Parkinson's recipe for happiness

A BOTTLE of beer and page 325 of Ceefax! That's Colchester United manager Phil Parkinson's recipe for happiness for the next week.Parkinson has urged U's supporters to take time out to study the League One table, after his side dislodged deadly Essex rivals Southend to become the new league leaders.

By Carl Marston

A BOTTLE of beer and page 325 of Ceefax! That's Colchester United manager Phil Parkinson's recipe for happiness for the next week.

Parkinson has urged U's supporters to take time out to study the League One table, after his side dislodged deadly Essex rivals Southend to become the new league leaders.

A brace from substitute Richard Garcia was sufficient to beat mid-table Port Vale at an expectant Layer Road on Saturday.


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“It's another terrific win for us. I think that the fans should go home, get an ice-cold bottle of beer from the fridge, and tune in to Ceefax,” insisted Parkinson.

“They can then look at the table and see their team on top. It's a great place to be, and it's been a great last three months.

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“ I thought it was a bit flat, after the excitement of the 3-2 win over Bristol City in midweek.

“That's often the case, from a Tuesday night under floodlights to a Saturday fixture. The crowd were a bit quiet, no doubt expecting us to win by four or five goals.

“Even so, we were still by far the better team in the first half, and we created loads of chances. The tempo increased in the second-half, and the crowd then played their part.

“Port Vale had knocked Swansea off the top (0-0 draw), earlier in the month, and they were looking to do a similar thing to us (in second spot before kick-off),” added Parkinson.

The game seemed to be heading towards a goalless draw which, by their own high standards, would have been a huge disappointment. But the U's boss then played his trump card by introducing substitute Garcia, who responded by breaking the deadlock, and then securing an 87th minute winner.

Parkinson said: “You could say that it was an inspired substitution, but it was a very close call. Gareth (Williams) had played well, and it was a tough decision to take him off.

“I just felt that we needed some fresh legs up front. Richard's reaction for both goals proved that this was what we needed.

“He was alive and sharp to both chances, which was possible because he hadn't been plugging away the whole game, getting tired.

“Their penalty looked a bit harsh, but I will have to see the video. The ball appeared to bounce up and hit Wayne (Brown) on the arm. Yet we responded well to the setback.”

Meanwhile, Vale boss Martin Foyle was furious that his side were not awarded a goal in the 48th minute, when Chris Birchall's inswinging corner appeared to cross the goal-line before keeper Aidan Davison was able to release the ball.

“That was the turning point of the game. I thought the ball was clearly several yards over the line, but the assistant referee didn't give it. I thought it was a basic decision,” blasted Foyle.

“We didn't hurt Colchester in the first half, but we were far better in the second. We're disappointed.”

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