Vital Football

Latest Colchester United News

Souhend V U's: Curo Raids Roots Hall

Souhend V U's: Curo Raids Roots Hall

Southend (0) 0 Colchester (1) 3

Cureton, 1, 69, 78

Attendance: 10,552

Class act Curo raids Roots Hall

Matthew Calmus, Roots Hall

Good Friday, 6th April 2007


This report was always pretty much going to pen itself, especially when Jamie Cureton tore up fate`s script after just thirty-eight seconds, with his first goal of the afternoon. Two later, concluding the freshest chapter of a rivalry that time almost forgot, and the U`s leading scorer gave those in one corner of Essex a victory - and hat-trick - they couldn`t fail to notice.

Until last season, in fact, a whole generation of fans had missed the county`s fiercest rivalry, between Colchester and Southend, because the teams had not played competitively in the same division since 1990.

This fourth league meeting between the teams, in the space of the last two years ended with the U`s winning, to complete a fantastic double over their regional counterparts.

Technically, it was "six-nil on aggregate," as the jubilant away end noted - because the Layer Road outfit also won by the same score in the corresponding tie in October.

Here, an unshakable team ethic, offset by Cureton`s individual skill, won the game; great sportsmen can turn games quickly and on a whim. Almost as quickly as the number eight turned Efe Sodje for his first strike, in fact.

Veteran Sodje, bandana and all, was the bandit - one who "should have known better", according to his manager, Steve Tilson. The Southend centre-back, with a misjudged header, allowed Cureton to live up to his vigilante tag.

By nicking the ball, the 31-year-old forward exploited a missive hole in the Blues` defence, and the coolness with which he then hit the string left a smoking gun, pointing directly at the opposition.

The afternoon's emotional marathon had begun long before the ball whizzed past Darryl Flahavan, for one-nil, though. Jamie`s eighteenth Coca-Cola Championship goal, soon eclipsed by a further salvo, propelled the U`s surprisingly to the summit of happiness, where they camped all match.

Fortifying the standard bravado that comes with any territorial fight for local bragging rights, it gave Colchester cause to taunt the neighbours with that well-worn refrain: "There`s only one team in Essex."

Not that Southend entirely vetoed their right to reply; they could not afford to, with relegation back to League One drawing perilously near.

The Blues went close to scoring when Dean Gerken fluffed a goal kick straight toward an oncoming Freddy Eastwood in first-half stoppage time. Thankfully, the ball rolled wide.

For Eastwood, who is currently his side`s top scorer with 12 league goals, that flash-chance was to prove his best opportunity.

The newly-qualified Welsh international did make inroads on a number of occasions, only to see his shots balloon wide both before the break. He was otherwise subdue, although headed over the bar on 78 minutes.

Gerken, meanwhile, who is fast becoming a contender for Colchester Player of the Year, made no other glaring errors, and was otherwise sound between the sticks, keeping what was a sixth clean-sheet of the last twelve matches, on the return to his home town.

His smartest stop, amid a host of catches made to look like routine, kept out a Peter Clake close-range header, which seemed destined for the back of the net after Steve Hammell`s free-kick early in the second half.

Colchester skipper Karl Duduid also played exceptionally well, spooning a goal-bound effort wide early in the second period. The right-sided player also put a shot wide at the end of the game.

His selection as a full-back, first employed by Phil Parkinson to aid his return to fitness after long-term injury worries, appeared to work well on the overlap during counterattacking moves. It typifies positional versatility throughout the squad, also seen with Richard Garcia and Johnnie Jackson.

Jamie Cureton, when on form, can weave throughout this adaptive framework with ease. He did so for his second goal, midway through the second half, steaming into the area before slamming a 25-yard rocket past Flahavan`s right hand.

He then secured his hat-trick, and the match ball, with 78 minutes on the clock, by plating a cheeky chip into the middle of the goal from inside the box, following a Chris Barker assist.

Cureton received a deserved standing ovation from the travelling supporters for his afternoon`s work, after becoming the club`s fist marksman to hit twenty goals since Tony Adcock in 1984-5.

He said: "I`m really confident at the moment, but it`s more than just me. I might be getting the headlines, but this is down to the whole squad. There is no selfishness. It`s been a great day for me and the club."

At the final whistle, the bizarre thought occurred that the U`s might do Southend a favour by dispatching their relegation rivals Leeds on Easter Monday, 72 hours after sending the Blues so close to the Championship`s trap door.

U`s sub Jamie Guy, entering the foray late on, even made light of the Essex feud on the sidelines, when shaking hands with his former team-mate, Southend`s Jamal Campbell-Ryce.

After such a colourful past, however, the two teams are not about to delve into the sympathy business, although Colchester might still fancy shoehorning themselves into the top-six before May.

Cureton again: "I suppose there is still a chance of making the play-offs. We`re not really thinking about that in the dressing room. We`ll be pleased wherever we finish."

The dreamily distant thought of more glory was still in the air as a Southend fan spoke sincerely in the direction of a small crowd of U`s fans walking back to their vehicles: "Well done to your lads, well played," he said, without hint of abuse.

During that little scene, a few hundred years from the Roots Hall, it seemed for a moment that United should long for Southend to survive relegation, in the interest of creating more derby games.

Perhaps not. But, because the exchange ironically took place on Colchester Road, what they`re saying actually appears true: all roads do lead back to Layer Drome.

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football



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

Writer:Matt_Us
Date:Sunday April 8 2007
Time: 12:52AM

Best of Vital Network

Login to post a comment

Recent Colchester United Articles

Colchester - FL Dates 2016/17 (23/5/16)

The Football League have released the key dates for the coming 2016/17 season.

Who Will Colchester Face In 2016/17 (22/5/16)

With no matches remaining in the regular 2015/16 campaign, some promotions and relegations in the football pyramid are already known.

Wholescale League Changes For Colchester?

The Football League have confirmed that Colchester United have received a 'discussion document' that details proposed major changes to the make up of the game in this country.

A New Season - New Rules For Colchester

With the curtain almost drawn on the 2015/16 campaign, with a handful of Play Off games to go and most looking towards the European Championships in France...

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 win0%
Rochdale win100%
Draw0%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Wigan 46 24 15 7 87 37
P Burton 46 25 10 11 85 20
3 Walsall 46 24 12 10 84 22
4 Millwall 46 24 9 13 81 24
5 Bradford 46 23 11 12 80 15
6 Barnsley 46 22 8 16 74 16
7 Scunthorpe 46 21 11 14 74 13
8 Coventry 46 19 12 15 69 18
9 Gillingham 46 19 12 15 69 15
10 Rochdale 46 19 12 15 69 7
11 Sheff Utd 46 18 12 16 66 5
12 Port Vale 46 18 11 17 65 -2
13 Peterborough 46 19 6 21 63 9
14 Bury 46 16 12 18 60 -17
15 Southend 46 16 11 19 59 -6
16 Swindon 46 16 11 19 59 -7
17 Oldham 46 12 18 16 54 -14
18 Chesterfield 46 15 8 23 53 -12
19 Fleetwood 46 12 15 19 51 -4
20 Shrewsbury 46 13 11 22 50 -21
R Doncaster 46 11 13 22 46 -16
R Blackpool 46 12 10 24 46 -23
R Colchester 46 9 13 24 40 -42
R Crewe 46 7 13 26 34 -37
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Colchester United Results (view all)

Colchester United Fixtures (view all)