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Jon Waldron: My views on the U's
It has been labelled the curse of the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
“We never seem to win when we get a big crowd here,” remarked one dejected Colchester United follower, as he trudged away after watching his side lose 3-0 to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
More than 7,000 flocked to the stadium to watch the League One clash, the U’s biggest home league attendance for more than three-and-a-half years.
Not since January 2010, when former U’s manager Paul Lambert’s hotly-anticipated return to the club with Norwich City attracted a sell-out crowd of 10,064, has the venue drawn such a big audience for a Colchester league game.
On that occasion, the hosts were thrashed 5-0 and while talk of a jinx might be somewhat melodramatic, the Wolves result brought another dose of disappointment for anyone with U’s allegiances.
After all, this was another example of Colchester failing to shine in front of a bigger audience, albeit against a side who look capable of returning to the Championship at the first time of asking this season.
But while the outcome will be the lasting memory for the majority, those of an analytical persuasion might have been left to reflect on the more aesthetic elements of the game.
Wolves fans, of whom there were officially 2,228, would no doubt have been buoyed by their side’s ruthlessness and confidence in claiming what was in the end, a comfortable victory.
But for those with a Colchester persuasion, consolation was provided by elements of their side's display.
Their positivity in the opening quarter of the game was hugely encouraging, as was their determination in the final quarter.
And the attitude, enthusiasm and vitality of Colchester's young players was striking.
The U’s recent injury problems have been the worst they have experienced for some considerable time.
But in adversity often comes inspiration and the U’s predicament has given fledglings such as Sammie Szmodics, Freddie Ladapo and Conor Hubble a greater opportunity to experience first-team football.
After all, the youngsters are the future of Colchester United.
Who knows? The next time there is a big crowd at the Community Stadium, those U's fans who trudged away in disappointment on Saturday night might next time be rejoicing a notable home victory.
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