Colchester come to the Fully Charged New Lawn sitting just 3 points above the relegation places in 22nd position, albeit with games in hand.  They are now 13 points short of the play-off places so it looks like a relegation tussle for the U’s.  Colchester’s visit was originally scheduled for November but was postponed due to international call-ups.  The game was rescheduled for just before Christmas but again postponed, this time covid-affected.

Their record so far is 5 wins, 7 draws & 9 defeats. 

Scoring goals has been a bit of an issue for Colchester this season – just 17 goals in 21 matches.  But the U’s are reasonably tight in defence with only 28 goals conceded in those 21 games. 

Colchester have performed marginally better at home than on the road this season.  However, they’ve won just one single point away from home since their 0-0 draw at Swindon in September (with 5 away losses and 2 goal-less draws in that time).  In all, the U’s have had three 0-0 draws away from home this season which suggests they may be tough to break down on the road.

In their last 3 away games against Walsall, Bradford & Crawley, Colchester lined up as a 4-2-3-1 with Sears, the number 11 leading the line (the results were 3-0, 0-0 & 3-1 in these games).

Colchester’s home v Rochdale on 8th January was called off due to a waterlogged pitch while Rovers also had a weekend off.

Last season’s leading scorer, Callum Harriott, was allowed to leave the club following ongoing Court proceedings on a rape charge, while second leading scorer, Jevani Brown, moved to Exeter City.  Striker Frank Nouble returned for his 3rd spell at the club over the summer but is yet to get off the mark with a goal. 

Colchester’s main strike threat probably comes from their number 11, Freddie Sears.  Sears was at West Ham for the first 5 seasons of his professional career but never really found his scoring touch.  He moved to Colchester in 2011 when they were in League 1,scoring 36 goals in 109 appearances.  He then moved up to the Championship with Ipswich for 7 seasons before coming back to Colchester this summer.  With 8 league goals in 21 games, Sears is the U’s current top scorer this campaign.

Freddie Sears (number 11) is Colchester’s main goal threat.

Colchester’s player to watch may be Noah Chilvers.  Chilvers is a 20 year-old creative attacking midfielder with an eye for defence-splitting passes and the ability to score spectacular goals.  On the back of his breakthrough season, 2020/21, he scored 2 goals and made 44 first-team league appearances, Chilvers was named both Colchester’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year as well as receiving the Goal of the Season award.  He has 3 goals this season.  Born down the road in Chelmsford, Chilvers has been at Colchester since 2018.

It was a Chilvers goal after 69 seconds that ended Rovers unbeaten start to the 2020/21 season at the JobServe Community Stadium in October 2020.

The U’s have a strong defensive centre-back partnership with Tom Eastman (who has been at the club for about 10 years) partnered with Tommy Smith.  Colchester may not score many, but neither do they concede many.

Defensive stalwart Tom Eastman (number 18) has been at Colchester for a decade

Noah Chilvers (number 14) – the Essex man who was the U’s Player of the Year last season, has 3 goals this season from midfield.

Colchester secured the loan services of winger Sylvester Jasper (number 17) over the summer.  19 year old Jasper is a part of Fulham’s youth set-up and has been described as one of Fulham’s prodigies. 

Jasper scored his first goal for the U’s in the 88th minute of their match at home to Harrogate.  The goal secured a 1-0 win and Colchester’s first home win of the season.  He followed this up with his 2nd goal of the season when Colchester beat Exeter at home in November.



Colchester finished last season in 20th place in League 2.  Rovers won the home encounter 3-0 last season but lost away 1-0.

Fulham loanee Sylvester Jasper (number 17) has scored twice this season.

One ex-Rovers player we expected to see was striker Shawn McCoulskey. 

The twenty four year old was out of contract at FGR and the U’s signed him up on a short term deal as a free agent.  Shawn only made 4 appearances for the U’s, didn’t register on the scoresheet, and his contract with them was terminated on the 3rd January.

Other than FGR, Shawn has also had spells at Southend United and Newport County since coming up through the ranks at Bristol City.

Shawn McCoulskey signed for the U’s in the summer.

Steve Ball lasted 7 months as Colchester manager.

Wayne Brown was interim coach for just over a month.

Hayden Mullins is the new man at the helm of Colchester since March 2021.

Colchester started life as Colchester Town.  In 1937 it was felt the club should turn professional but this was resisted by some.  As a consequence, a breakaway club was formed and Colchester United was born.  The new club progressed well and were finally elected to the football league in 1950. 

Since then, the club have had a brief drop into the 5th tier in the early 1990’s and a brief rise into the Championship between 2006 and 2008.  In 2006 they finished second in the 3rd tier (just behind their Essex rivals Southend Utd) to gain promotion to the Championship.  They played just two seasons in the Championship before being relegated back to the 3rd tier.  Another relegation in 2016 dropped them back to League 2 – some 18 seasons after they last played in the 4th tier.

Colchester are one of 2 professional clubs in Essex so it isn’t surprising that Southend United are their main rivals.  Wycombe Wanderers and Ipswich Town are other rivalries for U’s fans.

The club originally adopted the Colchester coat of arms as their club crest.  But there was a dispute with the local authority in the 1930’s about the use of this logo and this forced a rebranding.  Since then, the crest has featured an eagle.  The U’s are sometimes also known as The Eagles and their mascot is called Eddie!

Eddie the Eagle is Colchester’s mascot.

Colchester play at the 10,000 capacity Colchester Jobserve Community Stadium.  This has been their home since 2008.  Prior to the new stadium being built their Layer Road ground had been their (and their predecessor’s) home for nearly 100 years.

The Colchester Jobserve Community Stadium.

Colchester is 50 miles north of London and 30 miles from Stansted airport, and is built on the site site of what was Camulodunum, the first major Roman city, and once the capital of Roman Britain.  As such, Colchester has a good claim to be regarded as Britain’s oldest recorded town.

Colchester was a garrison town in Roman times and remains one to this day with the Colchester Garrison currently home to the 16th Air Assault Brigade.

Perhaps the most famous landmark in Colchester today is ‘Jumbo’. Jumbo is a water tower whose proper name is the Balkerne Gate water tower.  It was nicknamed (after a London Zoo elephant) as a term of derision in 1882 by Reverend John Irvine who was annoyed that the tower dwarfed his nearby rectory at St Mary at the Walls.  Jumbo became superfluous to requirements in 1986 and was sold by Anglian Water. Colchester is still trying to work out what to do with it now!

Jumbo – Britain’s largest surviving Victorian water tower.

Colchester is reputed to be the birthplace of three of the best known English nursery rhymes – Old King Cole, Humpty Dumpty & Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, although all three of these claims are disputed. Humpty Dumpty may have been a Civil War cannon that sat on top of a church tower in Colchester or it may have been a (rather overweight) Royalist sniper who sat on a wall taking pot-shots at Parliamentarians.  Who knows!?

Old Colcestrians include personalitites as disparate as Daniel Defoe and Mary Whitehouse.  In 1947 Margaret Roberts (later to become Thatcher) moved to Colchester to work as a research chemist for BX Plastics.  In 1948 she applied for a job at ICI, but was rejected after the personnel department assessed her as “headstrong, obstinate and dangerously self-opinionated”.