U's clash with Rotherham is postponed

Frustration - U's boss Joe Dunne are without a game again on Saturday after their home match against Rotherham United was postponed.

Frustration - U's boss Joe Dunne are without a game again on Saturday after their home match against Rotherham United was postponed.

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Colchester United's home match against Rotherham United has been postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

Referee Brendan Malone, who was due to take charge of the League One clash, inspected the Weston Homes Community Stadium pitch at 8.30am this morning and decided that the surface was not playable.

Colchester head groundsman David Blacknall and the U's did everything they could to try ensure the game went ahead and the club covered the pitch with waterproof sheets on Thursday.

However, the amount of rain in the area over recent weeks has made the pitch unplayable today.

It is the second successive home fixture that the U's have had called off and Joe Dunne's side have not played since beating Carlisle United 4-2, three weeks ago.

Colchester's next league game is at Port Vale on Tuesday night.

They are due to play again next Friday night, after their trip to play Swindon Town was brought forward 24 hours owing to the Robins' Johnstone's Paint Trophy area final second leg against Peterborough United being played the following Monday (February 17).

For all of the latest Colchester United news, see the Daily Gazette.

Comments (23)

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9:15am Sat 8 Feb 14

BlueandWhiteBaz says...

The WHCS pitch is just a disaster with the drainage at this relatively new stadium completely inept and unsuitable for purpose.
The WHCS pitch is just a disaster with the drainage at this relatively new stadium completely inept and unsuitable for purpose. BlueandWhiteBaz
  • Score: 18

9:36am Sat 8 Feb 14

Offsoid says...

Completely agree BlueandWhiteBaz....y
es there's been plenty of rain, but all areas have been affected and I don't see other clubs in the area with as many postponed games as the U's. The pitch was never built correctly from day one! Someone needs to seriously look at this, too many games postponed every winter and always it seems in the middle of a good run. The breaks never favour us and we often fail to turn those games in hand into points.
Completely agree BlueandWhiteBaz....y es there's been plenty of rain, but all areas have been affected and I don't see other clubs in the area with as many postponed games as the U's. The pitch was never built correctly from day one! Someone needs to seriously look at this, too many games postponed every winter and always it seems in the middle of a good run. The breaks never favour us and we often fail to turn those games in hand into points. Offsoid
  • Score: 14

9:36am Sat 8 Feb 14

U's fan says...

We never had these issues with the Layer Road pitch and it didn't have half the money spent on it that this one does. The stadium was built in the wrong place any of the people who farmed up there would have told them that, they have always had major drainage issues over there.
We never had these issues with the Layer Road pitch and it didn't have half the money spent on it that this one does. The stadium was built in the wrong place any of the people who farmed up there would have told them that, they have always had major drainage issues over there. U's fan
  • Score: 11

9:43am Sat 8 Feb 14

down the line says...

Nice to see that its not even on the official club website yet, a complete joke.
Nice to see that its not even on the official club website yet, a complete joke. down the line
  • Score: 6

9:46am Sat 8 Feb 14

Ozzie says...

It is so unecessarily frustrating when the games keep being called off, yet I remember an important home game some years ago against Norwich City which attracted the highest ever league attendance for Colchester in January when there was every reason for the game not to be played, in fact the pitch was worse than it looks from today's images, yet it still went ahead. Naturally, we lost and were trounced 5-0! The pitch obviously from a drainage point of view has NOT been sorted out. We were told as fans that this was being done last summer, but nothing seems to have changed. I cannot believe that a professional league club such as ours has not invested in adequate drainage resources. And I was also under the impression that we had laid another new pitch last summer, too As a season ticket holder, I feel the backlog of games will ultimately impact on Mr Dunne's team so that when the results go badly and the team are under pressure to play two games in a week, he has the perfect excuse to use that the demands of the postponed fixtures have led to player's injuries, suspensions, training incidents, etc. Up the U's!
It is so unecessarily frustrating when the games keep being called off, yet I remember an important home game some years ago against Norwich City which attracted the highest ever league attendance for Colchester in January when there was every reason for the game not to be played, in fact the pitch was worse than it looks from today's images, yet it still went ahead. Naturally, we lost and were trounced 5-0! The pitch obviously from a drainage point of view has NOT been sorted out. We were told as fans that this was being done last summer, but nothing seems to have changed. I cannot believe that a professional league club such as ours has not invested in adequate drainage resources. And I was also under the impression that we had laid another new pitch last summer, too As a season ticket holder, I feel the backlog of games will ultimately impact on Mr Dunne's team so that when the results go badly and the team are under pressure to play two games in a week, he has the perfect excuse to use that the demands of the postponed fixtures have led to player's injuries, suspensions, training incidents, etc. Up the U's! Ozzie
  • Score: 8

10:18am Sat 8 Feb 14

angryman!!! says...

