Colchester United - Colchester v Stoke Match Report
UK time is: 03:19:50
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Colchester v Stoke Match Report

Magic three: Colchester dreaming of a nine-point Christmas

Colchester (2) 3 Stoke (0) 0

Cureton, 1, 17
Garcia, 63

Attendance: 5, 345

Layer Road Saturday, 16th December 2006

Stoke City`s reputation as Championship high-flyers - paraded in the alternative galaxy of 'Layer Dome` on matchday 23 - was smashed into outer space by Colchester United, who remain undefeated at home since August.

Three Colchester strikes brought a rising City team back down to earth, as a stifling Layer Road cauldron denied Stoke the footballing equivalent of oxygen - goals. The U`s, whose performance propels them into play-off contention, also ended their opponents` run of eight league games without loss.

A Jamie Cureton salvo was enough to neutralise any comet storm that Stoke might have delivered, with his first coming less than 90 seconds into the game. Shell-shocked at the prospect of a thrashing, City did not enjoy much time on the ball and home advantage helped the U`s to victory once again.

While the Layer Road atmosphere may be insufferable for the away side (the facilities are widely accepted as being of a 'Conference standard`), it has become a useful shield to help stave off potential invasion. The 6,150-capacity ground - a one-time army base - is an important part of Colchester`s seemingly unbreakable siege mentality. The actual surface itself is also superb, which raises an almost rhetorical question: Do Colchester want a new stadium after all?

Impending change can be scary, but exciting too, which is what home fans were constantly reminding themselves by the half-way point of this fixture. The potential nightmare soon turned out to be another daydream along the terraces, as the crowd provided a boisterous soundtrack to accompany on-field events.

Simply put, a high tempo start - and two goals - knocked the wind out of City as fast as it put the rhythm into United, with Jamie Cureton`s second goal being one of great quality. The ball fell over his shoulder, where there appeared to be nothing on - next moment, a right-footed shot had rippled the string for 2-0.

A spot of pantomime did provide Stoke with some much-needed relief during the first-half, where an injury forced the linesman, amid jeers, to leave the field of play. During that four-minute stoppage, a comic image of two opposition centre-backs arguing seemed to confirm Colchester`s superiority.

The festive spirit hanging in the town`s sky also dared those watching to ponder the idea that Greg Halford might forfeit his transfer request, particularly as the 22-year-old lined up a free-kick that dipped just wide of Steve Simonsen`s post. The faithful cannot yet decide if he is more Garry Neville (long throw, outstanding work-rate) than Beckham (Free-kick specialist, good crosser, pin-up), but are unanimous in that they do not want him to leave.

The half-time team talk, used to remind Colchester about out-manoeuvring Stoke through pace of play, saw high-speed superiority re-asserted by the U`s after the break. It quickly became olé stuff, and opposing danger-man Ricardo Fuller typified his side`s frustration, by picking up a needless yellow card.

That was after Richard Garcia had risen to help direct the ball into the net, for a third goal. This margin then helped Colchester to successfully leapfrog Stoke in the Championship standings.

Another great result was not without the odd scare - Watson and Garcia did pull-up during the game, although both seem to be on the mend after lengthy lay-offs. That, plus the episode of the injured linesman, concerned the crowd during this 3-0 triumph.

At least Kem Izzet saw the funny side of it, donning the fourth official`s now stray pair of sunglasses as he left the field - despite the fact that a Christmas chill was in the air. It was Christmas out on the pitch too, where every fantastic win is another present from the good ol` white 'n` blues.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Matt_Us Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 18 2006

Time: 10:32AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
"alternative galaxy of 'Layer Dome`" - quality! Superb reporting. Keep sticking it up 'em you U's
Report Abuse
18/12/2006 10:51:00

My mate went in with the Sow ke lot, said you were deserved winners.
Report Abuse
18/12/2006 18:10:00

Great Report.....Great Game..
Report Abuse
19/12/2006 21:29:00


Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Colchester United Articles

Stats: Burton Albion v Colchester (Saturday November 28 2015)

League 1 - Burton Albion v Colchester (Friday November 27 2015)

Humes Dismissed! (Friday November 27 2015)

Match Day Officials v Burton (Thursday November 26 2015)

League 1 - Colchester 2-3 Crewe (Thursday November 26 2015)

Stats: Colchester v Crewe (Tuesday November 24 2015)

Striker Earns U's Deal (Tuesday November 24 2015)

League 1 Programme - 24th November (Tuesday November 24 2015)

Match Day Officials v Crewe (Monday November 23 2015)

Archived Colchester United Articles

List All Vital Colchester Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
17. Swindon 20 6 4 10 -5 22
18. Fleetwood 20 6 3 11 -2 21
19. Shrewsbury 19 6 3 10 -3 21
20. Colchester 20 5 5 10 -19 20
21. Oldham 20 3 10 7 -10 19
22. Blackpool 20 5 4 11 -12 19
23. Crewe 20 5 4 11 -14 19

Colchester United Fixtures (view all)

Breaking League News

Smith Set To Take Over Brentford?
» Walsall : 28/11/2015 23:26:01
Crewe move up
» Crewe : 28/11/2015 20:20:01
Smith Delighted With Saddlers Win
» Walsall : 28/11/2015 19:24:01
» Crewe : 28/11/2015 18:52:01
» Walsall : 28/11/2015 17:23:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

FA Cup - Colchester v Altrincham
Suggested By:  VitalColchester
Colchester win 0%
Altrincham win 0%
Draw 0%