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Match Previews

🔎 The Opposition: Colchester United

Opposition overview on the U's

22 November 2021

With five league wins on the bounce next up for Exeter City is a midweek trip to Colchester United

Here’s a view of the U’s.

  • Founded: 1937
  • Nicknames: The U’s
  • Honours: Conference (1991/92), FA Trophy (1991/92)
  • Home Kit: MACRON Blue shirt with darker patterned prints, blue shorts, and white socks
  • Away Kit: MACRON Olive green and black shirt with camo-style sleeves, black shorts and socks.
  • Form: LWWDL (20th in League Two)

Colchester United formed in 1937 when a number of enthusiasts of the much older Colchester Town F.C. decided to establish a new professional club in the area. The new team decided they would stay at Layer Road, the original home of Town since 1909.

The town itself lays claim as the oldest recorded establishment in Britain. It was also the first founded Roman outpost in England after Emperor Claudius’ invasion in 43AD. It served as the Roman Capital of Britain for 20 years until Boudica’s rebellion in 61AD which destroyed the town. In a more modern setting Colchester is regarded as one of the country’s fastest growing towns, after a considerable rise in population since the turn of the 20th century.

Colchester Romans.jpg

It took 13 years after the Clubs formation to join the football league, gaining promotion to Division 3 (South) in 1950. After bouncing between tiers 3 and 4 for the best part of 30 years, Colchester were relegated back into the Conference ahead of the 1990/91 season. The U’s were unable to make an immediate return to the football league as they finished runners up to Barnet, but the season later would be regarded as one of the most successful in their history.

Under player/manager and top scorer Roy McDonough, Colchester won the Conference title on the final day of the season and beat Witton Albion at Wembley in the FA Trophy final (although they did lose to Exeter in the first round of the FA Cup).  

At the turn of the 21st century Colchester had stints in the second tier. Between 2006-2008 they were in the Championship, but after eight years in league one, the U’s were relegated back to the Football league basement tier. Last season, Colchester met City the play-off semi-finals when the Grecians triumphed to progress to Wembley.

Manager

Hayden Mullins

Former topflight defensive midfielder Hayden Mullins is currently at the helm at Colchester United. Mullins had a coveted career which expanded the Premier League at Crystal Palace, West Ham and Portsmouth. He twice won player of the year at Selhurst Park and was gifted the armband for the Eagles in his time in London.

Colchester Mullins.JPG

Venturing into management in 2016, Mullins joined Watford U23’s before twice taking charge of the Hornets on an interim basis. Now in his first full-time senior role, Mullins is tasked of elevating Colchester up the League Two table.

Stadium

  • Name: JobServe Community Stadium (Colchester Community Stadium)
  • Capacity: 10,105
  • Year Opened: 2008
  • Address: United Way, Mile End, Colchester CO4 5UP

Colchester played at Layer Road since it’s formation in 1937. After thirty years of talks between the club and the local council, the new site on Cuckoo Farm was announced as the new land for the stadium.

Colchester Stadium.jpg

The £14m project began work in 2007 and was finished ahead of the ‘08/09 season. The pilot game was between Colchester and Spanish side Athletic Bilbao. Spanish international Aritz Aduriz had the privilege of scoring the first goal in the new ground.

The stadium has hosted a number of England Women’s games including a 5-0 win over Kazakhstan in 2017, as well as several men’s youth internationals such as the U19’s 1-0 win against Germany in 2008.

One to Watch

Freddie Sears

Topping the scoring charts for the U’s this season, experienced striker Freddie Sears leads the line. With six goals to his name so far, Sears is rolling back the years which saw him become a household name for Ipswich Town.

Colchester Sears.JPG

The natural goal scorer began his career at West Ham where he was prolifi in the Hammers’ youth set-up. He scored two goals for the senior side before being loaned out to a host of clubs, including Colchester.

His first spell in Essex led to the U’s signing him on a permanent contract in 2012. Championship Ipswich Town soon came calling and the striker made over 200 appearences at Portman Road before the winds brought the 31-year-old back to Colchester in the summer.

Head to Head

The two clubs have met a staggering 85 times since Colchester’s promotion to the Football league in 1950. There have been 229 goals scored between the two teams at nearly 2.7 goals a game.

City have had the lions share of the wins, but usually quite cagey affairs against the U’s means Tuesday’s visitors are always capable of a result. City go into Tuesday buoyant after last season’s double over the blues.

Exeter City wins: 34
Draws: 28
Colchester United wins: 28 

Tickets.jpg

Recent encounters

Colchester United 1 Exeter City 2 | Sky Bet League Two | JobServe Community Stadium | February 23, 2021

Ben Seymour opened his league account for Exeter City with a guided header as City took all three points in Essex. Robbie Wilmott was also on the scoresheet for the Grecians.

Exeter City 6 Colchester United 1 | Sky Bet League Two | St James Park | November 11, 2020

City scored six goals in a game for the first time since 1993, after a hat trick from Ryan Bowman, two from MJ and another from Joel Randall sensationally swept away last years play-off hopefuls.

Exeter City 3 Colchester United 1 (3-2 agg) | League Two Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg |St James Park | June 26, 2020

Exeter City booked their place at Wembley for the third time in four years, with goals from Aaron Martin, Jayden Richardson and Ryan Bowman’s extra time strike.

And Finally…

Colchester United’s home FA Cup tie against Leyton Orient in December 1990 was scheduled to be the first ever Sunday night game broadcast live on television but was postponed because of a snowstorm. The game was rearranged to the following Wednesday and Orient progressed in the replay. 


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