The club can blame the weather all they like, however Essex is generally one of the dryest places in the country. So how have we lost two of our games due to weather when many have not lost one. Getting covers after the wettest January, screams gate horse and bolted.
The stadium is poorly designed to open, bland and industrial. The pitch is a joke (ESP for poor jd trying to play passing football), no bar ( we even had the cusa bar at layer rd), buses still have problems and stewards that go out their way to annoy fans.
The club wonders why there not attracting fans, the big worry is why they are losing fans! Many regulars and ex season ticket holders and regular away fans are refusing to go and at best going to very few home games.
The club needs to interact with the hardcore fans of past aswell as present. So many little things that could be done over night, like sighting of away fans (closer to home) to create a better attmosphere, stewards to be more fan friendly and realise they are not presidents body guard, a corner bar put in like Stevenage/mk old cusa bar.
Also agreeing to a change of date to the Swindon game only a week away shows no respect to fans, no thought to hotel, train bookings or plans.
The club can blame the weather all they like, however Essex is generally one of the dryest places in the country. So how have we lost two of our games due to weather when many have not lost one. Getting covers after the wettest January, screams gate horse and bolted. The stadium is poorly designed to open, bland and industrial. The pitch is a joke (ESP for poor jd trying to play passing football), no bar ( we even had the cusa bar at layer rd), buses still have problems and stewards that go out their way to annoy fans. The club wonders why there not attracting fans, the big worry is why they are losing fans! Many regulars and ex season ticket holders and regular away fans are refusing to go and at best going to very few home games. The club needs to interact with the hardcore fans of past aswell as present. So many little things that could be done over night, like sighting of away fans (closer to home) to create a better attmosphere, stewards to be more fan friendly and realise they are not presidents body guard, a corner bar put in like Stevenage/mk old cusa bar. Also agreeing to a change of date to the Swindon game only a week away shows no respect to fans, no thought to hotel, train bookings or plans. angryman!!!
  • Score: 12

10:27am Sat 8 Feb 14

down the line says...

angryman!!! wrote:
The club can blame the weather all they like, however Essex is generally one of the dryest places in the country. So how have we lost two of our games due to weather when many have not lost one. Getting covers after the wettest January, screams gate horse and bolted.
The stadium is poorly designed to open, bland and industrial. The pitch is a joke (ESP for poor jd trying to play passing football), no bar ( we even had the cusa bar at layer rd), buses still have problems and stewards that go out their way to annoy fans.
The club wonders why there not attracting fans, the big worry is why they are losing fans! Many regulars and ex season ticket holders and regular away fans are refusing to go and at best going to very few home games.
The club needs to interact with the hardcore fans of past aswell as present. So many little things that could be done over night, like sighting of away fans (closer to home) to create a better attmosphere, stewards to be more fan friendly and realise they are not presidents body guard, a corner bar put in like Stevenage/mk old cusa bar.
Also agreeing to a change of date to the Swindon game only a week away shows no respect to fans, no thought to hotel, train bookings or plans.
Couldn't agree more.
[quote][p][bold]angryman!!![/bold] wrote: The club can blame the weather all they like, however Essex is generally one of the dryest places in the country. So how have we lost two of our games due to weather when many have not lost one. Getting covers after the wettest January, screams gate horse and bolted. The stadium is poorly designed to open, bland and industrial. The pitch is a joke (ESP for poor jd trying to play passing football), no bar ( we even had the cusa bar at layer rd), buses still have problems and stewards that go out their way to annoy fans. The club wonders why there not attracting fans, the big worry is why they are losing fans! Many regulars and ex season ticket holders and regular away fans are refusing to go and at best going to very few home games. The club needs to interact with the hardcore fans of past aswell as present. So many little things that could be done over night, like sighting of away fans (closer to home) to create a better attmosphere, stewards to be more fan friendly and realise they are not presidents body guard, a corner bar put in like Stevenage/mk old cusa bar. Also agreeing to a change of date to the Swindon game only a week away shows no respect to fans, no thought to hotel, train bookings or plans.[/p][/quote]Couldn't agree more. down the line
  • Score: 9

10:33am Sat 8 Feb 14

Reginald47 says...

