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Born and Bred: Colchester United

Started on 14 March 2017 by ScottT
Latest Reply on 31 August 2017 by De Magere
Nice look of the graphics man
Really cool to see you writing again man, best of luck with Colchester!!
MJK- It's just a screenshot from the game mate haha

Griffin- Cheers man!

Mixed Fortunes

My first game in management with all the twists and turns, ups and downs that you could think of. We begin our tale this time around back at the Hartlepool game. It was an eventful afternoon with so many debuts for both sides – but also my debut too. We came out 3-2 winners in the end in an exciting affair and kicked off our campaign in the right way, the winning way. It took us into our EFL Cup game against Cardiff of the Championship.

The newly named competition, previously named the Capital One Cup was a cup that could very much provide the cash if we could overcome the odds and defeat the tricky opposition we had in front us. We were very much the underdogs coming into the game and I think after the first ten minutes or so, the bookies would have been surprised with the early chances we had. We had the upper hand, very much hitting the Bluebirds, as they're known as, on the break when we could. At half time we went in at 0-0 and would continue to stick to our game plan.

The 60th minute mark approached and we made our first change, Tommy O'Sullivan came on in place of Sean Murray and in fact, this side were the exact team we signed the Englishman from. He had a point to prove and was determined to do so. Another ten minutes passed and it was still a deadlock, Luke Prosser was becoming evidently tired and thus was replaced by veteran George Elokobi and this is when the magic happened...

As we came in to the final ten minutes, we knew we couldn't afford to sit back and had to attack. It was make or break, either way I would suffice an exit now rather than continue to drain the players energy and go to extra time. I'm sure they felt the exact same way. With three minutes left, O'Sullivan sprayed a ball out to the wing for Fosu to chase onto, he looked up and played a perfect ball right into the path of Porter and there was only one result, the ball was half volleyed straight into the top corner and Murphy in the Cardiff goal had no chance. The draw was conducted after the whistle blew and we were to be drawn at home to Premier League side Middlesbrough.

With that, we resumed our league season with a game to Cambridge United. The visitors began their season with a 2-0 win against Barnet and were to be a difficult side to break down. The first half came and gone rather quickly, there was little to report and from here we decided to try and look for the first goal of the game straight out the blocks. That was to cost us, Novakovich was threaded the ball through from Luke Berry and it was 1-0 to the visitors.

However, we are made of tough stuff as proven already and when Sean Murray's effort was deflected onto the post and in, it seemed we could then go on to win the game. Wrong, in fact Novakovich would net again was another good strike from a through ball outside the box. But late goals are becoming a theme here, this time in the 81st minute, Porter would lash the ball in from the edge of the area to rescue a point.

Our next game would be at home again, Grimsby Town the visitors and the only goal of the game would come from Reece Grego-Cox in a game where I still believe we were robbed. Why? Because two penalty shouts were turned down. We hit the bar late on as Lapsile hit one from range and then were denied several times also. It was an off day for sure, but we shouldn't have lost at all.

Next time out would be against Portsmouth at Fratton Park and although most fans in this league would hate to admit it, this ground is one to very much look forward to visiting as not too long ago this side were plying their trade in the Premier League – it's been a huge freefall for them and the fact they still remain in this division despite the numerous stab off going up they cannot remain there and fall out. Last season was again a disappointing one for them, as they lost the playoff semis against Plymouth Argyle who went on to lose at Wembley against AFC Wimbledon, who overcame Accrington Stanley in extra time.

Enough of the history lesson, we took a very early lead as 34 seconds in Chris Porter scored after some good passing play from the side. Our lead was doubled as he went on to score his 5th of the campaign already, Thomas Lapsile's long ball forward from Portsmouth's corner found Fosu, someone else having a fantastic start to his season and he squared it to him, a simple finish. We went in 2-0 up at the break, Portsmouth's only chance coming from a ball to Doyle who hit the ball slightly over the crossbar.

We began the second half as good as we did the first and after 54 minutes, a free-kick was taken quickly and Grandison passed the ball into the feet of Fosu who turned goalscorer to give us a surprise 3-0 lead. If only though... very quickly the game flipped on it's head and Portsmouth would make it 3-1... then 3-2.... and then, much to the bitter disappointment of myself and the fans, the comeback happened and it was 3 all. That's how it would finish, three massive points dropped.

The day would come though, on a Tuesday night in Colchester. The impossible would become possible. It all began when Alvaro Negrado was dispossessed by Luke Prosser who spread the play out to Dickenson. The roar from the fans was incredible as Fosu latched onto the ball like he always does and pulled the ball back to that man again... Chris fucking Porter. 1-0 to the underdogs just before half time. As the board went up Boro would find themselves in more danger, Adiene Guedioura would fly in with two feet on Thomas Lapsile and get a straight red card. We went in at half time 1-0 up and a man to the good.

