Colchester v Rovers

Colchester v Rovers
Posted by Ian
JobServe Stadium
Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 03:00 PM
Until: Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 05:00 PM
(Adjusted for timezone: Europe/London)
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
Well, what a pleasant sunny day in England's oldest town. To add to my comments above, the second half was fairly similar to the first, although as legs got tired, there were a few end-to-end spells. We started the half well with a goal. Caprice and Norwood linked on the right wing. The cross was hit by Jennings and it was partially cleared off the line but Perkins followed up to smash it into the net. This effectively killed the game, as the U's gradually lost heart as the game progressed. I didn't think Colchester were a bad side, but the difference in confidence level was a major factor.

In terms of the individuals, I thought Scotty was very sound and didn't make a single mistake with the few shots which came his way. Jake posed a continual threat down the right flank and this contributed to the second goal. Rides had a mixed game with his tackling OK but he gave the ball away too often with poor passes. Ellis and Monthe were immense and soaked up everything that came their way. The U's were reduced to shooting from outside the area. I thought Ollie played below par and I was not surprised to see Jay replace him to see the game out, although in my view the weaker link in midfield was McCullough who could not cope with the pace of the game and often had to foul his man. Pringle looked lively early on but Micky wisely replaced him with Morris who looked a lot more effective in keeping possession. Connor was Connor - not his best game but he probed, tidied up and ran his heart out. Nors saw very little of the ball but put in his usual shift and took his goal well. He was winding up the U's defence at the end, holding the ball up and taking a lot of stick. I think he should have been protected and taken off with 15 minutes to go, as he and Scotty are the two players we can't easily replace. It would have been good to let Mullin or Dagnall get a runout. MOM for me was David Perkins, the oldest man on the pitch by far but one of the liveliest. He's a tenacious tackler and deserved his goal after that superb assist. It's a shame he got himself unnecessarily booked late on.

Finally, a word for the SWA who sang for the whole 90 minutes, accompanied by the drummer. The turnout was superb for such a long trip. We are now in touching distance of Mansfield and (if we beat them at home) MK Dons. It is going to be an exciting end to the season.
 
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I agree with most of what BBTC says above. I don't think our passing was at its fluent best at any stage of the game today, but there were many things to admire in the performance.

We managed the game superbly, soaking up pressure in the first half while looking the more dangerous of the two sides on the counter attack. I thought Colchester played the better football in the first half an hour and I was quite impressed with their passing movements. However, we stayed compact defensively and forced them down blind alleys, with the result that most of their attacks simply fizzled out. They had a few decent efforts from free kicks outside the box, but I can't remember them getting behind our back four and creating a chance in open play in the ninety minutes. Although we were not keeping the ball particularly well in the first period, we had the better chances before the opening goal, Jennings shooting into the side netting after a good move, and Norwood just failing to get on the end of a delicious cross from Banks. The first goal resulted from superb play from David Perkins, winning a fifty-fifty challenge in midfield, before sprinting fifty yards to play a perfectly timed pass to Norwood, who deftly chipped the keeper.

The second goal just after half time effectively killed the game, and resulted from great interplay between Pringle, Norwood and Caprice down our right hand side, with Jake cleverly cutting the ball back to Jennings, before Perkins smashed home with the aplomb of a centre forward. From that point on Colchester huffed and puffed, while we looked the more likely to score a second goal, particularly through Caprice and Morris.

Individually, I thought that the two centre halves were as solid as we have come to expect and that Caprice was outstanding, both defensively when he found himself in one-on-one situations, and in his attacking play. I thought Norwood was actually heavily involved and was close to being man of the match, showing tremendous workrate and skill to lead the line superbly, to the extent that by the second half two or three Colchester defenders were drawn to him but still could not contain him. While I agree with BBTC that Morris protects the ball very well, I thought Pringle was also cultured in possession in the first half. I also disagree about Luke McCullough, who I thought had a fantastic game, constantly ratting in midfield and making the kind of challenges in front of the back four that are vital in a game like today's, but often go unnoticed. The first half passed Banks by a bit, as we were on the back foot for long periods, but in the second half he showed his full array of skills.

I am glad BBTC highlighted Rides as a weak link, as I thought there were a number of occasions today where he gave possession away cheaply when a simple pass was on, and I don't think his all round game matches Zoum at his best.

I agree that Perkins was man of the match: he was fantastic with and without the ball, harrying and making interceptions in the periods when we were on the back foot and playing a part in both goals.
 
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Still be very tough but automatic promotion is in our own hands
Indeed. If we beat MK Dons in a few weeks and match their and Mansfield's results in the other games, we would go up automatically.

I still think it will be very tough because of the difficulty of our run in, particularly having to play both Bury and Lincoln who are in superb form. However, it is fantastic just to be in this position and a play-off place - which looks increasingly likely - would still be a great achievement.
 

bigmart

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Ian Muir
MK Dons next 3 games are against Forest Green, Lincoln and us and their last game of the season is Mansfield so they have a hard end to the season as well.

I think if we can win 6 out of the last 8 which is a tough ask but possible with the form we are in then we will end up in the top 3
 

Sparky

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Chris Greenacre
Thanks for the report guys.

Rides is a concern and you do wonder whether his time at the club will be up whether we go up or not. Still, he was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet.

BBTC makes a valid point about Mullin and Dagnall. Let’s hope we don’t need them of course but they could be very rusty. Altho MM always says they make them prepared to come on at any time.
 

Boz

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Iain Hume
It's interesting that both BBTC and RLC highlight Ridehalgh as a weak link. There must be doubts about Zoum being able to last another season and his form has been erratic between the injuries. Left-back may be one of the areas where Micky needs to be recruiting in the summer.

I agree with BBTC and Sparky about Mullin and Dagnall not getting any game time. Can understand the work-rate of Norwood and Jennings is crucial, but in games like Mansfield away, where we were out of it, or Grimsby at home with Rovers comfortably ahead there might have been an opportunity to give one of them a run-out.
 
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
It was great to see so much of the game on Quest last night. We were the top feature in League Two and clearly Ian Holloway rates Micky. Having watched the highlights, I had not realised it was Jake Caprice who hooked the ball off the line after Scotty had palmed the free-kick onto the post. He comes close the Perkins for MoM.

They also announced that the programme would be extended to two hours on a trial basis until the end of the season to enable more coverage of the bottom two tiers.
 

Boz

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Great action, rather strange kit?
 
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Jason Koumas
Great action, rather strange kit?
The shirt is from the emergency third kit we wore at Oxford City earlier in the season, when we had a similar clash of colours. The shorts are from last season's away kit.

The shirt is very nice, similar to Hearts' colours.
 
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