Vital Football

Latest Colchester United News

Reffing Hell - Colchester v Foxes

Reffing Hell - Colchester v Foxes

Reffing hell: man in black overshadows draw

Attendance: 5,915
Saturday, 13th January 2007

Colchester United(0) 1 Leicester City (1) 1

Iwelumo, 48 (Pen) Hume, 19

Matthew Calmus, at Layer Road


This game showed exactly what happens when 5,000 ravenous punters flood into Layer Road expecting to make a 12th successive scalp at home, but get denied that right by a combination of human error and lack of confidence.

They begin baying for blood. Pity, then, during this encounter of raging controversy, one Danny McDermid, whose Championship debut in the centre circle will forever be remembered as the afternoon where the referee turned into an unwitting ring-master of his own circus.

The song 'Stuck in the middle with you` would probably best capture the apathetic feeling that both sets of fans, and players, alike had felt at the final whistle.

Leicester`s clan of 1,000 travelling supporters had already been denied two potential goals for offside by then, while Colchester United became victims of an official`s attempt to assert some authority, as Hogan Ephraim`s late finish was also ruled out.

The goals that stood levelled out at one each way, with Leicester City`s promising strike-force of Iain Hume and Matty Fryatt combining to allow the Foxes to take the lead. A Fryatt assist, apex of the penalty area, saw livewire Hume collect to finish from close range. Colchester`s equaliser came from a spot-kick, as Chris Iwelumo grabbed his 14th goal - and fith penalty - of the season.

Referee McDermid, who issued seven yellow cards during the match, was instant upon impressing his version of the law to the letter, which made particularly frustrating watching, and so there was little flow to Colchester`s play.

The tally of bookings might have reached eight, after Karl Duguid was shown red, but the decision was downgraded after the referee realised that it was, in fact, only his first yellow of the afternoon. Almost a Graham Poll moment, and certainly one for the blooper reel of mistakes.

Not that poor officiating could have entirely masked Colchester United`s first-half errors. It revealed Leicester to be a passing team, and United`s somewhat predictable fondness for long-ball play, which works well when Iwelumo is not blindly heading the ball nowhere in particular. He deserves credit for later winning a perhaps fortunate penalty, and the Scot also had a shot that curved narrowly wide of Rab Douglas` right-hand post.

United simply could not keep the ball for long enough to fashion a convincing passing movement that might lead to a goal in the first-half, and so it seems that recent results - and last weeks Cup defeat to lowly Barnet - have dented collective confidence. A general failure to keep the ball on the floor lead to some edgy U`s moments, not helped by a risky employment of the offside-trap.

The job of restoring confidence rests on the shoulders of Colchester manager Geraint Williams, and the faithful must be praying it can be done before next weekend`s visit to Ipswich Town. In the meantime, the Welshman could have been foreshowing the events to follow against Leicester, as he said in his programme notes before kick-off: "Football is a game of highs and lows and while we have enjoyed the highs, we must also get over the lows."

Colchester relieved the pressure on their back line, and finally began to make runs off-the-ball, in the second half, although Dean Gerken, with some, at times, excellent and, at times, extrovert 'keeping, helped Colchester cling to a point.

The introduction of Hogan Ephraim, who comes earmarked with class, at the expense of Jamie Cureton, also provided a much-needed link between Iwelumo and the midfield. His, eventually disallowed, 'goal` could have sealed a win for the U`s right at the death; it was well-taken, with a cool finish.

Looking back, it was, as Geraint Williams put it, "not exactly terrible." It might even be fair to say that Colchester avoided defeat directly because of the man in the middle. Denied a win, maybe, but also spared a loss.

If you can ignore countless dubious decisions, a pantomimic flourish of the red card, and Colchester`s worrying inability to keep possession for long periods during the first half, then this was a point well-earned. The problem is - as the spoils were shared, in a game, frankly, spoilt by the referee - you can`t.


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

Writer:Matt_Us
Date:Monday January 15 2007
Time: 9:10AM

Login to post a comment

Recent Colchester United Articles

More Reliable Than A League 2 Octopus? (20/1/17)

A new season and finally a new special computer crunching the numbers to determine the final League Two positions for 2016/17.

League Two Gets Late Final Day Kick Off

Yesterday the Football League confirmed that the final day fixtures for all League Two clubs in 2016/17 would kick off at 5.30pm.

Riley Explains Postponements

It doesn't happen often in the Premier League or Championship thesedays, but League's 1 & 2 still suffer the odd postponement owing to the weather and Mike Riley...

All Time Leading Goalscorers - 51 To 74 (12/1/17)

With Manchester United's Wayne Rooney equalling Sir Bobby Charlton's goal return of 249 in the weekend's FA Cup third round tie against Reading, here's a list...

Archived Vital Colchester Articles

Vital Colchester articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Colchester
Write For Vital Colchester
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Colchester v Rochdale
Suggested By:
Colchester win45%
Rochdale win44%
Draw11%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Doncaster 27 18 4 5 58 21
2 Plymouth 26 17 3 6 54 15
3 Carlisle 27 12 12 3 48 11
4 Portsmouth 26 13 6 7 45 14
5 Wycombe 26 12 7 7 43 6
6 Luton 26 11 9 6 42 13
7 Colchester 27 11 7 9 40 7
8 Barnet 27 10 10 7 40 0
9 Exeter 26 12 3 11 39 12
10 Cambridge 26 11 6 9 39 7
11 Grimsby 27 11 6 10 39 4
12 Mansfield 27 9 10 8 37 -1
13 Blackpool 26 9 9 8 36 11
14 Crawley 25 10 5 10 35 -7
15 Stevenage 27 10 3 14 33 -6
16 Yeovil 26 8 8 10 32 -3
17 Morecambe 25 9 4 12 31 -11
18 Hartlepool 27 7 9 11 30 -9
19 Crewe 27 6 10 11 28 -13
20 Accrington 26 6 8 12 26 -11
21 Leyton Orient 26 7 4 15 25 -11
22 Cheltenham 26 5 9 12 24 -11
23 Notts County 27 6 5 16 23 -22
24 Newport 26 4 7 15 19 -16
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Colchester United Results (view all)

Colchester United Fixtures (view all)

Feb 4 2017 3:00PM : Blackpool (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 7 2017 7:45PM : Wycombe Wanderers (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 11 2017 3:00PM : Barnet (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 14 2017 7:45PM : Crawley Town (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 18 2017 3:00PM : Accrington Stanley (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Feb 25 2017 3:00PM : Hartlepool United (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Vital Football Comment