U's fan wrote:
We never had these issues with the Layer Road pitch and it didn't have half the money spent on it that this one does. The stadium was built in the wrong place any of the people who farmed up there would have told them that, they have always had major drainage issues over there.
The councillor in charge of CBC at the time was a farmer
[quote][p][bold]U's fan[/bold] wrote: We never had these issues with the Layer Road pitch and it didn't have half the money spent on it that this one does. The stadium was built in the wrong place any of the people who farmed up there would have told them that, they have always had major drainage issues over there.[/p][/quote]The councillor in charge of CBC at the time was a farmer Reginald47
  • Score: 6

10:51am Sat 8 Feb 14

stevedawson says...

Lets have an independent analysis of what is needed to get this sorted as it seems wet winters might become the norm.
Lets have an independent analysis of what is needed to get this sorted as it seems wet winters might become the norm. stevedawson
  • Score: 5

11:24am Sat 8 Feb 14

BlueandWhiteBaz says...

As I commented before, the pitch and drainage system, in particular, at the WHCS is just not fit for purpose. Cuckoo Farm before the Stadium was built was a swamp and required the very best of drainage systems. However, our Council skimped on this aspect and this is the result. The ground, away from where the club's previous core support was based, shouldn't have been built there in the first place!
As I commented before, the pitch and drainage system, in particular, at the WHCS is just not fit for purpose. Cuckoo Farm before the Stadium was built was a swamp and required the very best of drainage systems. However, our Council skimped on this aspect and this is the result. The ground, away from where the club's previous core support was based, shouldn't have been built there in the first place! BlueandWhiteBaz
  • Score: 7

11:44am Sat 8 Feb 14

down the line says...

I think the club should be asking the council for a reduction in the rent.
They are renting a football ground where you can't play football!!
I think the club should be asking the council for a reduction in the rent. They are renting a football ground where you can't play football!! down the line
  • Score: 8

1:05pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

U's fan wrote:
We never had these issues with the Layer Road pitch and it didn't have half the money spent on it that this one does. The stadium was built in the wrong place any of the people who farmed up there would have told them that, they have always had major drainage issues over there.
So why did 35,000 people sign the Gazette 'Stadium Now' petition and why did so many supporters pack the town hall when it went to the planning meeting for approval if the stadium was going to be built in the wrong place?

A few people did say the heavy clay soil was not suitable but their voices were drowned out by the majority. I think many just have very short memories!
[quote][p][bold]U's fan[/bold] wrote: We never had these issues with the Layer Road pitch and it didn't have half the money spent on it that this one does. The stadium was built in the wrong place any of the people who farmed up there would have told them that, they have always had major drainage issues over there.[/p][/quote]So why did 35,000 people sign the Gazette 'Stadium Now' petition and why did so many supporters pack the town hall when it went to the planning meeting for approval if the stadium was going to be built in the wrong place? A few people did say the heavy clay soil was not suitable but their voices were drowned out by the majority. I think many just have very short memories! Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 12

3:55pm Sat 8 Feb 14

U's fan says...

Say It As It Is OK? wrote:
U's fan wrote:
We never had these issues with the Layer Road pitch and it didn't have half the money spent on it that this one does. The stadium was built in the wrong place any of the people who farmed up there would have told them that, they have always had major drainage issues over there.
So why did 35,000 people sign the Gazette 'Stadium Now' petition and why did so many supporters pack the town hall when it went to the planning meeting for approval if the stadium was going to be built in the wrong place?

