Colchester United: the numbers game
- Credit: Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd
Colchester United are facing up to life back in the fourth tier, for the first time in 18 years, following a dismal relegation campaign.
Here are some numbers, to reflect on the last nine months, some depressing, some surprising, and some personal:
U’s minus goal difference after 46 league games.
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League appearances that keeper Sam Walker made. Arguably the best player in the squad, Walker suffered a knee injury during his only outing, a League Cup game against Reading in week one. His season-long absence was a massive blow, and certainly contributed to the end result – relegation.
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League starts made by several of the U’s Academy products, including Drey Wright, Femi Akinwande, Sammie Szmodics, Dion Sembie-Ferris, Louis Dunne and James Bransgrove. The only other player to make just one league start was Jamie Harney, a product of the West Ham youth team.
The number of re-writes to my own on-the-whistle match report for this newspaper’s website, for the away game at Walsall (March 19). I had penned a glowing intro with the U’s 1-0 up and on the verge of a vital victory, but changed that to a frustrating two points dropped following an 89th minute equaliser, and hit the delete button again following Walsall’s 94th minute winner in a 2-1 defeat.
League games missed by Tom Eastman. He started more league games (43) than any other U’s player, having played every minute of every game the previous season.
Wins on the trot during the second half of September, at Sheffield United and Swindon, and over Gillingham and Bradford, all within a 14-day period.
Away victories in the league, at Sheffield United, Swindon, Bradford, Coventry and Blackpool.
Managers, in various guises, who have led out the U’s this term. Permanent bosses Tony Humes and Kevin Keen, joint interim managers John McGreal (now the new boss) and Richard Hall, plus caretakers Wayne Brown, David Wright and Steve Ball (new assistant).
Highest league position achieved during the course of the season, at the end of September, 2015.
Number of league victories all season.
League games without a victory until Kevin Keen finally celebrated his first ever three points as a manager (2-1 win at Bradford on March 1).
League goals scored by leading scorer, George Moncur.
Points dropped by conceding goals in the last 10 minutes, plus injury-time, of games this season. The U’s let in 14 goals after the 80-minute mark.
Club record league games without a victory.
Final league position, kept off the basement by Crewe.
Goals scored by former U’s striker Dan Holman in 2015-16. Holman scored 14 for Woking (on loan), and then 16 for Cheltenham, helping the latter to win promotion back to the Football League. He never started a league match for the U’s, eventually signing for the Robins on a permanent contract in Janaury.
Players used during the course of the season.
Yellow cards received during the course of the season, 53 of them in the League. There were also four reds (Alex Gilbey, George Elokobi, Tom Eastman and Joe Edwards).
League goals conceded over the 46 games. Only once before in the club’s history (1960-61) have the U’s let in 100 or more goals (101).
Days that Kevin Keen was manager of Colchester United.
Days of hurt between a win over Port Vale (October 20, 2015) and their next league victory at Bradford (March 1, 2016).
Round trip in miles from Colchester to Blackpool and back, the longest away journey of the season.
Smallest home crowd of the season, for the visit of Fleetwood on January 19.
Average home attendance for league matches.
Biggest home crowd of the season, for the visit of Tottenham in the FA Cup on January 30.
The biggest crowd that the U’s played in front of, away at Sheffield United. They marked the occasion by winning their first game.