COLCHESTER United have been involved in plenty of bizarre incidents, over the years.

In the third and final instalment of a three-part Gazette series, Sir Bob Russell takes a look at some of the U's more unusual football trivia.


GOALKEEPERS scoring goals remain an unusual achievement, but when they happen they are remembered by fans for years afterwards.

This is particularly the case with Colchester United’s Scott Barrett, whose exploits saw the U’s secure the non-league “double” when they won the Vauxhall Conference and the FA Trophy in the 1991-92 season. Without Barrett, neither would have been achieved.

Colchester secured promotion back into the Football League when they topped the table on goal difference ahead of Wycombe Wanderers (both sides registering a joint new points record, in the days when only the champions were promoted).

But promotion would not have been the case had it not been for Barrett’s 80-yard punt down the pitch – in the 90th minute – on September 28, 1991, at a windy and rain-swept Adams Park.

The high wind and a wicked bounce took the ball over the head of Wycombe keeper Paul Hyde (way off his goal-line) to give all three points to Colchester.

Had the match finished as a draw, Wycombe would have been promoted.

Barrett was also the saviour in the FA Trophy.

With Colchester heading for a shock defeat at Layer Road against Kingstonian, in the dying seconds Barrett went up for a corner at the Layer Road end and in the melee helped the ball towards the goal where it was cheerfully booted into the net for an unjustified equaliser.

Colchester won the replay, and made it all the way to Wembley where they beat Witton Albion 3-1 in the final on Sunday, May 10,1992.

It was the first of three Wembley appearances by Colchester United in seven years; the others were the Auto Windscreens Shield final against Carlisle (lost on penalties) on Sunday April 20, 1997 and the Nationwide Football League division two play-off victory against Torquay on Friday evening, May 22 1998.

Football history was made in the FA Trophy victory – in the fifth minute, Mike Masters scored the U’s first goal against Witton to become the first American to score at Wembley.


COLCHESTER United were the first team to be knocked out of the FA Cup without conceding a goal.

A 0-0 draw at Layer Road in the first round on November 16, 1991 against Exeter City was followed by another goalless match 11 days later at the Grecians' St James Park.

With extra-time, this meant that the two sides had gone 210 minutes without either team scoring!

This was the first season that penalties were introduced rather than there being a second-replay – and Exeter won on penalties.


NOT unique, but extremely rare – to have both goalkeepers sent off in the same match!

Colchester United achieved that dubious distinction on Saturday, October 16 1993 in a five-goal Barclays League third division drubbing at Hereford's Edgar Street stadium.

John Keeley was first to get his marching orders for a professional foul, with substitute keeper Nathan Munson sent off for a similar foul later.

Player-manager Roy McDonough went between the posts as the “third” keeper, but didn't get the 35th birthday present he was hoping for as Hereford’s Geoff Pike added to the special records by scoring a hat-trick against three different U's goalkeepers!

I am grateful to Graeson Laitt, renowned Colchester United statistician, and Francis Ponder, former Gazette sports writer, for their assistance with my memory in writing this compilation.