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Baseball - first time- love it
at 12:13 3 Jun 2019

Last night watched Yankees v Red Sox (Live) and it counts as one of the most thrilling nights of sporting entertainment I have witnessed, even better than the boxing at MSG (which was marred by 1-25 odds on favourite Joshua not turning up).

Hadn't a clue what was going on for first innings where it looked to me like low scoring rounders, then some charming people took the trouble to explain stuff. By the third innings we were addicted. Having watched Baseball before on Sky, my opinion is that TV can't do justice to this sport. Will be first in the queue for tickets when they repeat this fixture in London.

The Americans have also now embraced the craft beer culture. Have had no difficulty in finding some outstanding porters, ambers and blondes. That will be our main focus today. Now planning our next jolly boys outing. None of us have seen Sumo Wrestling.......
Watch Essex CCC over the Internet or highlights.
at 20:23 30 Apr 2019 (just type Nvplay live to find).

Select Essex versus XXX, then match centre and Video.

Matches from CloudFM ground are now broadcast live, with BBC radio audio commentary. Shame we lost on the last ball today. Highlights are also available (free).

Colchester matches from Castle Park will also soon be similarly broadcast. The new free software from ECB is awesome (we just need to get a camera affixed).
It is still in our own hands
at 16:46 28 Mar 2019

Seven to play means 15% of season still remains. The Play Offs are still within our reach because others must drop points. Key fixtures to come...

Exeter v Mansfield
Forest Green v MKD
Tranmere v Carlisle
Carlisle v Bury
MKD v Lincoln
Bury v Colchester
Tranmere v MKD
Tranmere v Forest G
Lincoln v Tranmere
Col U v MKD
Tranmere v Bury
FGR v Exeter
Lincoln v Col U
MKD v Mansfield

Have faith! Just need to batter Cambridge to regain confidence and momentum.
[Post edited 28 Mar 16:47]
Goalkeeping crisis
at 22:54 4 Mar 2019

Gilmarten had a shocking game on Saturday, but was not as poor as Dillon Barnes tonight for the under 23's in a 0 - 4 defeat by Barnsley.

Distribution poor; at fault for three goals. Not an option for Newport.
[Post edited 4 Mar 23:06]
Crawley 2-0 U's
at 17:03 1 Jan 2019

On way home. Speechless.

We can't blame McGreal for this. He threw on two attackers at 0-0 and a man advantage and still we can't score. Crawley two on target, two goals.
25% discount when the U's win
at 08:44 27 Oct 2018

Offered in the hour after a game to persuade more to stay after a game and drink in the Supporters Bar. Still makes the alcohol expensive, but it is a positive move.

I like the facility and have supported it pre-game. But that is largely because I arrive at least 30 minutes earlier than previously as I fear the now limited bus service might let me down. Two problems with the offer.....

1. Last home game it ran out of Speckled Hen (Greene King IPA is awful).

2. If you stay an hour after the game, bus services are even more limited.

Today, a big crowd is expected. Cue street parking misery for the new housing developments. Something has to be done about the lack of public transport before the Supporters Bar can be more successful. The surrounding new housing estates have bus stops, but no buses. Surely, a service will be essential to the Northern Gateway when built. Can these not be resolved now at least on match days?

at 22:14 23 Oct 2018

Night of missed opportunity. 20 shots, all wasted, never once troubled the keeper. Two on target both feeble. Senior should have scored twice from headers with the keeper beaten. By contrast, one shocking stray pass by Jackson, gave them one chance 1-0 defeat. North of Colchester jinx yet again. Need to bounce back Saturday.
at 17:56 17 Sep 2018

The £4.99 per month interviews and highlights package available via the U's website now offers video recordings of the whole of a U's match (albeit not 'live' which costs a FURTHER £10 when available).

I missed both the Cheltenham and Tranmere away trips due to cricket commitments but caught up with both today. The victory over Cambridge is also already available. I can see this impacting on the number of away fans travelling to some more distant grounds.
Southampton - Checkatrade Cup
at 11:53 4 Sep 2018

Park & Ride NOT open tonight.
No shuttle buses.
Number 65 or 2 bus merely every 30 minutes.
A huge distance to walk to any bus stop.
General fan apathy towards competition....
But I have a ticket.

Crowd tonight....My guess 399.

Shame on the Gazette....
at 12:16 31 Aug 2018

In today's online Colchester Gazette. Headline "Free travel for West Ham Fans" links to an article inviting local people to travel to the London Stadium for free on match days.

