U’s have not been so four-goal happy for 20 years

COLCHESTER United may be short of natural strikers, but they have still scored four goals in a match on five separate occasions during the first half of this season.

COLCHESTER United may be short of natural strikers, but they have still scored four goals in a match on five separate occasions during the first half of this season.

In fact, John Ward’s men are the first U’s side in 20 years to achieve the feat of netting four goals or more, five times before Christmas.

You have to hark back to the days of the Conference, during the U’s promotion winning season of 1991-92, to find the last time the Essex club were so prolific.

And if you ignore the two seasons in the Conference (1990-92), then the last time United scored four or more goals in five different games before the festive season, as a Football League club, was 26 years ago during the 1985-86 campaign.


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Cyril Lea’s side actually managed it in six games before Christmas, if you also count a League Trophy win over Southend.

They were top of the old Fourth Division in October, but had slipped back to sixth spot by the end of the 1985-86 campaign. Tony Adcock led the way with 16 goals, just one more than winger Perry Groves.

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The present-day U’s do not have a free-scoring striker like Adcock in that ranks. Kayode Odejayi and Steven Gillespie are the only recognised senior strikers on the books, and yet the goals have been flowing from all areas of the pitch.

Karl Duguid, who celebrated his long-awaited return to the side with a brace in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Bury, first played for the U’s first team back in 1995, as a 17-year-old.

And yet even U’s stalwart Duguid did not know the last time that the U’s bagged so many four-goal wins in the first half of a season.

“When was the last time a Colchester team scored four goals five times before Christmas?” said Duguid after the demolition of Bury.

“When did that last happen?

“We worked so hard during last week. We had a lot of stick both last weekend and during the week, but we have stuck together.

“And to score another four goals was fantastic,” added Duguid.

Delighted manager John Ward confirmed: “That’s the fifth time this season we have scored four goals, so we’ve got things in our locker that are pretty exciting when we get it right.

“Bury were higher than us and on a good run, and yet we gave them real problems.

“There were a lot of people having a panic (after previous three defeats on the trot), but we’ve just closed the doors and kept working.

“Lo and behold, everyone is happy again. We’ve kept our nerve,” added Ward.

In addition to Saturday’s 4-1 win over Bury, which propelled the U’s up to 12th in the League One table, Ward’s side have also scored four goals at Preston (4-2) and Crewe (4-1), and at home to Oldham (4-1) and Notts County (4-2).

Their last fixture before Christmas is at Hartlepool on Saturday.

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