This game has all the makings of a pivotal game of the season.  Colchester have 3 wins and a draw from their 11 games; Rovers have 2 wins and a draw from 12.  Colchester are 21st in the league; Rovers 24th (bottom).  Just 3 points separate them.

All Colchester’s points have come at home, with the exception of a surprise 3-0 win at Gillingham in late August.  FGR, as we know, have won no points at home.

The Opposition

Colchester had a rocky start to this season.  Their 1st game with Swindon was called off because of a waterlogged pitch, then they lost their first 3 games.  Since then, they settled down a little, notching up 3 wins and a draw.  Their last outing was a 3-1 loss at home to Morecambe – Morecambe were reduced to 10 men in the 36th minute but, in spite of this, moved into a 3-0 lead before McGeehan pulled a goal back and Chilvers missed a 92nd minute penalty.

There was a thriller at home to Notts County on 30th Sep.  The U’s eventually won 5-4 – Cameron McGeehan (see below) having a mixed afternoon – scoring in the 58th minute to put Colchester 4-2 up, then getting dismissed with a 2nd yellow for dissent in the 79th minute.

Colchester’s results to date;

7 Oct  Colchester Utd – Morecambe 1 – 3 

3 Oct Newport – Colchester Utd 2 – 1

30 Sep Colchester Utd – Notts County 5 – 4

23 Sep Crewe Alexandra – Colchester Utd 2 – 1

16 Sep Colchester Utd – Mansfield 1 – 1

9 Sep Colchester Utd – Tranmere 2 – 0

2 Sep Walsall – Colchester Utd 1 – 0

26 Aug Gillingham – Colchester Utd 0 – 3

19 Aug Colchester Utd – Milton Keynes 2 – 3

The U’s are 21st in the league, 3 points ahead of FGR (having played a game less).

Who to watch?

Colchester have a very young side.  The team that faced Tranmere recently had an average age of 22.  Their manager believes that this gives them a ‘no-fear’ mentality.

One of their youngsters, striker Bradley Ihionvien (number 48), has been generating a lot of interest.  Many clubs have been scouting the 19 year-old, including Burnley and Crystal Palace.  It may be a case of watching him while you can – he’s out of contract at the end of this season.

Another 19 year old is their goalkeeper, Owen Goodman.  Goodman is on loan from Crystal Palace and is one of the youngest keepers in the EFL.

Even younger, at 18 years old, is Charlton loanee Zach Mitchell (number 18).  He only joined the U’s recently, Mitchell’s debut was described by his manager as the best debut performance he had ever seen!

Colchester’s leading scorer is their 20 year-old striker, Joe Taylor, who is on loan from Luton for the season.  He has 5 goals so far.


Bradley Ihionvien - Forward - First Team Profiles - Colchester United

Bradley Ihionvien, the 19 year-old striker who has been at Colchester all of his career.

Owen Goodman is a Canadian professional football player who plays as a goalkeeper for the reserve team of Crystal Palace. (Credits: @CPFCAcademy Twitter)

Crystal Palace loanee keeper, Owen Goodman, is only 19.

Noah Chilvers (number 10) – a true Essex man!

Club vice-captain, Noah Chilvers, is Colchester through and through.  He comes from down the road at Chelmsford, Essex.  He joined the Colchester Academy in 2009 and became part of the 1st team squad in 2018.  After his breakthrough season in 2020/21 he won Colchester’s Player of the Season, Young Player of the Season, and Goal of the Season awards. Chilvers, an attacking midfielder, is still only 22, but it’s hard to imagine him anywhere but Colchester.

U's Grab Coveted Youngster - News - Colchester United

Centre back Charlton loanee, Zach Mitchell, has made a good early impression.

Adding a touch of glamour is midfielder, Cameron McGeehan (number 13).  At 28, McGeehan raises the average age of the team.  He left Barnsley to spend 3 seasons in Belgium’s 2nd division before arriving in Colchester on a free transfer recently.  McGeehan married ‘Made in Chelsea’ star Tiffany Watson in 2022.  The couple had a son earlier this year.

Cameron McGeehan and Tiffany Watson.

What are they thinking?

Check on what the Colchester fans are talking about on their forum Colchester fans forum

The Club

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.

The Town

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.