The title really is the word I'd use to describe the past month of September as we have really progressed together as a squad, dropping just 2 points in the league from 15. Kicked started with a 2-1 win against Exeter, who were a tougher task than expected. We took a two goal lead into half time but throughout the second half they really put the pressure on and when the game came it seemed likely a second would follow, however we just about kept Paul Tisdale's at bay.
Next followed another home game to Blackpool, who were relegated alongside us last season. They have continued their protests throughout the season and perhaps it's been playing a part in the mentality on the pitch as they were continuing to struggle in the new season. We went on to win 1-0 after a lote goal from Sean Murray but we simply weren't good enough up front. It's evident we are missing Chris Porter and the chopping and changing we are having to make due to injury is having a slight affect. I can't complain though, three points at the end of the day.
We then travelled to Barnet for our first away game of the month. One of the sides who are predicted for the drop this season, they have a lot to prove to the doubters and thus far they simply haven't been good enough. Yet, they took an early lead as the deadly John Akinde found a breakthrough after some lax defending. Bradley Fewster found a quick reply, his first goal this season which was good to see. He is someone predicted for a bright future, he just needs to find some confidence and that should be the start of that I hope.
Brennan Dickenson would make it 2-1 but ultimately at half time we would go in level as our defence once again collapsed and allowed Jack Taylor to get inside the box and place the ball home from close range. Kurtis Guthrie would come on at half time due to the injury of Fewster and would in fact be the goalscorer to ensure we left with maximum points after a wonderful effort from range hit the underside of the bar and in.
Next up was the historic night mentioned previously against Villa. To reiterate it was a night that no Colchester fan will forget, we went into the game huge underdogs despite wins over Cardiff and Middlesbrough in previous rounds and the story behind our journey to this round was described as 'magical' by many pundits. In the end, as seen in a previous update to this, we went on to lose 4-1 but took an early lead that sent ripples away Villa Park. We'll look back on this game with fine memory, despite the end result.
We then got back into league season with a game at home to Accrington Stanley, a side made famous due to an advert in the UK in which featured the line, 'Accrington Stanley, who are they?' 'Exactly.' Please, watch it on YouTube it's a great advert. Anyway, adverts aside they were a tough side having finished in the playoffs last season, a shock to many a football fan as well as their own. An extra time defeat would mean they remained in the league for this season.
Sean Murray was clearly in the goalscoring mood, he couldn't be stopped and went on to score his third goal in four games as we took an early lead. Accrington, known for the passion and resilience put into the club from the board, fans and even manager John Coleman, would turn the game right around with goals from Sean McConville and then Shay McCartan with 6 minutes to go. However, Bradley Fewster who made a return from his injury sustained against Barnet would score an injury time equaliser and ensure we would be taking a point from the game.
The month was wrapped up with a tough test to Crawley Town, a side who had not been the most stable club in recent years. They enjoyed a meteoric rise from the Conference to League One with a famous FA Cup game to Manchester United slotted in the middle of the back-to-back promotions. But as the money began to dry up, the club plummeted and would soon be relegated and last season would go on to finish 20th in the league.
Today was a difficult game as mentioned and it would be – both sides couldn't force a way through and the only opportunity in the game would be a late one in the 92nd minute as the ball found it's way through to substitute Kurtis Guthrie who, similarly to the previous game, meant we would find a goal in stoppage time but instead of leaving with just a point, we would pick up an extra two and lift ourselves into the automatic promotion places going into a busy October.