Vital Football

Latest Colchester United News

Touché to Ipswich Town!

Touché to Ipswich Town!

Who will be the pride of East Anglia?

Apparently, nobody in Suffolk actually cares that Colchester United are about to cruise up the A12 and into Portman Road, because people in Ipswich are refusing to buy into all this talk of a rivalry between the two teams.

Those in Colchester, on the other hand, have already convinced themselves that this weekend`s match is a matter of personal honour, and seemingly need little excuse to shoot verbal arsenal across the mere nine miles that separate the sides.

From the safety and comfort of Col U`s current League position, that is all very well, but in terms of acting the part, Ipswich are unwilling to follow the unwritten autocue, which compels them to partake in a full-blooded charge.

The rhetoric we expect to be reading prior to Saturday`s match is that both camps are preparing for serious and absolute combat, spun to whet the appetite in advance of a titanic fixture.

Roll the sleeves up, apply war-mongering paint, and begin the spitting: this is supposed to be a catfight of the counties. But it`s not happening - and a look at Ipswich Town`s illustrious history, including glory in both Europe and the Premiership, might just tell us why.

UEFA Cup winners under Sir Bobby Robson in the 1970s, and third in the Premiership a few seasons back, the Tractor Boys are certainly not low on the fuel of success; pity it now only takes the form of memories.

The side of the tale they won`t recount to you in Ipswich is that the dream exploded, resulting in a long period of administration, and a fall in attendances. Who can blame them, since the financial scars of poor Premiership investments still run deep? However, much as Town would like to be flying-high, they must face facts.

The fickle nature of football only allows a brief lament on what has past, until the focus of attention is demanded by the next season, game, or new tactic - each of which instantly becomes more important than the last. And, despite what they might contend, this clash is important to Ipswich Town, because Jim Magilton is looking to pick up as many points as possible. If that can be achieved at Colchester`s expense, so much the better.

Yet, you suspect that the denial of any rivalry between the clubs is just a front - or at least, that`s how it looks from the Colchester side of the fence. The allocation of only 2,200 spaces to U`s fans for the game was probably not the best way to stay neutral, and the word is that several thousand more will invade the Greene King stand on Saturday, such is the demand for tickets.

Lest we forget the '90s, as the U`s have still not forgiven Town for seducing one-time boss George Burley into leaving; those who wonder what all the fuss is about are obviously missing a trick.

Colchester clearly care about this mini-clash of cultures - their third East Anglian derby of the season - and will want to win. The statistics from other heady local games against Southend (3-0 win), Norwich (1-1) and the home tie against Ipswich at Layer Road (1-0 win) begin to swing the odds Colchester`s way. That is, until form on the road is factorised into the equation.

Away form might be a sticking point, but this game, just a stone`s throw from home, will still be the method by which punters gauge the true measure of Colchester`s progress under Geraint Williams. While U`s vice-captain, Wayne Brown, will also be out to prove his former club wrong for declaring him surplus to requirements, there is no room for those seeking personal retribution. This derby will be a day of reckoning for United as a team, not as a bunch of individuals.

An afternoon of swashbuckling awaits, then, and one suspects that Ipswich fans may live to regret their open rejection of Colchester as an authentic rival. Now, only Saturday`s score can determine exactly how much humble pie they may - or may not - have to eat when judgement is finally served.


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

Writer:Matt_Us
Date:Thursday January 18 2007
Time: 9:16AM

Login to post a comment

Recent Colchester United Articles

51 Clubs Receive EFL Family Excellence Award - 2016/17

The Football League have recognised a record 51 clubs in the 2016/17 Family Excellence Awards.

Potential League Two Make Up 2017/18 (28/4/17)

With a few games remaining in the 2016/17 campaign, some promotions and relegations in the football pyramid are already known.

More Reliable Than A League 2 Octopus? (24/4/17)

Time for the new special computer that crunches the numbers to determine the final League Two positions for 2016/17.

League Two 2016/17 Golden Boot Battle (21/4/17)

With all playing 43 League Two games in the 2016/17 season, this year could still see a few players break the 20 goal mark.

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 win59%
Rochdale win33%
Draw8%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Doncaster 44 25 10 9 85 33
P Plymouth 44 25 8 11 83 24
P Portsmouth 44 24 9 11 81 33
4 Luton 44 18 17 9 71 22
5 Exeter 44 20 8 16 68 18
6 Blackpool 44 17 16 11 67 22
7 Stevenage 44 20 6 18 66 7
8 Mansfield 44 17 14 13 65 5
9 Wycombe 44 18 11 15 65 4
10 Carlisle 44 16 17 11 65 -1
11 Cambridge 44 18 9 17 63 7
12 Colchester 44 17 12 15 63 6
13 Accrington 44 16 14 14 62 3
14 Grimsby 44 17 10 17 61 -2
15 Barnet 44 13 15 16 54 -6
16 Notts County 44 15 8 21 53 -22
17 Crewe 44 13 13 18 52 -11
18 Morecambe 44 14 9 21 51 -18
19 Crawley 44 13 11 20 50 -16
20 Yeovil 44 11 16 17 49 -13
21 Cheltenham 44 11 14 19 47 -16
22 Newport 44 11 12 21 45 -22
23 Hartlepool 44 10 13 21 43 -21
R Leyton Orient 44 10 6 28 36 -36
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)

Apr 29 2017 3:00PM : Leyton Orient (a)
Sky Bet League Two
May 6 2017 5:30PM : Yeovil Town (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Vital Football Comment