We could do with our next oppo being a side that we always seem to beat. Instead, next in line will be Colchester United. To be fair, looking towards historical head-to-head records for some sort of short-term salvation is a little bit desperate. And just because – let’s say – we’ve won 17 out of 23 against Royston Town, it won’t guarantee the next one will go in your favour. The key problem with the Crows too, obviously, is that they’re a good few divisions below us.
Right, come on then, time for the bad nUs…
Stevenage v Colchester United
Lamex Stadium, Stevenage — 20 November 2021 — Sky Bet League Two
It all starts with our 6-1 win at the JobServe Community Stadium on 26 December 2011. That epic performance, in hindsight, set us up for a long period of misery against the Essex side. An anti-climactic 0-0 draw at the Lamex later that season on 20 March 2012 is hardly terrible. But that was the last time we’d take any points off the Us before they too were relegated to League Two; dropping down a division two seasons after we’d taken the plunge.
On our way to relegation, we still had two campaigns’ worth of meetings to get through. And it wasn’t half a barren period for us. Including the goalless draw mentioned above, we went on a run of four straight games without a goal; three of which were defeats. Our 4-0 defeat at theirs on 26 December 2013 was easily the worst of them. Even we finally got on the scoresheet, the two goals we managed on 12 April 2014 wasn’t enough as the Us scored three of their own.
So, it ended our goalless spell. But it’s also a result that all but ended our League One status.
Different division, same struggles?
For some reason, the EFL fixture computer had a thing about making us spend Christmas with each other. It hasn’t always been the case, but more often than not it has. That’s just how it all panned out when the Us were relegated to League Two ahead of the 2016-7 campaign. And the spell they’d built up against us wasn’t about to end; Boro’ ending up on the wrong end of a 2-1 home defeat on 31 December 2016 and a 4-0 away thrashing (again) on 08 April 2017.
The tide was about to turn, albeit briefly.
A 1-1 draw on the road early on in the 2017-8 season was followed up by another defeat (0-1 at the Lamex on 24 March 2018. But it was the first time we’d taken anything off them for a good while. And the 2018-9 campaign was even better as Boro’ recorded a league double against the Us; 3-1 at home on 06 October 2018 and 2-1 away on – yep – Boxing Day 2018. They were two wins that were a long time in the waiting. Sadly, they weren’t going to become the norm.
Where do we stand more recently?
A 2-1 away win in our Leasing.com Trophy Round Two tie on 03 December 2019 is pretty much what we’d describe as an irrelevance. As our league form crashed and burned around us, Boro’ chugged along in a tournament that barely has more priority than the Herts Senior Cup. And as far as our league form went against the Us that term, we drew 0-0 at the Lamex on 04 January 2020 to salvage something after a 3-1 defeat at theirs on 05 October 2019.
Now, we don’t know if the following is the effect of Covid-19, lockdown, and the curtailment of the 2019-20 season. But, during the 2020-1 campaign, it almost looks as if the Us and Boro’ got together and said “we’re not sure if the world took heed of our results last season”. It’s the only reason that we can think of for the 0-0 home draw and 3-1 away defeat being repeated last time out. Well, the only reason we can think of apart from pure coincidence.
So, a 0-0 draw this weekend will probably tell us what to expect when we go to theirs in April.