Date:Wednesday April 21 2010
Don`t call it an inquest; well, perhaps it is...
As Colchester`s play-off hopes for this season fade behind Huddersfield, the site looks back at the key individual moments in a dramatic downturn that will probably define the current League One challenge as a non-event where promotion is concerned.
Can we just rewind six weeks... please?!
10) Jon Parkin`s hat-trick for Preston in the F.A. Cup - January 2010
When two Beats met - that`s the nickname both Magnus Okuonghae and Jon Parkin share in common - one played decidedly more beatify than the other.
Preston striker Parkin broke Colchester United moral and his ten-game non-scoring duck by hitting a hat-trick and banishing all hopes that the Essex side could cause an upset against an out-of-form and manageress side.
Poor luck also for Ben Williams, whose own-goal capped an afternoon of ignominy for the U`s and dented their pride ahead of the next league game against Norwich.
9) Paul Reid`s long-term injuries - Summer 2009 & Spring 2010
The committed centre-back, a former England under 19 skipper and once on the books at Rangers, was seen as a defensive mainstay for both Paul Lambert and Geraint Williams before Aidy Boothroyd`s arrival.
It`s probably no coincidence, then, that the U`s kept five of their thirteen clean-sheets for this season when he featured for the club, in between prolonged spells on the treatment table first with a fractured kneecap which delayed his return this term. He`s back on the treatment table now; multiple troubles have culminated in a back problem.
8) John-Joe O`Toole`s injury V Charlton - April 2010
Timing, as they say, is everything. The luckless nature of Colchester United`s second half of the campaign was hammed home by John-Joel`s ligament non-contact injury struck at the worst possible time.
Shadowing his marker, the recalled O`Toole made what amounted to little more than a cameo as his collapse let in the cross from which Nicky Forster scored the game`s deciding and only goal.
Victory against Phil Parkinson`s side might have re-ignited the U`s play-off hopes by taking three points from a close league rival. Instead in reinforced a sorry stat of just one win in eight matches, leaving the player to rebuild his career with a nine-month lay-off expected.
7) The away win record - 2009/2010
The U`s have the joint-lowest away win record in League One`s top ten this season -five, ditto Brentford - and have thrown away glaring opportunities to win after taking solid leads against, for example, Stockport and Carlisle on the road.
6) Darren Byfield`s 90+(4)th-minute winner for Walsall - March 2010
Colchester look likeliest to get the win until Darren Byfield skips past Okuonghae on the counter-attack and steals a win for the home side against the run of play.
Byfield had been on the pitch for about a quarter of an hour and proved what a high currency the goal has in football by placing a decider for his 10-man team beyond Williams at the death.
For travelling fans, by far one of the most frustrating defeats of the season!
5) Paul Lambert`s return with Norwich - January 2010
Colchester United were intimidated by the return of Paul Lambert`s Norwich as their supporters could enjoy some exacted revenge for the opening-day drubbing suffered at Carrow Road in August, watching a 5-0 win.
Although the wet surface and poor conditions were supposed to work in Colchester`s favour, City instead dominated and capped a poor week for the U`s, winning five-nil in the wake of their 7-0 thrashing at Preston in the cup.
Pride and goal-difference dented, that result saw it was proving far from a happy new year for the U`s.
4) Just two goals in one month - January 2010
In fact, January was possibly the most miserable month to date as Colchester went through with just one win to keep them in top-six contention.
Failure to net any goals in attempts against Leeds, Gillingham, Norwich and Preston showed early signs of a wobble.
3) Gareth Ainsworth`s handball goal V Wycombe - March 2010
More dropped points for the U`s, this time uncharacteristically at home, as the derby game against Wycombe is capped-off controversially.
Gareth Ainsworth`s stoppage time equaliser is handled into the net but still given as a goal and levels proceedings following a superbly skilful opener from Ian Henderson.
Ainsworth later admits he knew the goal was illegitimate and the club receive an apology from the offending referee - but not the three points they deserved.
Wycombe, then, had a helping hand.
2) Danny Batth own gaol V Millwall - April 2010
A fantastic first-half display is the best of the year so far - Colchester threaten from most attacks and look extremely lively, despite the poor run of results.
With no long-ball in sight, they are unfortunate to go behind playing a passing style, but don`t rest on their laurels - Kevin Lisbie finds the net to equalise, for only his second strike of 2010.
Colchester, however, don`t win. Danny Batth`s misfortune instead gifts promotion-chasing Millwall three points as his looping headed clearance eludes Ben Williams at makes the final score 2-1.
1) Losing against ten - twice! - March 2010
Boss Aidy Boothroyd is livid as Colchester lose against Carlisle, who have a man sent off in the first half.
He calls the U`s response amateurish, as they surrender a lead meekly following Clive Platt`s opener. He says the side were "average" and his response all-but promises it shouldn`t happen again.
But it does - twice in eight days!
At an almost identical time in the next game, Walsall are reduced in the first half and the U`s go gun-ho in search of victory.
As earlier discussed in (6), Walsall then score to steal the points and put Colchester`s promotion pedigree in the spotlight once more.
So what do you think?
Let us know with a comment below, or chat about this article in the forum. Not yet a member? Don't panic, click on the banner below to join in.
Date:Wednesday April 21 2010
Dunne Expects Late Transfers (Saturday May 25 2013)
Watt Was That, Kinsella? (Friday May 24 2013)
Ibehre Thanks U's Support (Friday May 24 2013)
Dunne Ready For 'Strongest' League One (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Dunne Snaps Up Eastmond (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Less Travelling For The U's (Monday May 20 2013)
Eastman Reflects On Carlisle (Tuesday May 14 2013)
Ibehre Set To Stay With U's? (Monday May 13 2013)
Play-Off Joy For Former U's (Monday May 6 2013)
Massey Happy With The U's (Sunday May 5 2013)
|Dunne Expects Late Transfers
» Colchester : 25/05/2013 08:49:00
|On this day in history...25th May
» Portsmouth : 25/05/2013 08:00:00
|Max rescues England
» Crewe : 24/05/2013 22:53:00
|Colin Cooper Appointed Hartlepool Boss
» Hartlepool : 24/05/2013 22:51:00
|Watt Was That, Kinsella?
» Colchester : 24/05/2013 22:42:00
|Ibehre Thanks U's Support
» Colchester : 24/05/2013 22:31:00
|SUFC Long hoping to cap fantastic season
» Sheff Utd : 24/05/2013 21:33:00