Five talking points from Colchester United's draw at Cheltenham Town

A little rusty

IT seemed like an age since the last time Colchester United had played a league game, prior to their 1-1 draw at Cheltenham Town.

And after taking a share of the spoils at Whaddon Road, the U’s now face another wait until their next League Two fixture.

John McGreal admitted after the Cheltenham game that their fixture break had not helped his side, who went ahead through Luke Norris’s first-half strike but were denied victory after Conor Thomas converted a penalty controversially awarded after Reuben Reid tumbled under goalkeeper Dean Gerken’s challenge in the area.

Colchester looked a little rusty at times at Cheltenham and only really showed flashes of their usual zip and energy, in their play.

“I certainly think it might have hindered us a little bit because we weren’t on full tilt,” admitted McGreal.

Nevertheless, Colchester dug deep to secure a creditable away point against a side who have been in good form and are currently residing just above them, in the play-off positions.

Paying the penalty

VAR – the Video Assistant Referee – has been a hot topic in the Premier League, this season.

It is yet to be embraced by the EFL but had it been, there is a good chance that Cheltenham Town’s controversial penalty against Colchester United would have been overturned by the use of technology.

Referee Ben Toner felt U’s goalkeeper Dean Gerken had brought down Cheltenham substitute Reuben Reid, prompting him to point to the spot.

But replays suggest that contact was minimal to say the least, which will be of no consolation to Colchester after the incident ultimately denied them all three points.

A happy hunting ground

WHADDON Road is clearly a happy hunting ground for Luke Norris.

His calmly-taken strike for Colchester United in their 1-1 draw at Cheltenham Town was the U’s leading scorer’s fourth goal in his last three appearances at the venue.

It is vital that Norris, who has now made 50 league appearances for Colchester, continues to find the net for his side on a regular basis.

He now has seven goals this season and how prolific he is in front of goal in the coming months – and how fit he stays - will prove crucial to their chances of securing promotion, this season.

A break from the norm

COLCHESTER United have established a reputation for playing good, attractive football under John McGreal.

So the nature of the goal they scored at Cheltenham Town was somewhat unusual, for them.

Both Luke Norris and Courtney Senior raced onto Tom Eastman’s long pass forward that had beaten the Cheltenham defence, before Norris eventually lifted the ball past Scott Flinders and into the net.

It was certainly a more direct approach from the U’s but defender Eastman’s assist was not just a hopeful punt forward; it was a measured, well-weighted pass that was perfect in his execution.

Getting shirty

IT has been a while since Colchester United have sported their camouflage away kit.

It brought them a fair amount of success both on and off the field last season so the sight of the U’s sporting the popular black and grey change strip again in their match at Cheltenham Town was a welcome one.

The home side’s red and white kit meant that Colchester wearing either their home or white change strip was out of their question – meaning a rare appearance for the camouflage attire.