Please log in to use all the site's facilities
at 09:52 18 Jul 2018
"ROBBIE Cowling insists Colchester United are trying hard to attract more fans to the JobServe Community Stadium.
But the U’s chairman and owner admits that the 10,000-seater venue is too big for them, at this moment in time.
Colchester saw a dip in attendances last season with their average home crowd falling below 3,400, the lowest since the 1997/1998 promotion-winning season.
Cowling, speaking at the club’s annual Open Day, stressed the U’s have historically never attracted huge crowds to home games.
He said: “I accept that we don’t get the crowds.
“But show me a time in Colchester’s history when you were getting the crowds and full stadiums.
“In the Championship, there were 3,000 away fans travelling and we still couldn’t fill Layer Road.
“We have to live with what we’ve got.
“We have to appreciate what the council did.
“It went out on a limb to build a stadium for a football club and there are lots of good things – I think we concentrate on the negatives, at times.
“I’m not sure we can make the tickets any cheaper than free for under-11s.
“Even beyond that, it’s only £2 or £3 for other youngsters to come and watch us.
“I can only look at the figures and the fact that we’re winning Family Excellence awards every year suggests that we are getting things right.
“We couldn’t stay at Layer Road.
“A lot of people signed the petition to get a new stadium at the time and people have got what they were looking for.
“The stadium is too big for us, at this moment in time.
“But we’ve done other great things here like host the Sir Elton John, Lionel Richie and Little Mix concerts.
“It’s not simple and we do try hard – we do a lot of things and the Open Day is another testament to that.
“When we first did the Open Day, there were a lot of youngsters walking around in Ipswich, West Ham, Norwich and Arsenal shirts.
“But (this time), I think I’ve seen one Ipswich shirt, a Hull shirt and an England shirt – the rest have been Colchester.”
Cowling was asked by one U's supporter at the Open Day question and answer session why visiting supporters are not seated nearer home fans.
The away section at the Community Stadium is currently located in either the North Stand or the far corner of the East Stand, well away from U’s supporters.
“The reason we don’t put the away fans there (nearer to home fans) is because of the abuse that goes on,” said Cowling.
“We’re a family club and that’s one of the most important things that we do.”
Cowling’s JobServe company took over from Weston Homes as the Community Stadium’s new sponsors last month and the U’s supremo said the deal suits both parties.
Cowling added: “It makes good business sense.
“It was a big decision to make it the JobServe Community Stadium but I think the two things go together really well.”
Regardless of this stadium is too big for us nonsense, a 10,000 all seater is the minimum requirement to attract the International games that have been staged here and occasionally a glamour tie comes along and we do get the 8,000 + crowds.
This is our third season in the basement League, people are voting with their feet, enough is enough.
Promotion is required and then we will see an upsurge in Home support.
There is a hard core Away support and always will be but the supporters want success and definitely this season.
See you at Meadow Lane!!!!
Up the U's
|Daggers drawn at Victoria Road|
at 00:47 18 Jul 2018
A touch of reality tonight against Dagenham and Redbridge for the Super U's.
However Luke (Chuck) Norris is still not match fit but otherwise most of the probables and possibles got another run out.
The season approaches fast and Meadow Lane will present some additional headaches for JM team.
Up the U's
|Luke Garbett season long loan to Oxford!!!!!!|
at 21:27 2 Jul 2018
Difficult to comprehend such a move for such a talented player who should be pushing on to at least a decent Championship team.
Could have been worse, he could have gone to Poorman Road.
Have a good season Luke.
Up the U's
|Fixtures out on Thursday 21st June @ 0900hrs|
at 15:23 19 Jun 2018
Will it be a promotion season or another mid table mediocrity one or worse.
46 games to determine either a glass half full or half empty.
Up the U's
|Carabao Cup draw on Friday|
at 17:08 14 Jun 2018
Super U's are ball number 10
About time we enjoyed a decent cup run either in this or the F A Cup.
Up the U's
|Paul Hurst takes over at Poorman Road, no really!|
at 18:28 30 May 2018
Seduced by the wealth and attractiveness of the Town (not even a Great White would swallow that) Paul Hurst was quoted as follows:
"Ipswich are a big football club when you think of the stature and history it has in the game. When I was just starting to watch football I can remember the likes of Mills, Burley, Wark and Cooper and what a great team they had.
