COLCHESTER United have openly pinned their colours to the mast of youth progression and there must have been a big smile on chairman Robbie Cowling's face to see Ollie Kensdale get his first Football League start against Exeter.

With Luke Prosser suspended and Tom Eastman injured, the 18-year-old stepped into the U's back line for his league debut and passed the test with flying colours in an impressive display.

The U's have made a lot about their desire to advance their own homegrown talent, so to see a young man step up like that must be hugely gratifying for everyone at the club from the chairman down.


AS a football fan, there can be few greater bonds than the one between those in the stands and a homegrown player who clearly loves their team.

When a supporter knows that player is pulling on the shirt with the same vigour as they do their own replica one, there is a special connection and Sammie Szmodics fits that bill perfectly.

Fans relish any goal scored by one of their players, but it's extra special when it's someone like Sammie and the way he took and celebrated his strike against Exeter - his seventh of the season - will only have made that bond stronger.


MANAGER John McGreal was quick to highlight the performance of Exeter City keeper Christy Pym in his post-match press conference and he was right to do so.

It was an impressive display from the Grecians shot-stopper, but there was one save that was particularly breath-taking in the first half when a Courtney Senior free-kick looped into the box and a heel connected with the ball to send it goalwards.

Pym had a fraction of a second to react and make the stop and while keepers don't always get the plaudits they deserve, it's right he should get them this time.


IT'S not so many seasons ago that the Community Stadium pitch was a bit of a laughing stock by this time of the season, but that's thankfully not the case now.

Despite the weather taking a turn for the worse in the last couple of weeks, the playing surface now looks like an award-winner and groundsman Dave Blacknall deserves huge credit for the job he's done.

The England Under-20s played on it in 90 minutes of solid rain earlier in the week and that may well have killed the surface for weeks in years gone by, but not nowadays and it's now a pitch to be proud of.


RETURNING to the JobServe Community Stadium after three weeks on the road clearly suited the U's on Saturday and they like being at home.

But they are quickly back on their travels on Tuesday when they head to Forest Green Rovers and will be looking to add to their tally of ten points on the road from a possible 27.

While it isn't poor form, it isn't anything particularly special and Colchester need to back up their outstanding home form on the road if they want to be real contenders for honours this season.