The half time team talk was one I was delighted to make, "We are 1-0 up against a Premier League opposition and from here we just need to continue what we're doing, ignore the scoreline and think that it's still 0-0 and we're searching for that goal again. I cannot praise that first half preformance enough, keep that up boys, fucking come on lads only 45 minutes to go!" This would lead to something I would never forget.

Boro weren't a threat all night and as Craig Slater lined up a free-kick from 30 yards out, I took a look up to the fans who were clearly enjoying the night. The night you are beating a Premier League team when you're playing in a division 3 leagues down, it's an incredible feeling and something only the cup could produce. Slater stepped up and hit the ball, it flew towards the goal and in as a helpless Victor Valdes could only tip the ball into the side of the net. Mass celebrations began but we still knew that we had to hold on.

After the last game to Portsmouth we learnt the hard way and that you had to remain alert at all costs. Fast forward another 20 minutes or so and we would see a repeat of the first goal, Grandison hit the ball down the line for Fosu who crossed the ball perfectly for Porter again. Colchester United THREE Middlesbrough NIL. The scenes in the stands was something else and many came flooding onto the pitch as we held on to record one of the biggest wins the club had ever seen. Perhaps this is where the legacy truly does begin? We'll know who we face in a weeks time – in the EFL Cup Third Round where only 32 clubs remain.

We got straight back into the league once again, this time against Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park. As the whistle sounded, we quickly went down to 10 men – Lapsile, the man who suffered a two footed challenge in midweek was sent off for a poor challenge himself. What a dreadful start and with that, so went the first half a very boring affair. However the second half began much different as Grandison was in the middle of the box to head home from a Dickenson cross to give us the lead. We had our chances to double the lead but failed and with a minute to go in added time, Paris Cowan-Hall would find a late goal to send us home disappointed.

That wrapped up my month, you may be wondering how? You had a Checkatrade Trophy game to play against MK Dons. Well... along with many other League Two managers, I have come to the decision to not manage the squad for these games and allow my youth manager, Sean Thacker the opportunity to take over in protest. The competition made some drastic changes over the summer as they introduced Premiership and Championship 'B' squads to the tournament in place of the usual format of just League One and Two clubs, in the competition then know as the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

We would draw 0-0 and then win on penalties to begin our group fixtures, this is another concept I find rather strange myself. If there is no outright winner, the game will be taken to penalties and the winner gains an extra point – the loser will just take the point gained in the draw as usual. With that said, it's been a month of mixed fixtures and I can't wait to see what September has in store.
Strange way of the point system for football. This is what it sounds like they do in hockey.
MJK- Don't get it at all, glad we 'boycotted' it in a way this year ourselves in real life and it's getting changed back to the JPT.

Colchester United Draw Aston Villa In Third Round

League Two side Colchester United will travel to Villa Park in the EFL Cup Third Round as they face Championship side Aston Villa.

It's been a remarkable journey to the third stage of the competition for the U's as they first dumped out Cardiff City and then would beat Premier League side Middlesbrough 3-0 in the second round. Villa themselves haven't had the trickiest run, they only just made it over the line in extra time the last they faced a League Two opposition in Luton Town and then would beat Coventry City 2-0.

Colchester United boss Paddy McLaughlin said this after the draw was conducted, "Of course we would have perhaps liked another Premier League side and perhaps a good away day for the fans. But, we have got a very reputable side in Villa and I'm sure we'll thoroughly enjoy the night. We're ready to prove we're not here to make up the numbers and that we are very much a threat in the competition, despite the bigger boys still being in the hat."

Steve Bruce, the new manager of Villa echoed the words and said that his team "will not underestimate a very good side" and "will ensure that a repeat of the Middlesbrough result won't happen." Villa have had a rocky start to life in the Championship, sitting in 15th position after three defeats and just two wins thus far.

The game will take place on Tuesday 21st September and will be played in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Probably will be a very easy win lol
Hopefully your game makes Villa as poor as they are in real life for this game! Good luck man!
MJK- Wishful thinking that, unless you're talking about Villa then most likely.

Griffin- Haha, Villa are improving recently to be fair but aye, not doing very well in game so let's hope.
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT
7 yearsEdited

Porter Out For EFL Cup Clash!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_630/image.jpg

Colchester forward Chris Porter will miss the EFL Cup Third Round game against Aston Villa tomorrow night.

Porter sustained fractured ribs following the 3-2 victory over Barnet at the weekend and this will rule him out for a minimum of 4-5 weeks, in the process meaning he will miss tomorrow nights game at Villa Park. Rekeil Pyke will also miss out after picking up a knock on his debut during the win.

The forward has enjoyed a very good start to his season having scored 7 goals in 8 appearances in all competitions and scored the goal to send the club into the second round tie against 'Boro whilst also scoring two of the three goals in that game. Compared to the rest of the squad, he has scored only two less than the entirety of the side.