“The Club has a great reputation and always looks to be well run and I’m delighted to now be part of Ipswich Town, with an opportunity to make our own history.
“I’m ambitious and I can’t wait to get going and test myself at a higher level. The building blocks are here and it’s my job to move the Club forward. I’ll be doing my absolute best to do that.”
Grim times ahead at Poorman Road without doubt!
Up the U's
|Headline - Noah signs up! No 4x4 involved!|
at 17:39 25 May 2018
I have to admit I was concerned to read this - but apparently it relates not to our esteemed boarder but to a 20 year old defender from Millwall named Noah Chesmain who has signed a one year contract with the U's.
More likely to play for the U23's, but may force his way into the first team.
Up the U's
PS Where is our striker!!!!!!
[Post edited 25 May 17:41]
|New goalkeeper signed from Brighton|
at 19:57 24 May 2018
Bailey Vose formerly Brighton's U 23 GK has signed for the U's for an undisclosed sum.
Difficult to judge whether he will become number 1 next season at this stage.
Up the U's
|Youngsters defeated but not disgraced against Black Cats|
at 19:48 20 May 2018
Colchester United lost 4-0 to Sunderland at Loughborough University in the Final of the Under 15 Floodlit Shield this afternoon.
They should however be congratulated on reaching the final and accrediting themselves very well in the competition.
Up the U's
|Silence is deafening on our new striker!|
at 09:54 18 May 2018
After the much publicised departures and well publicised arrival recently, things have gone quiet on the hunt for a 20 goal a season striker.
It is imperative that things are not allowed to be consigned to the back burner or are kicked into the long grass.
We need action and fast.
There is no need to wait until just before the start of the new season.
Up the U's
|Belated thoughts on the Exeter game and other Colchester matters!|
at 19:05 11 May 2018
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
Jackson Prosser Kent Vincent-Young
Gondoh Comley Murray Szmodics Senior
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
|It will be hair raising for the Grecians against the Super U's|
at 12:20 4 May 2018
JM takes his charges to St James’s Park Exeter on Saturday to play the Grecians who are already assured of a Play Off Spot, their automatic promotion was finally extinguished after a 3-1 defeat to Stevenage last weekend. However, depending on results on the final day they could finish anywhere from 4th to 7th, with a consequent change of opponent in the Play Off semi-finals.
Paul Tisdale is to be applauded for maintaining a consistent level of performance throughout the season to reach the play offs again.
Exeter 45 77 +9 final game Colchester United Home
Notts Co 45 76 +23 final game Luton Town Home
Coventry 45 74 +17 final game Morecambe Home
Lincoln 45 74 +16 final game Yeovil Home
Mansfield 45 71 +15 final game Crawley Home
At the other end of the table if Mad Dog is to achieve the minor miracle of last day survival Barnet must win at home to already relegated Chesterfield and Morecambe must lose at Coventry. Frankly Morecambe were appalling when they lost to Barnet and perhaps deserve to be relegated.
JM by contrast is in a situation where the only consistent thing is inconsistency.
Home - played 23 won 9 drawn 7 lost 7 30 For 23 Against and 34 points
Away - played 22 won 7 drawn 7 lost 8 For 23 Against 28 and 28 points
We sit currently 12 points off the target that we required to achieve a play off spot and this season incredibly 77 points might actually be required and so let’s say we are actually 5 wins short of where we needed to be. 5 more home victories would have done it!
Enough of the “what ifs” and “what should have been”, Saturday is all about finishing on a positive note with a look to the future.
Uncertainty pervades the Stadium (we don’t even know what it is going to be called next season) the ten-year allegiance with Weston Homes has come to an end.
Sam Walker in his weekly column says that he will sit down and discuss contracts in the first or second week of the closed season. Frankly I think that he will go, after 200 games at the club he wants League one or Championship football and Colchester are not going to deliver that sometime soon. Also, he is miffed that he cannot complete every minute of every league game after being left out last week against Swindon.
Still the future is Dillon Barnes at number One and he will play at Exeter on Saturday.
The loanees will all have departed to their parent clubs. Liam Mandeville who frankly was awful. Ryan Inniss who suffered an injury at the wrong time in his Colchester appearances. Olamide Shodipo who actually only started to play in the final games and showed a degree of talent and ability.
Finally, Ben Stevenson who sadly must return to Wolves. We were incredibly lucky to get him on loan and up until the Accrington defeat, I thought that he would be gracing the Wembley turf in the Play Off final for Colchester.
