Debrief - Colchester

Ready, Stead-y, GROW! Turf War At VP As City Slog Out A Precious Point.

After an extraordinary weekend against Chelsea, it was now back to the “Bread ‘An Butteh” – as Stephen Darby put it – this time round it was the turn of Colchester to face our giant killing heroes in Sky Bet League 1.

Of course many of the Bradford fans who were fortunate to make the trip to Chelsea last week may have been waking up with a nasty hangover and what would appear to be an unopened can of Heinz “Big Soup” floating in the bathroom sink.

Barring any hangovers on the field, the only headache City would have would be the current situation with the VP pitch – let’s just be clear here, the constant heavy rain that we endured in November was biblical and the run of home games has contributed to the pitch getting in such a state. I had full admiration for the grounds men and the hours they put in before and after each game, I’ve seen it with my own eyes and suffered the humiliating rejection of not looking “up for the task” to remove snow from the covers before the game against Notts County.

We will no doubt find out what the Club can put in place in the next week or so but there’s not much that can be done this far down the line and the current pitch state may hinder the upcoming home fixtures and force the team to revert back to playing “Dark Age Football” which as we all know will include more long balls than an old peoples home.

Colchester adapted to the conditions immediately and within the first half an hour City should’ve been at least 3-0 down, a mixture of the heavy pitch and tiredness seemed to be pulling Davies into a muddy pit of treacle as he tried to keep up with the pacey Colchester strike force. The one man who appeared to have pitch forks for studs was Rory McArdle who looks to be bang on form (again) demonstrating his best Singapore Stalk impression with his tight marking, it was similar to walking round a clothes shop after your girlfriend.

After the slow start and the wonderfully taken goal by Chris Porter, a shot which 6 Spidermen would’ve struggled to save, the cold snap dampening the mood of the bumper home crowd and it was evident the second half couldn’t have come quickly enough.

Of course whenever City are playing towards The Kop in the second half there’s a significant raise in the performance, up in the stands though it was a slightly different story as there wasn’t a Crème Egg in sight for the Press Box faithful (I forgot)! The lack of sugar seemed to have crucified Simon Parker’s pre match jubilation at the prospect of “necking” yet another one whole whilst maintaining they were a healthy chocolate snack as eggs are “full of protein”!

Most importantly, the potency of Colchester’s attack had completely evaporated like the Romantic desires of a long term married couple, it was all City – Filipe Morais whipped out his incredible “Flip Flap” skill again and along with Jon Stead they hammered of the back door of a slow, ageing Colchester defence.

For the first time this season I’m having to curb some of my comments and thoughts towards Jon Steads performance as I apparently have a “strong, over committed opinion of him” – yet again he was ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC, if the Player Of The Year awards were tomorrow then Steady would win it hands down, only Billy Knott would disagree!

The thing about Stead is evident for every single City fan to see, in fact the only people who can’t seem to appreciate his current form are the ‘dog botherers’ just off the M62 (apart from Ellis Coop who is a Huddersfield fan and friend of mine who longs to have Stead back at their shit-hole). Chasing back 50 yards after losing the ball in the Colchester half just shows this guy’s commitment to the team and the contribution to City’s last 5 goals doesn’t need any further argument – Stead is absolutely PRICELESS to this current squad.

After the energy expelled last weekend, a point is a fair result, against a lower ranked team this could’ve materialised into another Yeovil situation (though apart from the fans in attendance at Huish Park, it’s a game that will just be a stat in the history books).

Its Port Vale away this Saturday and with Oldham, Peterborough and Fleetwood breathing down our necks like a pervy pensioner, the next 5 games are massive in terms of promotion.


Match pictures used in this article are taken by Thomas Gadd Photography.