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.


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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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