Colchester United season-ticket holder Si Collinson's views on the U's

ABSENCE makes the heart grow fonder is a phrase that has different meanings to different people.

I felt the true force of it on Saturday.

After agreeing with my wife Jess to go on a family holiday during the football season (crazy, I know), I checked the fixtures and realised that the Cambridge United away fixture was the key one I was missing.

Undeterred, I realised that I could follow the hotly-contested game on the radio, via the iFollow app.

Well, that was as close to the action as I could get, although I did benefit from the relaxed rule in Spain which enabled me to watch the 3pm Premier League games live.

Upon tuning in 15 minutes before Colchester's game kicked off, you could already hear the noise from the 1,000+ U's fans who had made the trip to Abbey Stadium.

But once kick-off arrived, there was a noticeable difference.

The commentary and Twitter updates, as good as they were, do not really show the full picture.

Watching the highlights, you realise that the play is not quite what you hear or picture.

A shot that is described as closes flies over the bar never troubling the keeper; an attacking run is not quite the counter-attack breakthrough you'd imagined.

Fast forward to 90 minutes plus six and you could hear the away fans willing the lads on.

When Kane Vincent-Young's winning goal went in, I swear the locals thought I was crazy jumping around while watching a match where nothing was happening.

Unbeknown to them, I had an ear piece in.

During that moment, all sorts of emotions ran through my head - pure delight that we had scored a winner with the last kick of the game, followed by envy of those that were there.

Looking back, I missed football but have enjoyed time away with the family after a stressful year.

It made me realise that no matter how good the radio or social media is, it will never replace the feelings and raw emotions of live football, of living and breathing every moment.

Hopefully now a few of the 1,000-odd U's fans who went to Cambridge will get the buzz for away games.

I was looking on social media and every man and his dog seems to have gone to that game as a hardcore U's fan.

Hopefully more will take the plunge and go to Bury, on Saturday week.

What was also nice and refreshing to see was the lack of criticism levelled to the players and management.

It has shown what a team we can all be if we get behind the team, instead of getting on their back.

It is going to be a very close run-in to the end of the season and the play-offs are still up for grabs.

I will not stop believing until the maths say otherwise - a strong April and Wembley hopefully awaits.