Col U Maybe…


By Pete H

Now that we’re into the knockout stages of this pot, we thought we may as well start taking it seriously. After all, it’s not that we’ve much else to float our boat this season. For at least the next few hours, there’s the dream that we’ll make it all the way to a final at Wembley. It sure beats the idea of our slog for League Two survival, which we’re back on this week after what seems like an eternity as everyone else had fun in the FA Cup Second Round.

That, and we missed ya.


Colchester United v Stevenage: The Preview…

Colchester United – who are they?

It still ain’t two months since we were last at the Weston Homes Community Stadium. But we hadn’t hoped our next trip there would come around quite so soon; our two-goal defeat in October’s League Two clash showing how much ground we’ll have to make up between where we sit now and the higher end of mid-table. But if you do feel a need to go looking for a chink of light in the darkness, two of our three wins over this lot have been on their turf.

Our Record vs Colchester United: P 13 — W 3 — D 2 — L 8 — F 17 — A 26 — Pts 11
Last time out: Colchester United 3-1 Stevenage, 05 October 2019

How are Colchester United doing so far this season?

After turning us over indoors at the start of October, the Us somehow managed to lose at Crawley and then again at home to Morecambe. Are they over that blip? It looks like they might be, with two wins and two draws from the four they’ve played in the time since. This should’ve been five, but their home clash with Bradford due to take place on 16 November was postponed due to international call-ups. That, like, makes us BFF or something – no?

It’s rare enough for us to score, but the Us have let in one (or more) in 75% of their league matches indoors. So, that’s something for us to grab onto. If we did before, why not again? They like a first half goal, though; 61% of ’em have come before the break. If they do get in front, we’re up against it – and not just ‘cos our scoring record is naff. The form book shows that, on the 12 times they’ve taken the lead, they’ve held onto it seven times.

Tell us something we don’t know about Colchester United

The Us were only the second of three teams to have won the (proper) non-league double of the Conference title and FA Trophy. They achieved this feat in the 1991-2 season, with Wealdstone first (1985) and Wycombe Wanderers third (1993). We made a decent fist of becoming the fourth in 2010, but we all know how that third trip to Wembley wound up for us. But it shows you how rare that double is – and Colchester have been there and done that.

Where have all the good times gone?

Hibernating, probs.

What are the bookies’ odds for this game?

The betting odds are swinging in favour of the Us ahead of this cup clash; your best price on a home win is shaping up at a short 22/25 (Marathon). You could almost quadruple your earnings if you’re backing the Boro’, however. At 19/5 (BetVictor), it’ll pay for your pie, pint and petrol to say the least. You’re looking at 11/5 (multiple) if you think we’ll see Over 2.5 Goals in this one, while 19/20 (multiple) on both teams to score could be a goer.

Which Colchester United player should we watch out for?

Luke Norris has stepped up a gear since we last took on the Us, adding three more goals to his tally for the campaign. This now puts him on seven in all competitions, with six in League Two and another against Spurs Yoof in this tournament two days after our last trip to Essex.

Who is our ref for this match?

Hair today, gone tomorrow. Might have used that one already, actually. But Neil Hair is our ref tonight. Just once he’s taken charge of us and that came seven days after we lost over at Colchester. Of course, things went alright on the night – so a repeat performance would go down nicely. His card count to date this term is 36 yellow and two reds from 12 games.

Our Record: P 1 — W 1 — D 0 — L 0 — F 2 — A 1
Last time out: Stevenage 2-1 Grimsby Town, 12 October 2019

And, finally, what do you reckon?

It’ll be a case of getting so near, yet so far. That’s what we reckon, anyway. We think we’ll be good for a goal, but expect our poor record against the Us to roll on. Of course, there’s  a lot riding on what sort of side they put out. It’s almost a given that Mark Sampson will go strong with his side. If the Us don’t end up winning this one inside the 90, our luck could hold out ’til pelanties – and then abandon us. It’s been that sort of season after all…

Colchester United v Stevenage scorecast: 2-1