Date:Tuesday March 13 2007
Colchester United (0) 0 Coventry (0) 0
Saturday, 10th March 2007
Matthew Calmus, Layer Road
No pickled Gerken as Dean proves worthy point
Colchester United`s version of Groundhog Day occurred against Coventry City, when the faithful endured a second goalless draw in as many home matches, having seen none at at Layer Road during the first seventeen of the season.
After recording a nil-all scoreline against Burnley during the last fixture in Essex, United contrived to another. Sandwiched in between was a humiliating 5-1 defeat, in front of the Sky cameras, away at Derby.
Some in Britain`s oldest recorded town had called for the relegation of Dean Gerken - the U`s promising young goalkeeper - to the bench following that drubbing in the midlands, as it was Colchester`s heaviest loss to date in their debut Championship campaign.
The 21-year old would have silenced the doubters ten minutes into the second half of this game, though, leaping cat-like to prevent a 25-yard shot from Coventry City`s midfielder, Steven Hughes, from breaking the deadlock. The save was a testament to his quality between the sticks.
Dean has been consistently impressive since assuming Aidan Davison`s gloves in December, and had previously notched up his fiftieth appearance in goal against Derby.
Reflecting on the bad defeat, Dean had said before this game that he could not take any optimism from that landmark last game: "I`ll have to forget it because as a goalkeeper there aren`t any positives after conceding five goals.
"It is never nice to get beaten but the manner [of the] defeat hurt and it`s not an experience I want to repeat any time soon."
Coventry were restricted to just a couple of shots all afternoon, meaning Gerken went a long way to restoring his pride, at the same time as securing a point for Colchester. It was his sixth clean sheet of the season.
United might have gone one down after just ten minutes, as Sky Blues` winger Jay Tab burst into the penalty area. Tab was perhaps unlucky not to win a penalty because U`s skipper, Karl Duguid, appeared to hack at him, although appeals were merely waved away by the referee.
The opposition failed to score, despite having an opportunity when Michael Doyle blasted a second-half shot narrowly over the bar. City`s daunting striker Dale Adebola also failed to covert a cross from Hughes, heading just wide.
Colchester spurned their own share of chances, notably when centre-back Pat Baldwin stabbed the ball just wide from six yards just before half time, following Kevin Watson`s outswinging corner.
Shortly after the break, winger Kevin McLeod looked to have provided the ammunition for a certain United goal as his cross, which found Scottish forward Chris Iwelumo, just needed a small touch to ensure a Colchester lead.
Instead, Coventry left Essex with the perfect record of no defeats under new boss Iain Dowie in tact, four games into his reign.
No need to read hysteria into this result, then, although Colchester will be looking for another three points as soon as possible, having now gone five games without a win.
Less Groundhog Day, and more groundbreaking play is needed, especially if the U`s are to chalk up any points this week, which yields two tricky away fixtures.
First comes Sheffield Wednesday, on Tuesday night. Following that is a visit to Southampton`s St. Mary`s Stadium on Friday, which will be screened on those cursed Sky cameras, even after thier presence proved to be such bad luck against Derby County.
Date:Tuesday March 13 2007
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