League 2 previews: Colchester United

Jun 18, 2021 | News

Now we look at the side that finished last season in 20th place, Colchester United, and having reached the play off semi finals in 2019/20 they would have been hoping for a lot better.

They managed 51 points last season and won 10 and lost six of their 23 home games at what is now known as the Jobserve Community Stadium which was opened in August 2008 and has a capacity of 10,105. However the official opening of the venue didn’t take place until October 4th that year when Rovers were the visitors and took all three points with a 1-0 win earned courtesy of a 53rd minute Rickie Lambert goal.

Our first ever meeting against Colchester took place at their old Layer Road ground on 26th August 1950, a game that ended goalless. We have now played the U’s 28 times in the league, winning 12, drawing seven and losing nine.

There have been no meetings in either of the major cup competitions, thought we both have one cup competition in common in that we have both won the short lived Watney Cup competition, Colchester in 1971 and Rovers a year later.

There are many connections between the clubs, and not just on the playing side. Ian Atkins and John Ward have managed both clubs, while Joe Dunne managed Colchester, was assistant to Graham Coughlin at Rovers and also our caretaker boss for one game when Coughlan departed BS7 to join Mansfield.

Two former Rovers players, Geraint Williams and Aidy Boothroyd have also managed Colchester while Paul Buckle, a former Colchester player, managed Rovers.

There are a number of players to have played for both clubs, including Harry Pell, Andy Bond, Ian Atkins (who played for them as well as managed them), Pat Baldwin, Graham Barrett, Guy Branston (who hasn’t he played for!), Ron Green, Brandon Hanlan, Steven Gillespie, Jermaine Easter, Jeffrey Monakana, Scott McGleish, Trevor Morgan, John Taylor, Neal Trotman, Will Packwood, John Vaughan, Adam Virgo and Sam Walker.

Kenneth Powell made his Rovers league debut against Colchester in 1951/52, Larry Taylor in 1966/67, David J. Lee in 1998/99, and Shaun Byrne, in an incredible 5-4 defeat at Layer Road in January 2000

Former Rovers midfielder Ollie Clarke made his Rovers league debut at Colchester on 7th May 2011 when the home side won 2-1 and confirmed Rovers’ relegation to League Two (though we had to win something like 11-0 to stay up in any case!).

When we travel to play Colchester next season it will be the first time the clubs have met since that last game of the 2010/11 season.


A one way journey from the Memorial Stadium to Colchester’s stadium is 191 miles.