An incredibly talented midfield player (who will one day play for England) he lit up what otherwise was a poor season. He scored a rocket for the U’s and his overall play was sublime. Good luck at Molineux in the Premier League next season.
Defender Aaron Barnes has returned from Torquay who will be playing Truro City next year in the Southern section of the National League. He may play tomorrow.
Brennan Dickenson will also be staying for at least another season. His long-term injury woes continued, and he played only a handful of games this year. We must hope that he is fit in August.
Will we see Luke Prosser and Kane Vincent-Young at the club next season? I do hope so.
Harry Pell looks as though he has been prised away from Cheltenham, the 6ft 4in midfielder will add some bite to the centre of the park next season. Can we sign striker Mohamed Eisa as well!!!!!
Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe and Ryan Gondoh must be the future, and both should play against the Grecians. Tariq Issa likewise, although he will not start tomorrow.
I’m not sure whether Marmite will be fit for Exeter, we will have to wait and see.
In the meantime:
Barnes (A) Prosser Kent Vincent-Young
Gondoh Comley Murray Senior
Walker Lapslie Eastman Issa Szmodics Wright Jackson
Weather in Exeter tomorrow is set to be partly cloudy, but a very mild 18 degrees Celsius.
Colchester supporters will be sitting in the Away seats of the main stand, while the Away Terrace and Stagecoach stand are being redeveloped. The main stand is sold out for Exeter City fans and only the Thatcher’s Big Bank is available for them.
I am hoping that our youthful side can upset the apple cart and overcome a side that has already achieved one of their goals this season. Safe journey to the travelling faithful, I will be making the journey from North Cornwall into Devon for the game.
Keep the faith
Up the U’s
|Wot no Programme?|
at 10:34 1 May 2018
Football supporters will, it would seem, be no longer able to purchase an official programme if the Annual meeting in June votes against them.
Personally this is potentially another disappointing reduction in match day entertainment.
I have hundreds of programmes going back over 50 years from matches that I have attended to watch Enfield, Chelsea and since 1972 (when I saw the light) Colchester United.
Such a diminution in standards is the beginning of the end for print media at some football grounds. Just imagine if Accrington Stanley supporters will be unable to purchase a programme when they play the black cats next season.
I do hope that supporters groups will be fully consulted before a decision is taken.
#programmes for ever
Up the U's
|After ten years no more WHCS sponsorship - Swindon in Town tomorrow|
at 22:01 27 Apr 2018
JM takes his charges into the penultimate game of the season and final home match against Swindon Town managed by Phil (Orange) Brown.
Now it has all been said and done. We failed to reach the play offs, we failed to score enough goals and we lost too many games to inferior opposition.
Last week we contrived to lose a last-minute goal against the Imps in a match that we deserved to win and that in a nutshell is the reason that we have underachieved this season.
JM knows that neither his team nor Swindon have anything to play for and so will experiment with a couple of changes to the starting line-up. However next week at St James’s Park Exeter City may have the chance to be promoted automatically (and are definitely in the play offs) so a strong team must be the order of the day for that one.
Jackson Eastman Prosser Vincent-Young
Gondoh Comley Stevenson Senior
Barnes Kent Loft Szmodics Lapslie Mandron Shodipo
After three wins which rekindled hope, we have lost the last three games. It is vital therefore that the U’s can pick up some much-needed points.
Current position 11th
Home 22 9 6 7 30 23 33 points
Away 22 7 7 8 23 28 28 points
Weather tomorrow at the WHCS will be 11 degrees Celsius and cloudy.
Renaming of the stadium will take place over the summer.
Another year of League Two Football next season with Bury Milton Keynes Northampton and Oldham likely to be joining us from league one. Macclesfield Town promoted from the National League, other places still to be determined. It looks like being a very weak division next season.
Even more reasons for getting out of this shocking league.
Enjoy the game
Up the U’s
|Transfer rumour rife about HP|
at 22:58 26 Apr 2018
A year ago Colchester tried to sign Midfielder Harry Pell who currently plays for Cheltenham.
The 6ft 4in Essex player still has a year on his Robins contract but it seems that JM is keen to sign him.
Please can we also bidfor Mohammed Eisa from the same club.
Up the U's
|Forum Votes: ||4|
|Comment Votes: ||0|
|Prediction League: ||31|