Colchester United in danger of setting a new unwanted club record
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
Colchester United are in serious danger of setting a new unwanted club record, for the longest winless streak within a season.
The U’s have failed to win any of their last 17 league matches, with a mere four draws and a depressing 13 defeats.
Despite taking the lead against 10-man Chesterfield on Tuesday night, via Macauley Bonne’s 69th minute opener, the U’s again fell short of halting their dismal sequence of results, with a 1-1 draw.
It is now 122 days since the U’s last won a league match – a 2-1 home win over Port Vale on October 20, 2015 – and the current 17-game winless run has only been eclipsed once before, in the Essex club’s 79-year history.
That was back in the 1988-89 season, when the relegation-threatened U’s went 18 league games without a win.
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That lean run, of 27 years ago, began with Roger Brown in charge, before Steve Foley had a spell as caretaker in the lead-up to Jock Wallace’s arrival as the new manager.
The run finally ended on February 18, 1989, when goals from Richard Wilkins, Tony English and John Warner secured a 3-2 victory away at Scunthorpe United.
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Despite that terrible spell of 137 days without a league win, the U’s still avoided relegation out of the Football League.
Just one defeat in their last 11 fixtures of the campaign, including five victories in their last five matches, saw Wallace’s men finish in 22nd spot, third-from-bottom of the fourth tier – they of course suffered relegation into the Conference just a year later.
The class of 2015-16 will have to enjoy a similarly spectacular end to this season, if they are to avoid relegation into the fourth tier.
The signs are not promising – the U’s are eight points adrift of safety, and effectively nine due to a woeful goal difference – with just 15 games remaining. Nine of these 15 games need to end in wins, to give Keen’s troops a fighting chance of staying in League One, and yet they have only managed five from 31 all season!
Those five league wins were all secured under the previous regime, with Humes in charge.
Interim bosses Richard Hall and John McGreal, plus caretaker Wayne Brown, failed to win in three league matches, while current U’s boss Keen is still waiting to win his first league game, as a senior manager, after nine failed attempts.
Keen admitted: “It’s a tough mental place to be, when you haven’t won a game for a long time.
“We’ve got to keep going, and try to get that win on the board.”
The basement dwellers are away at Bury tomorrow, and if they don’t beat the Shakers, then they will equal their longest ever winless streak of 18 league matches.