COLCHESTER United will learn their League Two fixtures for the 2024-25 season tomorrow - including who they will face on the opening day of the new campaign.

The U's have been involved in some memorable curtain-raisers in the 21st century, none more so than their unforgettable win at Carrow Road, in 2009.

Here are five stand-out first-day games for Colchester, from the past 25 years.



COLCHESTER United enjoyed one of the most remarkable days in their history when they won 7-1 at Norwich City.

Clive Platt’s brace, along with Kevin Lisbie’s double and David Fox’s strike, sent U’s fans into dreamland after they raced into an astonishing 5-0 lead within 38 minutes in their 2009-10 League One curtain-raiser at much-fancied Norwich City.

And although Cody McDonald pulled a goal back for the shell-shocked Canaries with 18 minutes left, strikes from David Perkins and Scott Vernon sealed Paul Lambert’s side an unforgettable 7-1 triumph in Norfolk, a result that sent shockwaves throughout the whole of English football.

It remains to this day Colchester’s biggest-ever league away win and for the U’s contingent in the crowd of 25,217, it was the most surreal but joyful of experiences.

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Lambert said: “I’ve watched football and been involved in it a long time but that was right up there.

“I said to them at half-time that it’s the best I’ve seen in years, as a player or a manager.

“I thought they were sensational – our performance was absolutely unbelievable.

“To win 7-1 is a phenomenal performance.

“We knew that this start to the season couldn’t be any tougher for us, against a side that has just come down from the Championship.

“But we looked a threat the whole time.”



HANDS up who remembers Andy Bond’s last-gasp winner for Colchester United at Gillingham on the opening day of the 2013-14 season?

Bond obliged with an 88th minute winner at a sultry Priestfield Stadium, just 60 seconds after his introduction as a substitute.

Bond’s first touch was to crash home fellow substitute Drey Wright’s intelligent lay-off, to seal a deserved 1-0 victory for Joe Dunne’s men.

Dunne said: "It's a difficult place to come, good club, good fans, and I thought we did a job today and were tremendous.

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“Every single one played to their limit - we used the substitutes wisely and had a plan.

"We talked about the resilience from last year. We defended 20 plus set plays, long throws into the box, corner kicks into the box and I thought we did very well and deserved to win.

"We analysed every goal they scored last year, we spoke about concentration and we defended the box exceptionally well at set pieces.

"When the goal came, it looked like it was coming. We got in and around their back four countless times and I think if we had scored more I don't think anyone could have complained."



The U’s got the new League One season off to a flying start by beating the Lilywhites 4-2, on the opening day of the 2011-12 campaign.

The impressive victory came little more than 18 months after Colchester were thrashed 7-0 by Preston at the same venue, in their heaviest-ever FA Cup defeat.

The U's won 4-2 at Deepdale on the first day of the new League One season.

Two goals from Ian Henderson and one apiece from Anthony Wordsworth and Kayode Odejayi helped Colchester record a memorable win over the Lilywhites.


U’s manager John Ward said: "It's very pleasing.

"What we've done is beat a very good team.

"There won't be many sides who score four or even win here and with the ability of their strike-force, they will win a lot of points here.

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"We handled that pretty well and we were also able to score at the end other end.

"Scoring goals away from home was a major problem for us last year.

"We've still got another 45 games to go but to do it here against a team I still think will be challenging at the top part of this league is very pleasing.

"We've worked very hard on our finishing and trying to take things when we can."

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A NEW-LOOK Colchester United side fought back twice to secure a 2-2 draw at Sheffield United.

Clive Platt headed home Karl Duguid's cross in the final minute at Bramall Lane to round off a fine sweeping move and ensure the U's an excellent point, in their first Coca-Cola Championship game.

James Beattie gave the Blades the lead midway through the second half but Kevin McLeod levelled less than a minute later, tapping home Mark Yeates' low cross from close range.

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Substitute Michael Tonge struck home with eight minutes to go but Platt earned Colchester a share of the spoils.

Colchester manager Geraint Williams said: "My players hate losing and I felt that our new boys cottoned on to the team spirit that we have.

"To come back not once, but twice was a great effort and I was pleased with everyone."

(Image: PAGEPIX)


PHIL Parkinson’s Colchester United stunned Sheffield Wednesday with a 3-0 away win on the opening day of the season, at Hillsborough.

The League One game was in the balance until the final few minutes, when goals from Craig Fagan, Sam Stockley and Joe Keith secured the U’s victory.

It was a big win for Colchester but boss Parkinson struck a note of caution afterwards, as he prepared for their next game, a home clash with Stockport County.

"We will use the performance we put in against Sheffield Wednesday as a confidence-booster, but we must not think we can go out and win it just like that,” said Parkinson.

"It's going to be hard work as Stockport have the potential to be a top-six side.

"Wednesday, though, have given us a good test."

In the end, the U’s ran out 3-2 winners over the Hatters, thanks to goals from Kevin Watson, Wayne Andrews and Craig Fagan.