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Not Waving But Clapping: Colchester Report

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 19/10/2003

A chill, clear, breezy day with around 100 Colchesterans shielding their eyes from the brilliant sun and their dazzling away kit. Turn off the lights sir, I’m getting a migraine.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Colchester (h)

Blundell Park

Grimsby Town 2 Colchester United 0
18 Oct 2003, Nationwide League Division 2

Fluorescent orange and baggy: the Colchester players looked like a gaggle of misplaced stewards seeking order where there was chaos. In these dog days of autumn the Town players sought sanctuary in colour, with Barnard in blue booties and Anderson trotting out in white slippers. All we need now is for one of the more impressionable youngsters to have a silly haircut, although I have suspicions about the duffel-coated Ward‘s Ken Dodd look. How tickled he’ll be by that.

The Town players warmed up with a purposeful series of one touch passing, whilst Colchester were too far away to see or care about. Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, as shown. Campbell played on the right of midfield, otherwise everyone was where you’d expect them to be.

Ah, the hair, there’s always hair in the opposition, isn’t there. Kemal Izzet, the tiny, tiny porcelain figure in midfield had unfeasibly large hair for a boy of his size. Like he’d accidentally bought some adult hair in the Debenham’s sale. The Colchester right back, Stockley, had what at first looked like a Dickie Davies flash running up from the left temple. Closer inspection suggested it was a rich seam of sandstone. It would be wise if he only played in dry weather, lashing rain will cause coastal erosion at right back.

1st half

Colchester kicked off towards the Osmond Stand and slowly trundled the ball back to their ‘keeper, who wellied upfield. So far, so dull. Nothing much happened for the first few minutes. Hashings and thrashings, thisings and thatings, completely forgettable. The crowd was not enthralled and the low level hum that normally accompanies matches was absent. Then Colchester were free behind the Town defence. A handball in midfield ignored by the referee, a pass to someone, who looked very offside, and Davison had to hare off his line and throw himself on the mercy of the court. Fortunately the jury was sympathetic, as McGleish took ages to control the ball and his shot was smothered away for a corner, which was whipped in from their left. The ball dropped in the area about 6 yards out and wide of Davison’s right-hand post. The crowd fell silent, the Town players just stopped moving and a little Colchester play hooked a shot towards the near post, which seemed to hit Davison and squirm away to safety. Four minutes gone and Town could have been a couple down before they’d blinked. Another minute, another Colchester break with Town’s defence like a drunken accordion player swaying to the beat of a tambourine. You can laugh, you can cry, but we weren’t having the time of our lives watching a disorganised rabble. Don’t worry too much, Davison came off his line to smother. And again a few minutes later.

Before the nearest groaner could shout "Sort it Govesie", Town had flashed at least three passes together, enabling Campbell to dart inside the penalty area and dive over a defender’s back. Down he went, up went the crowd and the referee gave a free kick to Colchester. Boo. And hiss too, if you are in that kind of mood. An alarming opening 10 minutes disappeared behind the hills, soon forgotten like yesterday’s sunset. Town stopped those darned passes going through midfield and Colchester resorted to the trusty whack out for a goal kick, or the always popular welly straight out of play. It rapidly became clear that the Colchester players were hell bent on avoiding passing to each other. Not since the balmy days of Wycombe and Chesterfield have guests been so determined to embarrass the hosts with sloppy dining habits. It induced a feeling of well being deep inside the Pontoon and other dark places of the Grimsby Soul.

Craneyellow card


Ford27 mins
Crowe45 mins
Cas70 mins


Phil Joslin


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The report continues in Part Two.

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