Johnnie just loves the County Ground

JOHNNIE Jackson loves playing at the County Ground.It was where he scored his first ever goal, and he returned on Saturday to inspire Colchester United to victory.

Carl Marston

JOHNNIE Jackson loves playing at the County Ground. It was where he scored his first ever goal, and he returned on Saturday to inspire Colchester United to victory.

Jackson made his League debut as a Swindon player, while a raw teenager on loan from Tottenham, and he went on to score on his first home appearance against Northampton Town.

Six years later and now a permanent fixture in the U's midfield, Jackson drilled home from Clive Platt's flick-on after 32 minutes to send United on their way to a convincing 3-1 victory.

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“I have some very fond memories of this ground. I had some good times at Swindon, especially scoring on my home debut,” confirmed Jackson.

“I thought we dominated against them today, at least in the first half. We had a good lead (2-0) at half-time, but Swindon then had a real go. They put us under a lot of pressure.

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“On another day, it could have ended 2-2, especially as they hit the bar. But we defended well and I thought the penalty was a bit harsh. I didn't think it was handball.

“It was great to get the first goal, and with my left foot for a change! Last season, I scored most of my goals with my right foot.

“It was a decent strike, and it's nice to get off the mark for the season,” added Jackson.

Team-mate Anthony Wordsworth, who signed a new and extended contract last week, celebrated with one of his best performances on the left flank.

Wordsworth said: “We could have been more than 2-0 up at the break. I had a good chance, which I should have done better with, but my header was blocked.

“It was a different game in the second-half. They must have got a rollicking at half-time, but in the end we ground out a result.

“I didn't think it was a penalty. I was very close to Matt (Heath), and the ball hit him in the face rather than on the hand.

“I'm buzzing at the moment. This win is a great way for me to celebrate my new contract,” added Wordsworth.

Meanwhile, U's boss Geraint Williams heaped praise on striker Platt for his dominant role up front, especially as club record signing Steven Gillespie was sidelined with a thigh injury.

Platt was not amongst the goalscorers, but the big man was a thorn in the side of Swindon's defenders all afternoon.

“Clive (Platt) is often the unsung hero of the team. I thought he gave a master class in how to lead the front-line,” enthused Williams.

“He won his headers, held the ball up well and ran into the channels. Clive gave the Swindon defenders a torrid time. In fact, he did everything except score a goal, but he was there to set up others.

“I thought it was a good team performance. We defended very well and got in some good areas, although I thought some of our crossing into the box was disappointing.

“We stood up to what Swindon threw at us in the second-half, and I thought the penalty against us was a little harsh, especially as we had a blatant one at the other end that was not given. These decisions often end up being vital, but fortunately not today.

“We restricted them to long balls into the box, apart from the penalty and when they hit the bar late on,” added Williams.

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