It's the Standard Verdict - an exclusive weekly look at Colchester United

It's the Standard Verdict - an exclusive weekly look at Colchester United

It's the Standard Verdict - an exclusive weekly look at Colchester United

First published in Standard Verdict by


Productivity rates have come under close scrutiny this week in the Spurgeon household.

You see, we’ve had three new additions in the form of some Suffolk bantams – or chickens to you and me – to the family and I’ve been promised eggs.

However, Flossie, Fluff and Feather – that’s what you get if you leave the naming to a five-year-old! – have been with us a week and we’ve had just two eggs.

They have been producing something else in great abundance, though, and parts of my lawn look like they are sinking under the weight of droppings.

If they were providing eggs at the same rate, I’d be awash with omlettes.

Still, at least I can’t complain about the productivity of Colchester United this week. John Ward had been promising that someone was going to get a tonking and it turned out to be Exeter City.

The U’s detractors may say that four of the five goals came after the Grecians had been reduced to nine men, but it was the pressure that Colchester built up that directly led to both dismissals.

And, unlike my new chickens, there was finally no question of the U’s strikers’ productivity.

What a great time to put in a performance like that.

One swallow doesn’t make a summer and all that, but it could prove to be a timely confidence boost and they now have to carry that into their away form.

And to cap one of the most enjoyable days I’ve had at the U’s for a while, we had one of the most amusing half-time entertainments I’ve ever seen.

I don’t know if they were meant to be entertaining in the way that I found them, but the Red Barrows had me in stitches and it’s a shame that there were only 3,629 in the ground to see it.

In my opinion, interval entertainment is a much under-rated part of the footballing experience.

While I can do without cheerleaders, my particular favourite is the penalty shoot-out between young fans from both clubs, with a comedy mascot in goal.

My friend maintains the best he ever saw was when comedian Frank Carson – who was a U’s director at the time – came on to the Layer Road pitch and did a stand-up routine. I can’t verify the story, but it would have to be up there as a half-time high point if it’s true.

However, the Red Barrows took entertainment to a new, if perhaps unintentional, level.

For those of you not there, they were a group of women, dressed – funnily enough – in red and performing formation wheelbarrow pushing around the centre circle to music.

I think they were promoting a charity collection at the ground and had obviously worked hard on perfecting their moves, but the real amusement came when it was time for them to make way for the second-half to start.

Despite it clearly being time to depart, with both sets of players taking their positions for kick-off and Pete, the stadium announcer, repeatedly pleading for them to make way, they continued with their routine.

The looks of bemusement on the players’ faces was priceless, but the ladies weren’t going to go until they were finished.

They eventually got a good send-off from the crowd and the bewildered players could restart the action, but I’d welcome them back any day.

And I could do with borrowing one of those wheelbarrows to get rid of some of those chicken droppings in my garden.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree