Local lad Sammie Szmodics has a happy habit of scoring against Colchester United’s arch-rivals
Man-of-the-moment, Sammie Szmodics, has made a habit of scoring goals against Colchester United’s chief rivals.
Earlier in the season, Szmodics netted a wonder goal in a 2-0 win Wycombe Wanderers, the U’s arch-enemies from the two clubs’ days in the Conference, when Roy McDonough’s men pipped Martin O’Neill’s Chairboys to the title and so promotion to the Football League in 1992.
And Szmodics rose to the occasion on another big stage last weekend, bagging a late equaliser as a ‘super-sub’ in a 1-1 draw at East Anglian rivals Cambridge.
No wonder, then, that Szmodics is fast becoming the darling of the Weston Homes Community Stadium, just as former club stalwart Karl Duguid became the darling of Layer Road for his winner against local rivals Ipswich during the U’s first season in the Championship in 2006-07. He also scored at Portman Road
Szmodics himself admits that his 84th minute equaliser at Cambridge, when he diverted home Brennan Dickenson’s cross from close-in, gave him even more pleasure than his sweet strike at Adams Park from last August.
“I like scoring goals in the big games,” enthused Szmodics.
“I scored at Wycombe from earlier in the season, and I guess that’s still my favourite one, because it came from a long way out. But I feel that this one at Cambridge is more special, because I had been out for so long with injury.
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“I have worked so hard to get to this point, and now I want to have a big finish over the last couple of months of the season.”
Attacking midfielder Szmodics is Colchester through-and-through. He was born in the town and has been with the U’s since the age of seven, progressing through the youth ranks and then the Essex club’s renowned Academy.
He made his first-team debut three-and-a-half-years ago, in September, 2013, but has only chalked up 59 League appearances in the intervening period, and just 31 from the start, due to injuries.
“It’s been hard for me, and the last few months have been horrible,” admitted Szmodics.
“I’ve been itching to get back into it. I’ve had two operations on my ankle over the last year.
“So it’s brilliant to finally come back and mark with it a goal. I feel fully fit now,” added Szmodics.