A few people did say the heavy clay soil was not suitable but their voices were drowned out by the majority. I think many just have very short memories!
Because many of those 35K signatures were away fans or the same people signing it over and over again. In the end I think the fans thought the drainage issues would be sorted during the build but sadly this has not been the case.
The stadium falls short in many areas mainly of course due to lack of funding but also the total disregard for the ordinary fan in favour of the West stand/hospitality types.
[quote][p][bold]Say It As It Is OK?[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]U's fan[/bold] wrote: We never had these issues with the Layer Road pitch and it didn't have half the money spent on it that this one does. The stadium was built in the wrong place any of the people who farmed up there would have told them that, they have always had major drainage issues over there.[/p][/quote]So why did 35,000 people sign the Gazette 'Stadium Now' petition and why did so many supporters pack the town hall when it went to the planning meeting for approval if the stadium was going to be built in the wrong place? A few people did say the heavy clay soil was not suitable but their voices were drowned out by the majority. I think many just have very short memories![/p][/quote]Because many of those 35K signatures were away fans or the same people signing it over and over again. In the end I think the fans thought the drainage issues would be sorted during the build but sadly this has not been the case. The stadium falls short in many areas mainly of course due to lack of funding but also the total disregard for the ordinary fan in favour of the West stand/hospitality types. U's fan
  • Score: 6

3:55pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Ontheball says...

There was NO option as to where the stadium was to be built. The council picked the location, owned the land and stuck it as far away from ther town as possible. The land has a clay base and therefore will not drain, regardless as to what you do with the pitch itself.

What surprises me is that is that the club do not open all corner gates to get the wind to dry out the pitch. The whole place is drafty anyway, but the through movement of air through the gates would surely help. Covering it after heavy rain is pointless and just adds to the problems up there.
There was NO option as to where the stadium was to be built. The council picked the location, owned the land and stuck it as far away from ther town as possible. The land has a clay base and therefore will not drain, regardless as to what you do with the pitch itself. What surprises me is that is that the club do not open all corner gates to get the wind to dry out the pitch. The whole place is drafty anyway, but the through movement of air through the gates would surely help. Covering it after heavy rain is pointless and just adds to the problems up there. Ontheball
  • Score: 8

4:32pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

Fair points made by ontheball and U's fans, particularly the one about multiple signing of the petition and also signed by people who are never likely to visit the stadium but whatever anyone says it won't change things.

What can be done I don't know! but the stadium was built by a major Stadium builders Barr and it was known at the time that budget constraints prevailed throughout the build. Even the planning approval was suspect when a number of conditions were ignored by CBC as a clear attempt at cutting costs, particularly highway improvements in and around the vicinity of the stadium. Of course it also went Three seasons without a proper car park surface. Had that not been done it would be a lake there today!

CBC were free to ignore the planning conditions because they were approving their own planning application. I'm sure they would have been more robust in their decision making if it had been a private developer's application. So who knows perhaps corners were also cut when it came to the original preparation and the re-surfacing of the playing surface.
Fair points made by ontheball and U's fans, particularly the one about multiple signing of the petition and also signed by people who are never likely to visit the stadium but whatever anyone says it won't change things. What can be done I don't know! but the stadium was built by a major Stadium builders Barr and it was known at the time that budget constraints prevailed throughout the build. Even the planning approval was suspect when a number of conditions were ignored by CBC as a clear attempt at cutting costs, particularly highway improvements in and around the vicinity of the stadium. Of course it also went Three seasons without a proper car park surface. Had that not been done it would be a lake there today! CBC were free to ignore the planning conditions because they were approving their own planning application. I'm sure they would have been more robust in their decision making if it had been a private developer's application. So who knows perhaps corners were also cut when it came to the original preparation and the re-surfacing of the playing surface. Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 11

4:45pm Sat 8 Feb 14

stevedawson says...

Dont argue amost yourselves again the pitch is where it is it needs sorting lets just push for that.
Dont argue amost yourselves again the pitch is where it is it needs sorting lets just push for that. stevedawson
  • Score: -4

5:27pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

stevedawson wrote:
Dont argue amost yourselves again the pitch is where it is it needs sorting lets just push for that.
To be fair steve it's no argument, just a debate amongst interested parties! The points need to be made but as always those who made the decision at the time, both in the council and in the club are no longer there and the fact remains that the stadium is costing council tax payers more now because the expected revenue does not bring in the required funds to furnish the massive £8 million loan that CBC committed us all to. So, in my opinionI the council is unlikely to spend on improving the playing surface, so that only leaves Robbie Cowling and the club, as the lease holders to stump up.

