Si Collinson's views on the U's

IN a game where things can change in a heartbeat, what a difference a week can make in football.

After the defeat at Swindon Town, U's fans arrived at the JobServe Community Stadium unsure what to expect against Newport County - would it be another weekend of ifs, buts and missed chances?

Well in an action-packed 90 minutes, all the worries of the last week evaporated.

After the absence of magic against Swindon, this week we had magicians all over the pitch.

Goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin, who I think should be praised for facing the critics and putting his hands up to mistakes, was on fine form, producing a save at a key moment to deny Newport a way back in.

A clean sheet was well merited and deserved from an individual who is professional, both on and off the pitch.

The attacking masterclass on display was breathtaking and unstoppable.

Luke Norris seemed to have an extra gear and did everything but score, while Sammie Szmodics was back in the starting XI and showed all what we had been missing and Courtney Senior had his best game in a Colchester shirt.

Frank Nouble - well done on goal of the season. I for one have never seen a goal that good scored live.

Watching it back, the angles just do not seem possible to score from.

Mika Mandron showed another string to his bow in the centre midfield role and so much of the attacking play went through him - he looked calm and collected throughout the game.

I could go on and single out each member of the side and what they did well but it has been covered in depth by Jon Waldron in his Gazette match reports and had to be seen to be believed.

Credit - even as I type this I cannot quite believe I am saying it - to the referee Lee Collins.

The man in the middle is normally one of the first people to get the criticism but he controlled the game well and let it flow early on.

However, he soon got fed up with the actions of the Newport players.

Instead of choosing the easy option of bowing to pressure, he took a stand and was happy to caution them as needed, along with standing by his decisions.

I know when you win, it's easier to overlook the officials' actions but Saturday's referee is worth the mention.

So now once again we have seen how well the team can play and what can be produced, it is time for John McGreal and Steve Ball to make some tough decisions over the following weeks on who starts and who is on the bench, especially with Harry Pell and Tom Lapslie on the road back to full fitness.

It is a headache, one that is good to have but not one I would like to be making the call on.

Roll on the next few days and the games that are coming up - hopefully this week is a strong one, rather than a long one.

Si Collinson, Colchester United season-ticket holder