YOU have to score in this division when you’re on top.

The words of stand-in captain Luke Chambers, following Colchester United’s disappointing defeat at Stevenage which left them 20th in League Two and four points above the relegation zone.

The U’s were the better team at Stevenage and deserved more from the game.

They had more possession, more shots on target and more of the match overall.

But ultimately, it counted for nothing.

Once again, it was a lack of potency in front of goal that cost Hayden Mullins’ side dear.

And sadly, that has been a recurring theme of their season, so far.

Colchester have mustered only 12 goals so far in their 16 league games to date; they are the joint lowest scorers in the division.

Indeed, they have not scored in more than six hours away from home in the league, losing their last three.

They had opportunities; against Stevenage, the bright attacking play produced by the likes of Sylvester Jasper and Armando Dobra in particular deserved more than it actually yielded, especially in the first half.

But the truth of the matter is that you have to find the net when you are on top and make those chances count, whether from open play or set pieces.

And ultimately this season, there has not been enough excellence in the final third this season to turn those opportunities into goals.


Colchester’s goals for column tells its own story.

They have not been creating enough high quality chances and when the opportunities do come, they have not converted enough of them as a team.

It was a similar story, last season.

The U’s play between both boxes has been effective and often of a high quality but they are not scoring enough goals.

And when that happens, pressure inevitably builds on the defensive side of a team’s game and incidents like the one that produced Stevenage’s winner – a controversial penalty scored on the stroke of half-time by Elliott List – prove even more crucial.

While we are drawing comparisons with last season; at this point, last year, Colchester had amassed 27 points after 16 league games – ten points more than they have secured so far, in the current campaign.

But we are not at the point we were last season yet, where the U's were staring down the barrel of a survival scrap.


With barely a quarter of the season gone, it’s too early to say that the U’s are in a relegation fight again.

Their squad is better equipped this season than it was last and there is still a long way to go, with a great deal of football to be played.

But one thing is for sure; Colchester do need to start finding the net with more regularity than they are currently doing.

Their next task will not be an easy one; on Tuesday night, they host an Exeter City side who lie second in League Two and have won their last five games on the spin.

But the U’s somehow have to try and take solace from all of the good things they produced at Stevenage and turn it into something more tangible - otherwise it could well turn out to be the same old story again.