Will he do this? Or more to the point is it required? Or do we just put the current situation down to extreme weather conditions?
[quote][p][bold]stevedawson[/bold] wrote: Dont argue amost yourselves again the pitch is where it is it needs sorting lets just push for that.[/p][/quote]To be fair steve it's no argument, just a debate amongst interested parties! The points need to be made but as always those who made the decision at the time, both in the council and in the club are no longer there and the fact remains that the stadium is costing council tax payers more now because the expected revenue does not bring in the required funds to furnish the massive £8 million loan that CBC committed us all to. So, in my opinionI the council is unlikely to spend on improving the playing surface, so that only leaves Robbie Cowling and the club, as the lease holders to stump up. Will he do this? Or more to the point is it required? Or do we just put the current situation down to extreme weather conditions? Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 6

7:43pm Sat 8 Feb 14

super waluigi says...

Well if you can no longer moan about the football that is being played or the result, you might as well moan about something!!!!!

One last time, GET OUT MORE.
Well if you can no longer moan about the football that is being played or the result, you might as well moan about something!!!!! One last time, GET OUT MORE. super waluigi
  • Score: -13

11:01pm Sat 8 Feb 14

BlueandWhiteBaz says...

I see old couldn't care less has raised his head again.
I see old couldn't care less has raised his head again. BlueandWhiteBaz
  • Score: 9

1:27am Sun 9 Feb 14

Boris says...

As I understand it, at least 2 of the current CBC cabinet are, or recently were, season ticket holders at CUFC. But that doesn't mean they are going to produce the half million pounds or more that are necessary to dig up the pitch to the required depth and replace the clay subsoil with gravel.
Why should Robbie Cowling cough up an amount like that when the stadium is not his? And why should CBC cough up when it is already cutting essential services due to lack of cash?
Whoever is holding that petition should now write to all the people who signed it, asking for a contribution of £50 a head towards reconstruction of the pitch. Those who signed it multiple times should pay multiple times.
As I understand it, at least 2 of the current CBC cabinet are, or recently were, season ticket holders at CUFC. But that doesn't mean they are going to produce the half million pounds or more that are necessary to dig up the pitch to the required depth and replace the clay subsoil with gravel. Why should Robbie Cowling cough up an amount like that when the stadium is not his? And why should CBC cough up when it is already cutting essential services due to lack of cash? Whoever is holding that petition should now write to all the people who signed it, asking for a contribution of £50 a head towards reconstruction of the pitch. Those who signed it multiple times should pay multiple times. Boris
  • Score: 4

1:30am Sun 9 Feb 14

Boris says...

down the line wrote:
Nice to see that its not even on the official club website yet, a complete joke.
The club e-mailed me at 09h54 (11 minutes after your post) to say the game was off. I can't fault that.
[quote][p][bold]down the line[/bold] wrote: Nice to see that its not even on the official club website yet, a complete joke.[/p][/quote]The club e-mailed me at 09h54 (11 minutes after your post) to say the game was off. I can't fault that. Boris
  • Score: -1

1:46am Sun 9 Feb 14

Boris says...

As for the new pitch covers, they were only delivered on Thursday so they could not have helped much in the short term. Let's hope they help during the coming weeks, provided that whenever the rain lets up, they take them off, open the gates, and let the wind dry the surface a bit.
And let's have a sense of proportion, the weather has been relatively kind to us here, compared to the folk living on the Somerset levels and elsewhere who have been flooded out of their homes.
As for the new pitch covers, they were only delivered on Thursday so they could not have helped much in the short term. Let's hope they help during the coming weeks, provided that whenever the rain lets up, they take them off, open the gates, and let the wind dry the surface a bit. And let's have a sense of proportion, the weather has been relatively kind to us here, compared to the folk living on the Somerset levels and elsewhere who have been flooded out of their homes. Boris
  • Score: -4

10:57am Sun 9 Feb 14

BlueandWhiteBaz says...

I'll be honest I'm not sure the covers are a good thing now that the ground is already saturated. Putting the covers on now will keep the wet trapped in as the ground will not be able to breathe properly and the drying winds will be ineffective. They will probably help to some degree in the future to protect against saturation once the ground has dried out.
I'll be honest I'm not sure the covers are a good thing now that the ground is already saturated. Putting the covers on now will keep the wet trapped in as the ground will not be able to breathe properly and the drying winds will be ineffective. They will probably help to some degree in the future to protect against saturation once the ground has dried out. BlueandWhiteBaz
  • Score: 7

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