Who was worrying? Our fifth home win in a row helps ease the doom and gloom feeling.
The 5-2 embarrassment at Leeds was a distant memory as Colchester were conquered this afternoon. Far from the best team we’ll play this season, Colchester certainly didn’t live up to their promotion pushing pre-season odds. More intent on racking up the yellow cards than goals their bright start to the game was nothing more than a false dawn.
For us, it took 15-20 minutes before we found settled in the match and from then on we slowly carved out more possession. Michael O’Connor returning transformed the midfield, though question marks still remain on the entire teams willingness to close out. On the wing Joel Grant was probably our brightest player for the first 45 minutes, troubling the Colchester back four with his ‘silky skills’.
There was little in the first half to get excited about though. Colchester’s chances were largely ruled out through fouls and offsides whilst the best chance of the match, our chance, saw a Julien Baudet goal mouth scamble eventually cleared.
The second half proved more fruitful with a goal inside the first minute, a Michael O’Connor free kick into the box evaded everyone – much like Billy Jones’s at Leeds last week – and snuck over the line. Somehow Colchester crumbled just as badly as we do after going a goal down, meaning plain sailing for the rest of the half.
Upfront remained Elding and Zola. For me there’s no partnership there, and unfortunately it does look like ‘fan favourite’ Elding is the weak link at the moment. Another passion fueled performance that didn’t actually offer anything and whilst passion is good you do need to offer a bit of ability to the team too. His strop as he was subbed for Tom Pope in the second half was rather childish, and something he needs to get over.
Zola meanwhile, I like. I do seem to be in the minority but then I never did buy into the fascination with Pope. Zola’s strong, wins his heads and, no matter how awkward he looks, he can play it along the ground. He makes the ball stick up front and he makes sure the opposition are sick to death of him by the end of the match. I don’t think Pope offers half the qualities and it does seem the majority of the support for Pope to be in the team is because of his passion.
Having said that, it was a very encouraging performance from Pope topped off with a goal (say goal, his header barely crossed the line) two minutes after coming on.
By the end it was a stroll with no urgency from Colchester to fight back. It was nice to be the team able to pass the ball around as the opposition stood waiting for the final whistle.
Colchester did however get the red card they were searching for. A two footed lunge from Steven Gillespie on Danny Woodards saw a straight red issued, to accompany the U’s four yellows. Ok, I’ll admit it, the referee was a bit of a plank, a whistle happy plank, but as long as he’s not harming us who cares.
So… why can’t we get these results away from home? Two very different games inside a week and form matches. Five wins on the trot at home and three defeats on the trot away from home. Is it because Holland uses the same tactics home and away? Or are we just bad travelers outright?
As long as it remains Fortress Gresty there’s always a chance it could click for away games. Promotion anyone? Nah.
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