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|Swindon Town v Colchester United Your Report added at 21:41:00|
Dreadful - for most of the first half we had them in our pocket, without to be honest much creative flair up front. Gilmartin had already been giving glimpses of the shockers to follow, poor kicking, constantly playing out to a defender who was already under pressure, and having to aimlessly lump to no one the inevitable pass back. However, in the 39th minute he surpassed himself with a dreadfully scuffed goal kick straight to a Swindon player in our own half, and several pinpoint passes later Swindon had an ill-deserved 1-0 lead. Two minutes later and a sweeping cross straight on to the head of a Swindon player, who looked miles offside, headed back past Gilmartin into the far corner, and the game looked lost.
It didn't get much better 2nd half sadly. We huffed and puffed and did try and get back into the game, but by then Swindon were quite happy to sit deep and weather anything we tried. Gilmartin wasn't responsible for Mandron running down a blind alley and losing possession on the edge of our box, but he was responsible for the weak hands to only palm the incoming shot up and over his shoulder and into the corner of the goal. It was good to see Norris come on, and he did at least have a few shots on goal, something everyone else seemed remarkably reluctant to try.
...and the referee was absolutely shocking.
|Preston North End v Leeds United Your Report added at 20:30:33|
Well that was an odd game - can't argue with the result, we were second best in most departments - can't even comment on two of the goals because I missed their first in the loo with my son, and ours (along with quite a few others) trying to beat the queue for a foot-long hotdog. Otherwise it was a U's that huffed and puffed but struggled to find a telling pass or good control at crucial moments. Swindon should have been 1 up early on with their one-on-one, but Williams did well, came out and stood up, and eventually pulled off a blinder. Should then have been 1-0 with their free-kick against the inside foot of the post, along the goal line and out for a goal kick on the other side (it was that close). But THEN, how did Odejayi miss his free header to put us 1-0 up. That rather set the pattern for the day - more or less soaking up lots of pressure, occasionally having a go on the break, but usually those rare chances stalling for want of a killer pass. By the end, it wasn't that bad a game, we had a better go second half, and could have nicked a point at the end, but it wouldn't have been the right result.
|Swansea City v Stoke City Your Report added at 01:30:02|
A very brief report as I'm in my bed ready for the land of nod. Not a vintage performance, but one full of grit, application and determination. Bournemouth dominated possession but utterly lacked any cutting edge and failed to capitalise on their neat midfield triangles. We showed them how to do it, and as a result fully deserved the win. The fans were magnificent, the ref one of the worst I've seen, ever...
|Derby County v Bolton Wanderers Your Report added at 17:03:30|
I've already posted some of this on the board, but overall an uninspiring match by and large, but that shouldn't detract from the actual performance of the U's, which perversely was really quite good across the board. Henderson and Izzet are the only players I've marked down, the former because he was largely absent from the game for long periods, and Izzy for no other reason than he nearly (should have) cost us the win with his wayward pass. Thank god Cousins stood tall driving Byfield further wide than he wanted to be to spare Kemi's blushes, because it would have tarnished what was otherwise another solid midfield performance from the Col U munchkins. Bond, Wilson and Mooney continue to demonstrate just why we've made the right decision in John Ward, Wilson's cross for the goal was simply perfect.
In the end, a hard-fought but definitely well-deserved 3pts for the U's.
As a final P.S. to the day, I was chatting with a elderly gentleman from Wolves on the train back from Bescot to New Street, who had returned to England for the first time after emigrating to Australia over 40 years ago. He agreed that it was the right result for the match, but also commended us (and Walsall) on the spirit that the match was played out in - very fair, not overly dirty or aggressive - all in all a pleasing day out at the football for the gentleman, who returns to Australia this week. The reason we started chatting in the first place? - well, just before leaving for Australia all those years ago, the last game of football he got to see - Walsall v Colchester at the old Fellows Park (must have been 25th Nov 1967 I reckon). When he knew his travel plans, and compared them with fixture lists, he knew he just had to make it the first (only actually) match when he got back as well.
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