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Colchester United 2 Watford 3 (04/12/2007) 05/12/2007

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five thunks from Colchester:

1- If you’re going to win 3-2, that’s the way to do it.  All the evening missed in terms of symbolism was Malky wandering around the pitch with a placard proclaiming “The Corner is About To Be Turned” as Mart Poom was substituted.

2- Speaking of whom, whether the nervousness of the defence in front of the Estonian was due to knowledge of an existing injury to the keeper, general lack of confidence in their custodian, lack of organisation from the man between the sticks or simply utterly inept defending, there wasn’t the slightest suggestion of it once Richard Lee came on.

3- Lee Williamson.  Who’d have thought it possible?  Bossed the midfield from start to finish. Terrific.

4- Lloydy, in another splendid performance, was through on goal having snarled into dispossessing Mark Yeates in a vulnerable position.  Through on goal !  And he squared it!  SHOOT, man!

5- It should be obligatory to watch one match a season on a ten-step deep terrace half an inch from the touchline in a ground which looks (to part-quote Colchester-supporting Hal Berstram) as if a load of people turned up and pitched tents around a field, eventually decided to stay and built gazebos and ended up calling it a football ground for a laugh. Colchester really need their move next summer, and really need to stay in the division to glean maximum benefit from it, but I won’t half miss grounds like this.



1. DM - 05/12/2007

“Speaking of whom, whether the nervousness of the defence in front of the Estonian was due to knowledge of an existing injury to the keeper, general lack of confidence in their custodian, lack of organisation from the man between the sticks or simply utterly inept defending, there wasn’t the slightest suggestion of it once Richard Lee came on”

I’d say the second one. Poom hasn’t inspired confidence all season long. Let last night be an end to the goalkeeping debate.

2. Matt - 05/12/2007

Tommy Smith – I take back everything I’ve ever said about him being a winger who can’t cross the ball

Jobi – too quiet again for my liking – thought Ainsworth was unlucky not to get a run out for the last 20.

Priskin – still can’t say why but I really rate him, would love to see him get a run in the team now.

3. Mick G. - 05/12/2007

Five further thunks (from someone who didn’t go,but would like to know) :
1-Where was Nathan Ellington?
2- ditto Gavin Mahon?
3-If Mart Poom has a dodgy back,why did A B go into last Saturday’s match without a substitute keeper?( remember Ben Foster got injured in a game-Wigan??-last season and had to stay on the pitch even though he couldn’t kick)
4-Other teams are just as capable of getting stuffed by “unlikely” opposition too (e.g.West Brom, Wolves,Plymouth,Sheff.Utd last night.) Colchester away could easily have fitted into that list..
5-In recent seasons,how often have we come back to win a game having been two goals down – and away at that?

4. Dave Hart - 05/12/2007

Regarding your point 3, one thing I have noticed both this season and last, is that almost whoever plays in the middle with Mahon tends to go invisible during the game. Francis in particular barely touched the ball in the latter half of the season, and I have noticed the same thing with Williamson this season.

However, when Williamson was paired with Bangura against Man City at home, he gave an excellent performance, and the two worked very well together. Perhaps it is because Mahon sits too deep, and leaves his midfield partner exposed. Then again, perhaps Francis is just a lazy git.

Personally, I don’t think that Mahon is a bad player, but that there is a problem with his mentality. Last season in particular, I remember him doing a 360 with the ball, when there was no opponent near him, when he clearly didn’t know who to play to. The good options available to him were cut off by the time he had spun all the way round.

I suspect that he lacks confidence (I saw him play much better away at QPR), and I wonder if he doesn’t like playing at the Vic. I wonder if he would play better without the pressure of captaincy on him. Stewart played very well when he was skipper last season, and it could motivate him better. That said, I think he has played quite well this season already.

I did indeed go the the Hereford game last night. Aidy might want to reconsider letting Tiggy go. I’m not saying he’s world class, but he can trap and pass the ball. He also beat two men by the corner flag, and then crossed a peach of a ball for Theo to score. The Hereford fans rate Tiggy highly enough to know how to pronounce his name!

Theo was less popular however, which I found initially surprising. On watching him, however, his control of the ball was poor, and he has a reputation for being offside (Priskin, anyone?) He has scored eight goals htis season, so he must be doing something right. His game needs a lot of work, though.

5. Esp - 05/12/2007

Poom – Stayed rooted to his line most of the time he was on and at fault for Colchester’s second with a weak hand to the ball whilst on ground. If he’s picked up a groin strain i think the benefactors will be the defence and the confidence it will inspire and obviously Lee

Lee – superb contribution, bossed his area and his kicking has vastly improved. Maybe while he keeps his berth we should give Poom a try as a left midfielder; we hardly have an abundance of left footed players at the moment!

Stewart – I’m still not convinced that his heart is in it and he is lucky that we are top and has no competition for his place. Comfort zone reached

Doyley – Covered a lot of grtound, obviously wants to score and is contributing in all areas especially on the overlap. Some excellent throw ins and was unlucky to be booked for timewasting

Shittu – had a good match which will help erase some lacklustre performances; must be happy that others are scoring!

Demerit – looks to have shaken off his injury after a couple of under par performances. I think we have a captain in the making and he would be my choice should Mahon have an extended leave of absence. Solid. and reliable.

