Undone by two major flaws

IN many ways a home win against Rochdale for Colchester today will simply intensify a frustrating feeling of ‘what if?’

Despite having a different manager, a different playing style and a different group of players this season, it has been the same two major flaws which has cost the U’s.

Away form and results against teams in the bottom half.

John Ward’s side have netted just 15 times in 20 league away trips this season – the worst record in the entire division. That puts them 18th in the overall League One away table.

Meanwhile, out of a possible 63 points contested against teams currently in the bottom half of the table they have taken less than a third – 30 points. That’s the 14th worst record in the division.

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And here’s what’s gone to waste as a result:

– Best comeback record in the division – an incredible 21 points gained from losing positions.

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– Fourth best record for goals conceded away from home – just 24 in 20 games.

– Seventh best record for goals scored at home – 34 from 20 games.

– Seventh best record against teams in top half – 24 points from a possible 57.

– Eighth best overall home record in the division – 36 points from a possible 60.

It was the exactly the same under Aidy Boothroyd in 2009/10. The Essex side’s fifth-best home record in the league was undone by the 14th worst away record, while some good results against their promotion rivals was ruined by the fact they dropped a costly 17 points against the bottom five.

“Defending away from home we are joint fourth, but in terms of scoring goals away from home we’re bottom. That’s the stark reality,” conceded manager John Ward.

“I know the problem, but putting it right is another question.

“I look at all the statistics that my backroom staff provide for me and the creation side of things is okay, we’ve attacked people away from home and had a large number of shots at goal on a number of occasions – like we did at Sheffield Wednesday last week – but somehow we don’t get the goals.

“I’ve played David Mooney in a lot of away games and he hasn’t scored an away league goal yet – that’s quite an incredible statistic for my leading scorer.

“I’m not having a go at Mooney, I’m having a go at all of them. We haven’t scored from set-plays away from home when they’ve been going in at home.

“I know people will say I should know the answer but at the moment I’m finding it hard to explain.”

– For line-ups, half and full-time reports, plus reaction from this afternoon’s game, keep an eye on this website.


– Midfielder Ian Henderson has scored five of Colchester’s 15 away league goals this season.

– David Mooney leads Colchester’s scoring charts with 13 this season – not a single one has come in an away league game.

– When Kayode Odejayi scored at Bristol Rovers on March 1 he became the first Colchester striker to score away from home in the league in just under 12 months.

– The U’s have had four shots cleared off the line in their last two away games.

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