I would be happy to pay £4 return to the Jobserve Stadium if the bus stops were closer. Is this all a plot to get us to become Hammers fans Mr Cowling?

Colchester Cricket and Beer Festival - starts Thursday this week
at 22:37 22 Jul 2018

Thursday 26 July - Sunday 29th July.
Please support your local cricket club in Castle Park.
Over 30 Real Ales + Ciders.

Thursday 11.00 until Midnight (Colchester XI v Gents of Essex starts 11.30)

Friday 11.00 until Midnight (Colchester XI v MCC starts 11:30).
Evening Entertainment = DJ Sam Leppard from 20:00

Saturday 11.00 until Midnight (Colchester 2nd XI v Chelmsford)
Evening entertainment - live music = "Rekovered" from 20:00
Brillant 'covers' band - they were awesome last year.

Sunday 11.00 until we "run out of beer" (Colchester versus Copdock).

Admission £2. Includes programme and glass.

The standard of cricket is high - example, at least two of the matches will feature Tauri Muzarabani who has 8 x ODI caps for Zimbabwe (including one in the current year). I will be scoring the matches on Thursday, Friday and Sunday (but away with the First XI on Saturday, but back for the band on Saturday night).

Please spread the word - last year it was an awesome event.



[Post edited 22 Jul 2018 22:46]
Colchester United Customer Charter.
at 07:39 7 Jul 2018

This can be found at . This is an extract...

Colchester United FC Football Club will maintain regular contact with its supporters; ......................(blah blah blah)...

..............In line with EFL regulation 111, Colchester United FC will continue to consult supporters on a regular basis through Forums and through our Supporters Association Chairman, Jon Burns.

The following decisions have evidently involved ZERO consultation...

1. Spectators must now pay for an inclusive 'paper' programme within the ticket price (n.b. a ticket price increase means it isn't free!!!).

2. The removal of shuttle bus services.

Printing over 5,000 paper programmes when only about 500 actually want them is a shocking waste of the planet's limited resources. The stadium litter bins will be full of discarded paper or more likely the concourse littered with them. Hopefully, paper recycling bins will be provided? This cost management decision was bonkers as it is no longer mandatory for EFL clubs in Divisions One and Two to produce paper programmes. Surely it was either time to go wholly digital or for those that actually want paper programmes to pay their real cost of prouduction (what newstand magazine costs under £5?).

The suggestion that only 166 fans use the shuttle buses was ridiculous. But it is probably true that only 166 pay cash at Bruff Close. For example; I buy a £4 'Colchester Rover' ticket early in the morning and use it all day. Others legitimately use regular OAP bus passes. We (or the Council) have hence already paid our fares. So why didn't First Bus take account of this instead of charging the football club the apparent shortfall?

Had we been told that these were NOT valid then we would have instead paid £3.00 return to town and then not baulked at paying £2.50 for ther shuttle. Hence a not unreasonable £5.50 in total. But we had already paid EXTRA for the combined ticket. Now the closest we can get to the ground by regular bus is the Water Tower Mill Road. That is just too far to walk for many older, disabled and infirm supporters. So will the hours of the Park & Ride be extended for evening matches?

This decision will result in extra car journeys; nuisiance street parking; increased congestion in North Colchester. It is clear that the football clubs commitment to the environment is waning. Sadly, we can't all be like Robbie (Trump) Cowling and ride a bike. We need adequate public transport. If it is mandatory under EFL regulation 111; when will consultation commence about these and like matters?

[Post edited 7 Jul 2018 7:43]
Compulsory programmes at WHCS...No buses...
at 07:46 9 Jun 2018

An extra £23 has been added to ST's and £1 to tickets to give all a "free" programme. Why didn't the clowns that run the club not wait until the EFL actually voted instead of upsetting fans? Programmes are now only compulsory at WHCS!

The shuttle bus decision is creating mass discontent. The solution was patently obvious. Ensure First Bus was taking account of those that had already paid (bus passes, Colchester Rovers etc.) and charge those that didn't pay (those that use the buses only on the home leg). Then there would have been no deficit. Instead, fans are now saying they won't renew STs as they won't be attending any evening games (only #65 bus option) and the discount isn't suffice if you miss too many.

I despair; who is progressively ruining our match day experience? Is it Cowling (the decisions) or Waddington (surely he produces the numbers that Cowling uses to make decisions?).

