Crewe v Colchester United, nostalgia: U’s team-coach breaks down, 25 years ago

How the EADT reported on the U's 2-1 defeat at Crewe 25 years ago, in August 1993

How the EADT reported on the U's 2-1 defeat at Crewe 25 years ago, in August 1993 - Credit: Archant

Colchester United writer CARL MARSTON’S first-ever visit to Gresty Road was for the infamous 7-1 defeat, in April, 1993, when home striker Tony Naylor bagged five goals. Carl was back just four months later to witness another U’s defeat, though this time by the more slender margin of 2-1.

Tony Naylor, the conqueror of four months earlier, did not play in this quickfire return fixture, at the start of the 1993-94 season on August 21, 1993, because of a knee injury.

But Roy McDonough’s men lost again, undone by a brace from Naylor’s regular strike-force partner, Ashley Ward.

The day had begun in ominous fashion for the Us, with the team-coach breaking down on the M6. Matters improved when the players grabbed a lift on the supporters’ coach, and then learnt that Naylor had been ruled out of the game with a sore knee.

For 40 minutes, the U’s were in the box seat, out-passing the Railwaymen but without applying a killer touch, due to some poor finishing and some good saves by Mark Smith.

But then came Ward’s goal, out of the blue, to change the whole complexion of the match.

The U’s five-man defence failed to shut down Ward, and his strike beat John Keeley.

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Ward added a second in the 59th minute, sweeping home from just four yards out from Gareth Whalley’s cross, Keeley having lost his footing.

Steve Ball pulled a goal back for the U’s, but it was too late to salvage a point.

U’s team: Keeley, Betts (sub Allpress, 64), Roberts, Kinsella, English, Grainger, Ball, Bennett (sub Campbell, 80), McDonough, McGavin, Smith.

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