United have failed to win either of their first two league matches for the first time since 2010, when they lost 1-0 at Wrexham then drew 2-2 at home to Grimsby Town. They also gained only one point from their opening two games in 2006; in both seasons they ended up finishing 17th in the Conference.
The last time this happened in the Football League was in 2004, when they lost 2-1 at Wycombe then drew 1-1 at home to Leyton Orient. That season they finished bottom and were relegated to the Conference.
The U’s have not lost both of their opening two League matches since 1994; they were defeated 3-0 at Wycombe, then lost 4-3 at home to Stockport County, with their goals coming from Matt Joseph, Ollie Morah and Carlo Corazzin. Gary Johnson’s team that day was: Filan, Hunter, Barrick, Craddock, Heathcote, O’Shea, Hyde, Rattle (Morah), Butler, Corazzin, Joseph (Elad). They finished 20th that season and were relegated to Division Three due to a realignment of the divisions following the Premier League’s reduction from 22 clubs to 20.
United have now lost on their last five visits to Colchester, dating back to 1997-98; their last trip to Layer Road was on 20th October 2001 when they lost 3-1 despite taking the lead via Armand One. Scott McGleish then scored twice for the hosts with Gavin Johnson adding the other.
Overall in the Football League, United have won 12 home games out of 16 against Colchester with no draws and four defeats. Before today they had won 5 times in Colchester, drawn 3 times and lost on 8 occasions. The two clubs’ only competitive meetings before United gained entry to the League in 1970 were with Colchester’s Reserves, with whom they competed in the Eastern Counties League between 1951 and their admission to the Southern League in 1958.
The clubs have also been drawn together twice in the FA Cup and twice in the League Cup, with Colchester prevailing every time, and four times in the LDV Vans Trophy and its predecessors, with a one win each and two draws in the group stages. Their meeting at the Abbey Stadium on 24th November 1987 in the Freight Rover Trophy “attracted” the lowest ever home attendance for United in that competition, 857, and appropriately enough it was a goalless draw. Can you boast that you were there?
United team: Branagan, Poole, Murray, Beattie, Crowe, P.Turner, Butler, Clayton, Rigby (Horwood), Purdie, A.Kimble
Colchester: Walton, Hedman, Grenfall, Chatterton, Barker, Hinshelwood, White, Wilkins, Tempest, English, Reeves (Hill)
Today’s attendance of 4,521 has never been recorded for a Cambridge United match before. The nearest is 4,518 for an away match at… Colchester, on 29th December 1997. United lost 3-2, a brace of Jamie Barnwell goals beaten by two from Richard Wilkins and one from Aaron Skelton.
Norris 6. At fault for Colchester’s first goal, although made some good saves thereafter.
Long 4. Struggled badly with the physical side of the game.
Legge 6. Leon is the most reliable player in the team, but even his form was dragged down by everyone else today.
Dallison 4. All over the place positionally and looks to have a lot to learn. Quickly.
Taylor 5. Given little help down the flank, but stood off his man far too much and allowed the opposition to cross at will.
Mingoia 5. Starved of possession so unable to make an impact.
Dunne 5. Fairly solid at first, but passes gradually began to go astray along with those of his team-mates.
Berry 4. Desperately insipid and uninspired performance and failed in his capacity of captain.
Maris 4. Deeply disappointing after Tuesday’s superb effort, unable to make any impression on the game.
Williamson 4. Never got going and he is certainly no left winger.
Pigott 4. Struggled as lone striker with poor service, but simply must put himself about more physically.
Roberts 4. His lack of pace and mobility was all too obvious.
Newton 5. Started reasonably well but soon sank to the level of his colleagues.
Elito 5. The odd nice touch, but failed to hurt the opposition in any way and missed his only chance to score.
United’s first visit to the Weston Homes Community Stadium was a nightmare from start to finish as they failed collectively and individually in a truly dismal display devoid of energy, tempo, spirit and understanding. The manager has a lot of work to do on this showing.
Man of the Match
This award has been withheld due to a lack of any suitable candidates.
Yates 7. No complaints.
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