U’s hat-trick heroes
Kurtis Guthrie completed the seventh league hat-trick by a Colchester United player, since the Essex club regained their Football League status in 1992. CARL MARSTON, who has reported on them all, recalls the U’s super seven
1 STEVE BROWN (4-1 win v Bury, home, Sept 25, 1993)
Striker Brown, who only a month earlier had been enduring a miserable time at Scunthorpe United, bagged the first (and only) hat-trick of his professional career to propel Roy McDonough’s side up to fifth in the Endsleigh Insurance League Division Three (fourth flight).
Brown netted on eight, 48 and 53 minutes, and then announced: “That’s the first time I have scored more than once in a match, let alone score three goals! I enjoyed every moment of the match.”
Steve McGavin scored the other goal, in the 38th minute, making it a total of 36 goals featured in the U’s last six league games, with 20 scored and 16 conceded.
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Ex-Southend striker Brown went on to play for Gillingham, Lincoln, Macclesfield and Dover, but his hat-trick against the Shakers was his career highlight.
2 GARETH WILLIAMS (4-1 win v Port Vale, home, March 1, 2003)
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New boss Phil Parkinson will never forget this first game in charge of the U’s, and in fact his first as a manager, following his switch from a player-coach role at Reading.
And front-runner Williams, signed on loan from Crystal Palace by former boss Steve Whitton, was a revelation.
The Welshman helped himself to goals in the seventh, 36th and 71st minutes, with Joe Keith also on target.
“Today was only my third start in League football,” said 20-year-old Williams. “So to get myself a hat-trick so soon is a great feeling.”
Rookie boss Parkinson admitted: “I can’t ask for anymore than that!”
3 CRAIG FAGAN (4-1 win v Notts County, home, April 10, 2004)
Phil Parkinson’s Colchester side dazzled, enjoying their biggest victory for more than a year against the relegation-haunted Magpies in this third tier clash at Layer Road.
Fagan, a gem of a signing, walked away with the match-ball after finding the net in the eighth, 16th and 53rd minutes, with fellow striker Gareth Williams adding the fourth.
“I’m thrilled, because I had been struggling for goals this year,” enthused then-21-year-old Fagan, a recruit from Birmingham City.
Parkinson said: “In a way it was the complete performance.”
4 JAMIE CURETON (4-3 win v Derby County, home, August 26, 2006)
Cureton’s cameo secured the U’s their first-ever victory in the Championship, following four straight losses, in a memorable seven goal thriller under the lights at Layer Road.
He netted his first two goals in the 27th and 29th minutes, and Chris Iwelumo later restored the U’s two-goal advantage with a 49th minute penalty.
Cureton executed a marvellous lob for his hat-trick goal to make it 4-1 on 67 minutes, and Geraint Williams’ men then clung on despite late goals by Arturo Lupoli and Paul Peschisolido.
Boss Williams said: “It was not just about Cureton and his goal, it was about all the performances from all the players.”
5 CHRIS IWELUMO (four goals, 5-1 win v Hull, home, November 28, 2006)
Big centre-forward Iwelumo thumped former U’s boss Parkinson’s Hull City team with four goals, supplemented by a goal from his strike-force partner Cureton.
The Tigers actually took the lead, through Nicky Forster, but Iwelumo notched a headed equaliser just three minutes later to make it 1-1 at the break.
It was one-way traffic in the second period, Iwelumo converting a 54th minute penalty and then setting up Cureton, before completing his hat-trick just after the hour mark and then heading home his fourth on 79 minutes.
Iwelumo scored 18 goals in the Championship that season.
6 JAMIE CURETON (3-0 win v Southend, away, April 26, 2007)
Livewire Cureton chalked up the ninth hat-trick of his career, to leave hosts Southend floundering in the bottom three of the Championship.
He broke the deadlock after just 38 seconds when anticipating Efe Sodje’s header to volley home, and then blasted home a second before steering home his hat-trick goal from left-back Chris Barker’s pass.
7 KURTIS GUTHRIE (4-1 win v Carlisle, home, January 7, 2017)
Ex-Forest Green Rovers striker Guthrie celebrated the first senior hat-trick of his career, to extend the U’s winning run to five games last Saturday, at the same time inflicting only a third league defeat of the season on the Cumbrians.
Chris Porter had opened the scoring before Guthrie took over with goals in the 33rd, 50th and 94th minutes.