments.

Saturday’s shocking performance was perhaps put more sharply into focus last night when Accrington Stanley saw off PNE at the Wham Stadium, with my" favourite" Billy Kee scoring a 93rd minute winner.

Tonight, the players have the chance to restore some much needed faith with an improved performance against Steve Bruce’s Villa. They drew at the weekend against Hull City at Villa Park. Bruce will make changes tonight but they will still be a strong team roared on by 2,000 of their faithful in 7,500 crowd.

They could line up 4,4,1,1 something like this:

Steer

Bree Samba Chester Taylor

Bjarnason Onomah Hourihane Green

Lansbury

Agbonlahor

After the shock of losing Alex Wynter to Maidstone United on the eve of the football season, it was not long before Tom Eastman was injured and I do not expect to see him this evening.

JM will have to reconfigure the side slightly in the light of Eastman’s injury. He has moved quickly to bring in Kyel Reid from Coventry City on loan whilst Dickenson is still out injured. The Coventry trolls have been vitriolic in their criticism of Reid which suggests that he will be a good acquisition for the U’s. At 29 years of age he has plenty of pace and tricks at his disposal and JM should play him this evening on the left wing.

Big Sam Walker did not have one of better games on Saturday (few did) and I wonder whether Rene Gilmartin may deputise this evening for the Cup game. Walker was ever present for all 46 league games last year and I am sure that will be the case this season, but let us see what the new Goalkeeping coach can do this evening.

Assuming that Kent is fit he will play alongside Cameron James with Cole Kpekawa alongside him.

Three in midfield including Jackson suggests Murray and Slater with Szmodics behind Wright, Mandron and Reid up front.

Something like this in a 3,3,1,3 formation:

Gilmartin

Kent James Kpekawa

Jackson Murray Slater

Szmodics

Wright Mandron Reid

Subs:

Walker, Vincent-Young, O’Sullivan, Johnstone, Kinsella, Issa, Lapslie

The weather in the south east and East Anglia is likely to be very wet today and so as a precaution covers have been applied to the playing surface. Durham (the place) has grown accustomed to sunshine and showers or longer outbreaks of rain and so I sympathise if it is torrential rain today in Colchester. Hopefully the evening may see brighter weather so that the scenes at Grimsby last night are not repeated in North Essex.

During the second half on Saturday we moved the ball forward well and Szmodics made all the difference up front with Wright and Mandron. Reid’s pace should create opportunities for the tall Frenchman.

A big crowd, television cameras, interesting pitch and nothing to lose should make for more entertaining fare than that served up at the Wham stadium on Saturday.

Enjoy the game and let’s see if the Super U’s can be the Villains of the piece tonight.

Up the U’s

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Goal watch
by durham_exile at 21:52 8 Aug 2017

Billy Kee scored a 93rd minute winner for Accrington against PNE.

Big George scored the third goal for Orient in a 3-1 win.

Never mind the real action is tomorrow night.

Up the U's
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Chairman's statement
by Leadbelly at 17:59 7 Aug 2017

Those being odious at Accrington are equally odious at home but nothing is done about. Addressing the morons involved will, I suspect, simply inflame the situation.

https://www.cu-fc.com/news/2017/august/club-statement-great-expectations/
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