Cup fever mounts for Us

CUP fever continued to mount in Colchester yesterday as the nation's media descended on Layer Road for a U's training day.Reporters, photographers and cameramen jostled for coverage of Colchester United as they went through their paces ahead of Sunday's FA Cup match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

CUP fever continued to mount in Colchester yesterday as the nation's media descended on Layer Road for a U's training day.

Reporters, photographers and cameramen jostled for coverage of Colchester United as they went through their paces ahead of Sunday's FA Cup match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Colchester's allocation of tickets for the tie has been sold out since Wednesday and approximately 6,000 local fans are expected to descend on London for the match.

Media manager Matt Hudson said that the team were looking forward to the game and were excited at the prospect of meeting the Premiership champions.


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“We have got nothing to lose on an occasion like this,” he said. “The odds may be stacked against us but if the players go out and enjoy themselves anything could happen.”

Meanwhile one Colchester United supporter is praying his team draw at Stamford Bridge even more than win.

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U's fan Carl Richardson, managing director of Easyskip, is such a dedicated follower of the team that his firm sponsored their home strip.

A boyhood follower who says he never misses a match, Mr Richardson said he would love to see his company's name broadcast to millions of football fans across the world from Layer Road.

“It's an amazing situation,” he said. “I'm experiencing two of football's greatest clichés at the same time - over the moon and sick as a parrot.

“It's great we've got this far but I'd love to see Chelsea at Layer Road.

“A straight win would be fantastic, but business wise to get them back here and beat them on our own turf would not only be a terrific boost for the U's, it would get us in front of the biggest audience we've ever experienced.”

Mr Richardson said that securing the sponsorship deal was one of the proudest moments of his life.

“It's great to be involved with the club I've supported for so long, the first time they ran out with our logo on their shirts is a moment I will never forget.”

n Fans travelling by rail to Sunday's game have been warned to allow extra time for their journeys because of important engineering work.

Between Witham and Shenfield, services for Liverpool Street will be replaced by a direct bus service.

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