Game 02 – Oldham

Approached the stadium from a different direction today and it occurred to me that there’s something missing. It’s evident from every direction actually. Who lives here? Yes, we know it’s the WHCS but more importantly it’s ‘The Home of Colchester United’. We need something that hits visitor’s in the face as soon as they arrive (not the Barside fans). Let them know that this isn’t Layer Road as they knew it. We need them to fear the new look Colchester United (maybe even the players will do something spectacular soon to add to the illusion). Let’s face it, this is a special stadium and we need to make our mark on it.

It’s great just wandering around outside the ground before a game. The massive open space gives you room to roam and spread your arms out without touching anyone else. I guess that’s what several people were doing today instead of coming inside to take their seats and we had a 10 minute delay to kick-off to give them time to get in. OK, I’m sure it was still some of the early teething problems. We have to give the club some time to adjust. It’s obviously a huge culture change for the club employees too.

There were some strange things happening inside the stadium today. There were flags blowing in opposite directions (at each end of the East Stand), and several players were tripping up without any hint of a challenge. It was almost acrobatics at one time. Of course there were two occasions when the whole United team went to sleep. One of these was when they were probably lulled into a false sense of security by the Barside who chose to taunt the Oldham fans with ‘top of the league – you’re having a laugh’ just at the moment when an attack was taking place. It was more of an own goal really and the away fans loved it. Barside walked right in. If I’ve learned one thing over the years it’s that Colchester United are at their most vulnerable immediately after scoring a goal.

On the question of away support I hope that the club got paid for the 100 or so seats covered by the Oldham flag. (I’m not talking about the Ernie Cooksey flag, which I thought was a nice touch). Actually I’m quite annoyed by this. Why should away fans come to Cuckoo Farm and be allowed to treat it like that? If there’s spare ground then the home fans should be able to display their support to the home team. Another own goal there perhaps.

It was good to see the match clock incorporated in to the video screen. That was much better.

I was quite surprised by the Oldham away kit. They looked like a bunch of stewards in their high-visibility yellow gear. Even their fans don’t seem to like it – I counted just three of them, or maybe there were more and they were disguised as our stewards? The shirts matched the ref’s yellow card and that was flashed far too often today. One who definitely deserved it was Hughes – and one wag in the crowd near me observed that perhaps he now has to tell his probation officer. Sadly I have to say that Wordsworth needs to think more carefully about his own name. It’s not worth uttering so many words when the ref wants to lecture you and his arrogant attitude got him booked after what clearly just a clumsy tackle.

The second half was the best period of football we’ve seen at Cuckoo Farm. A lot of good play from the U’s but also some of the old standards like winning the ball well, and then what …? A complete lack of imagination from most of the team, and we seem to be getting back to the habit of heading the ball to anywhere on the pitch that isn’t occupied by a U’s player. Added to this a distinct lack of movement when someone is on the ball, giving no options for a pass or building an attack.

It was good to see the family blocks getting filled up. Hopefully we will see some better attendances in other areas as the season progresses (4708 today – that would have been a good attendance at Layer Road). I fear we need to see some improvement in our league position to achieve that and it means winning some games and not converting 2-0 into 2-2. That kind of performance only gives the away fans the chance to come back with the expected chant.

Back to the drawing board all round.

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One Response to “Game 02 – Oldham”

  1. Game 05 - Bristol Rovers « First Cuckoo Says:

    […] there’s the abysmal timing of the home fans in E8.  For the second time this season (see Oldham match as well) they started a pathetic chant at a totally inappropriate moment.  There we were, […]

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