No shuttle buses in 2018/9
at 18:23 30 May 2018


To be fair, the club probably can't continue to subsidise the high cost, and for most of us a #65 to Mill Road or the Park & Ride do offer a reasonable alternative service at merely £3.00 return (e.g. well below the cost per person if no shuttle subsidy). But not for the disabled. It is far too long a walk from the Water Tower to WHCS for many elderly supporters.

We also need a safer pedestrian route from the park & ride or a bus stop at the Stadium. Also what happens for evening games when the Park & Ride isn't operating? It is the return journey that is the problem. How will 200 ex-shuttle people get on a single #65 that operates merely every 30 minutes?

I am not sure what the solution is, except that when the Northern Gateway is built this will become an even bigger problem as public transport to it and the Stadium doesn't exist. Dedicated fans will find solutions, but I suspect that a few hundred may be lost. Economically, that might even be the best solution for the club, but it may kill the atmosphere as a majority of the older South Standers depend on shuttle buses.

U's release four
at 16:20 8 May 2018

Loft, O'Sullivan, Johnstone and Slater released.

Loft always injured. No surprise. Johnstone and Slater homesick for Scotland. No surprise. But O'Sullivan is a surprise.

Last time I saw him he hit a hat trick. But apparently he didn't inspire anybody whilst on loan. Maybe attitude problems?

With Carlisle, Morecambe and Forest Green also releasing about thirty players between them will be plenty of quality in the National League.
End of a myth?
at 02:43 21 Apr 2018

In past seasons I have argued that the U's could stay up on as few as 47 points when most would argue that 51 is the historic minimum. Fortunately, we don't have that worry.

However, might Grimsby stay up on well under 50 points? I think their survival might hit a record low points tally. Serves to emphasise how poor the bottom two sides were. Shame, we got dragged down to their level!
No one is bigger than the Football Club
at 20:09 27 Feb 2018

Quotes....the Mansfield Chairman as Steve Evans resigns along with his deputy, with Mansfield fifth in the table. Must be 'mutual consent' if it's a resignation.

Has he got out whilst his CV is still intact having "guaranteed" promotion pre-season and bought an entire team in August yet never in an automatic play-off place? Plenty of higher ranked clubs will welcome him.
[Post edited 27 Feb 2018 20:10]
Another great option on a match day?????
at 16:58 1 Feb 2018

"Fans in other parts of the ground can be assured we are working on suitable options for facilities in other parts of the ground"

Few real ale fans will ever drink at WHCS when the only dishwater on offer is Green King IPA. It's why I rarely support Theme and Comedy Nights and drink elsewhere pre and post match. Who wants to eat and drink under the South or East stands that have concourses indistinguishable from the urinals (e.g. concrete block)? Compare with fan facilities at Port Vale, Exeter, Barnet, Grimsby etc. Will this be just an excuse to hike West Stand prices?
[Post edited 1 Feb 2018 17:11]
Junior MUST play on Saturday!
at 15:41 29 Jan 2018

Just returned from the U23s versus QPR (U's win 3-2).

I am seriously impressed with Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe. He scored two. His first, he dribbled through a number of defenders to slot home a perfect finish. His second, he deflected a powerful header from Prosser to put it out of reach of the goalkeeper. Powerful, fast, holds the ball well. With his back to goal; will receive the ball on his chest and has a brilliant turn to beat a defender. Takes up good positions; was always a handful. I would love to see him paired with Dickenson and KVY as wing backs. Reminded me of Iwelumo at his very best. Ryan Gondoh (also ex-Maldon) scored the third. Very young, but he looks decent too.
U's (under 23) 3 - 4 Swansea
at 21:22 25 Jan 2018

The U's were just edged out by their Premier League visitors in an entertaining match.

Rooney - looks like an inspired signing! Awesome headed goal. Unfortunately scored at both ends. Impressive young player.

Dickenson - played almost 30 minutes. It looked like he had never been away. Delivered a number of superb crosses and is what we have been missing. Not lost any pace and outsprinted his opposite number on most occasions. Frankly, I would put him on the bench on Saturday assuming that his stamina is adequate to offer 30 minutes..

Gondoh - (careful as predictive text insists on condom) looks a fine skilful player too. Needs to beef up a little, but troubled the visiting defence. Would like to see him with his Maldon & Tiptree buddy Junior, but I guess he is in Saturday's First XI squad (and is over age 23).

Where the U's lost this match was because a couple of the very youngest team members carelessly gave the ball away in situations where there were easier options and we were ruthlessly punished by a class centre forward (Baker-Richardson). Those mistakes apart, we looked like the better side for much of the game.
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