Williamson – a revelation, I have been a critic recently but not having Mahon next to him didn’t seem to affect him and if anything he rose to the extra responsibility

Smith – ironically even though he played a big part in 2 of the goals shooting a superb cross for Prisken’s match winner I felt he was again lacklustre. I may be in a minority here but Smith also has no competition for his position he maybe another in a comfort zone.

O’Toole – Best match of the season so far and he is eager to please. very impressed with the tousled haired tinker. Should watch his petulance though as he suffered an unnecessary booking. There were 5 yellow cards in what was definitely not a dirty match. Time wasting and verbal abuse were the main offences.

Priskin – he desperately wanted to score and deserved to. Worked well when ball was played to feet and we were keeping it on the floor; not so good when we play the direct ball up field from defence.

Mcanuff – did not have a good game and there were too many wayward passes.I wish he was more two footed that would have helped a lot. Probably deserved to be subbed but wasn’t

King – the goal will increase his confidence which is badly needed. he did well and in a match which saw overr 25 attempts on goal frrom both teams in total King was at the heart of most of our attempts. he kept central today and let the wingers stay out on the flanks which is what I prefer.

Henderson – Looked eager when he came on and was very lucky not to pick up a red card for nearly knocking a Colchester midfielder into the stands.

Boothroyd – did well with substitutions and should be brave again in sticking with Lee for a while. Francis came on at the right time and it was good to see that we didn’t have all 4 main strikers in the squad for a change as we don’t need to – Ellinton should get a string of reserve matches now to increase his sharpness.

6. Esp - 05/12/2007

Mick G regarding your point:
“5-In recent seasons,how often have we come back to win a game having been two goals down – and away at that?”

I believe it was the (Worthington) League Cup match in September 2001 against Bristol City. They scored on 48 and 55 minutes and we scored in the 73rd minute with a Marcus Gayle penalty followed by goals from Vialli’s favourite Swissman Ramon Vega in the 88th minute and our third was scored in injury time by Micah Hyde

So, a full 6 years ago…and, it was away

7. NRC - 06/12/2007

Fair dues to Aidy folks, after all the talk about this being a moment of truth for him he made some brave selections for a potentially tricky game and they paid off. We know he likes Gav yet drops him, and no room for the so far ineffectual but very expensive Duke. Okay it’s only one game, but feel we should acknowledge good management after recent questioning of his credentials in a ‘crisis’.

8. Apperley 'Orn - 06/12/2007

NRC – Duke has only been ineffectual in the sense that he hasn’t had time on the pitch to make a huge difference.

IG made an excellent point on the watford mailing list that Duke’s presence in the squad has made the other strikers work hard at their games, with the result that we have two of our division’s top scorers.

Ineffectual or influential? I know which I think.

I have to say, yet again, I am shedding no tears over Poom’s injury. Richard Lee every time for me.

9. East Stand Man - 06/12/2007

I have been grumpy and slightly depressed since mid November. It co-incided with England being knocked out of the European Championships and Watford losing three on the trot. I tried hard not the relate this to my general disposition but after we beat Colchester I am feeling real chirpy again.

Oh the bloody power of Football

10. Wrighty - 06/12/2007

Last season when Mahon wasn’t playing Stewart was captain. On Tuesday Mahon didn’t play and Demerit was captain, a subtle,or not so, nudge from AB to Stewart about contracts and loyalty?

11. NRC - 06/12/2007

Apperley ‘Orn – accept your point that the Duke hasn’t had much of a chance (‘so far ineffectual’), but Hendo has come off the bench and scored a few times for us. Actually, I’d have started with him rather than Priskin, good job I’m not the manager! Four million seems a lot to make the others do what they’re suppossed to do in the first place!

12. Apperley 'Orn - 06/12/2007

Indeed NRC, although that is probably the point. Ellington has proved in the past (certainly during his Wigan days) that he is a class act and will I am sure, given time, prove his worth – the fact though that we have someone valued at such a high price by the club waiting in the wings is bound to have a knock-on effect.

Anyway, it won’t be too long before we find out how good he is – Hendo will be suspended after picking up a 5th booking on Tuesday and with the heavy schedule over Christmas we are undoubtedly going to see a bit more of Duke. I have very high hopes personally – just wonder whether him and Marlon are too similar to play together.

13. Matford - 06/12/2007

I’m with East Stand Man all the way on this mood thing. And I live on the other side of the world. Hoping for a Happy Christmas and New Year. UTH.

14. Markymark - 07/12/2007

If Stewart wants to run his contract out,see whats on offer and then leave on a “Bosman” let him as IMO there are loads of left backs as good as him or better that we could get in or failing that Parkes surely can’t/won’t be any worse!

15. JohnM - 07/12/2007

Report in the Daily Mail today that Gavin off to QPR in the transfer window – nothing on web site (12.30)
If true – I don’t know how I feel
Anybody Know anything?

16. Holly - 07/12/2007

Post 12. Marlon and Duke similar – I do not think so ….

whilst Duke hasnt had a sniff, I believe King is of a high ‘technical’ calibre, whereas the Duke, a bit more Hendo stylely …..

Point 15. gav to QPR. I think both parties would gain from that. a new challenge for him, plus I think he would help keep them up. I do think he has served his time at Watford, but lets give him a good send off and always welcome him back cos he gave us great service, Robbo esq !!!

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