Work in progress
Image: Dávid Štefan

This is a struggle. It really is. With each passing sentence, we’re thinking of a song title that could form the basis of a semi-humorous Slew pun. His loan spell had been meant by Gary Smith to give Boro’ a little extra punch in front of goal. No doubt the quite literal nature of his dismissal last night raises just a hint of irony.

A third successive clean sheet is to be lauded, as a successful team owes much to defensive resilience. But this goalscoring malarkey is a poser for the management. With Slew out for three games and Beardo perhaps also out, our money is Reid/Agyemang up top at Legia Walsall at the Joleon Bescot.

Colchester United, well, did they want it that much? Boro’ were fairly comfortable for most of the game. And that’s even with Slew liberating the pitch of his presence before half time. What about Luke Freeman being retained on the bench – a calculated risk designed to keep him fresh for the weekend perhaps? As is always the case in such situations, only Smarties have the answer.

Now feel free to dine from the Rate Plate:

Day 7 – Faced more shots on target from the crowd passing the ball back
Henry 7 – Recently defeated the Duracell Bunny in an epic last-man-standing race
Ashton 6 – One moment of madness mitigated by one moment of sheer brilliance
King Robbo 8 – Stopped more Colchester attacks than the lads in Row Q behind the Boro’ goal
Darius 6 – Some defence-splitting passes. Passes that also, sadly, split the attack
Wilson 7 – More elegant in full flight than The Flying Scotsman ever was
The Essential Byrom 7 – Could have been sent off but wasn’t. Now breathe a HUGE sigh of relief
Bossie 7 – He is Spartacus
Lairdy 8 – The man has a heart and lungs as big as his head
Patrick 5 – If it’s a boy, they’ll name it Patrick. After Dave.
Slew 2 – Liveliest of the front two before his left hook earned him a shot at Vladimir
Beardsley 6 – A hokey-cokey cameo – in and out. But can’t imagine he’ll be shaking it about
Reid 6 – Tireless up front on his own late on. Hungry for a slide-rule ball