This news means that the most likely candidate to play tomorrow night is Bradley Fewster, who has yet to make a first team start this season since joining on loan from Middlesbrough. In a press conference held earlier today, Fewster said, "I'm ready for the challenge ahead as it's a chance to prove myself to the manager and fans. I came here to score goals and further myself and the club and that's what I'm determined to do – Villa will be a tricky opposition of course, they're a club of real history but we know what we have to do in order to progress once again."

Villa also have injury doubts in Micah Richards (strained knee ligaments) and Leandro Bacuna (groin strain) with Jack Grealish also fighting to regain fitness before the game. Richard Brindley is set to return after a short injury for Colchester, whilst Lloyd Doyley is 50/50 for the game after returning to training following a thigh strain picked up in pre-season.

Aston Villa-Colchester United

The dream continued tonight as we stepped out of the coach and entered into the dressing rooms of Villa Park. We knew that club history was being made after the historic win against Middlesbrough last round and that we could have only dreamed that we would be here in the third round after the draws we were given. Whatever the result tonight we could hold our heads high with pride and that's what we would do.

Time went so quickly and before long we were ready to step out onto the pitch with anticipation high and the world watching live on Sky Sports. The players were ready for the occasion and hadn't let the media, who had been asking questions all week about the game, get into their heads. We knew the game was going to be difficult but we'd been there and done that and come out on top, so why couldn't we tonight? The players stepped out and the loud cheer amongst the historic ground was heard from both sets of fans.

Steve Bruce came over to me as we met at the touchline, he was a fantastic manager and had done a lot in his managerial career as well as his club career so it was a true honour to be able to see him and shake his hand. "Good luck tonight, whatever happens you deserve to feel proud. You've done a fantastic job," he grinned. The whistle sounded and the game began, the fairytale was either ending or beginning once again.

We set out as we did against 'Boro and despite all the injuries we had sustained over the past few weeks with the likes of Porter, Pyke and Brindley all missing in the end, we were all ready for the occasion. Kurtis Guthrie led the line as Fewster was sadly not match fit for the game. The first 10 minutes we had little action to report as we kept the ball in the middle of the pitch – not allowing Villa to find the dangerous Jonathan Kodija. However the first chance came and it was in favour as Sam Hart played in Sean Murray, the roar of the away faithful was echoed around the ground and it only was to get louder as the Irishman hit the ball into the bottom left hand corner to give us a surprise 1-0 lead.

We knew that we couldn't let this lead get ahead of us and so remained calm and stuck to the game plan from the off. The motto of 'If it isn't broken don't fix it' came into play and that was the method behind the madness as some would suggest. It clearly worked as we kept the scoreline at 1-0 as we went in at halftime and Villa had only sufficed two shots in the first period. It was the perfect half for us and the fans knew it as songs were projected across as the players came off, rejoicing our lead and it was a sight to see.

The celebration at half time was clear in the players faces but they knew that deep down they had a further 45 minutes to hold onto the lead we had and it's exactly what I told them, "We cannot write what has happened in this first half – let alone the entire competition so far. It's an utter fairytale and we all know that. However, it is clear to me that you are just as happy as I am right now, the truth is we have the second half to play and I know that Steve Bruce will be firing his players up to bounce back. We need to go out even stronger in this half, come on boys let's keep this dream going."

If only it seemed as simple as I put it. Villa came out of the blocks firing and the man I highlighted as the threat for the hosts was to be the man to equalize for them. Kodjia raced away after only just two minutes and we had to start all over again as if it was still at 0-0. However, it would get worse two minutes later again as Jack Grealish struck the ball from the edge of the area past a helpless Dean Brill to give the Villians the lead and the game was turned on it's head completely.

The entire complexion of the match was to change from here on out and Kodija would bring his tally to two for the game as the scoreline was made 3-1. We remained up the fight and our fans sung regardless, it was still the same historic day for us and ignoring the result we could still be very proud of ourselves. We had chances to score, Guthrie's header from close range was well-tipped over by the goalkeeper around the 65th minute mark and the game fizzled out from there.

The scoreline would finish 4-1 to the home side as Grealish would double his tally too in the 91st minute of added time with another good strike but we left Villa Park full of the pride we mentioned at the start and we knew that we could be happy with our efforts. We were the better side in the first half but they were the better team over the course of the game. From here, we knew that we would have to focus on the League Two campaign in front of us and Accrington Stanley at the weekend.

Seeing the smiles on fans and players faces despite the result at the end of the game was something special and the words exchanged between myself and Steve Bruce at the end of the game was just that too as he told me how he expected to see us go far in the future. The small things in football can mean so much and although the underdog story has come to an end, a new story of our promotion season will begin, I'm sure.
Sucks about the loss man
Not the best of results man but glad it ended on a positive!
MJK/Griffin- Not complaining at all, shouldn't have even been in the third round so to even be ahead as well in that game was crazy!

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