THE transformation in Colchester United’s away form has been nothing short of remarkable.

The U’s lost all of their opening four games on the road, conceding ten goals in that time and scoring twice in that time.

But since then, they have claimed 11 points from a possible 15 on their travels, conceding three times and keeping three clean sheets in that time.

The latest came at Barnet yesterday, where Sammie Szmodics’ strike complemented a strong performance at the back.

Such a strong defensive contribution has provided the foundation for Colchester’s rapid improvement, away from home.


SAMMIE Szmodics’ superb winner at Barnet yesterday served as a reminder of his worth to Colchester United’s squad – and how his goals can prove vital for them this season.

Despite missing six weeks of the campaign, the U’s academy product is still the club’s joint leading scorer with six goals.

With Colchester’s game at Barnet delicately poised at 0-0, Szmodics was in many ways the perfect player to come off the bench for them.

But it is likely that when he is fully fit, the skilful attacker will be one of the first names on John McGreal’s teamsheet.


JOHN McGreal was quick to acknowledge the fantastic support of Colchester United’s travelling fans, in the aftermath of his side’s 1-0 win at Barnet.

“It was as though they were trying to pull the ball into the net,” said McGreal, after seeing his side grab a late winner to see off the Bees.

More than 600 U’s supporters made the trip to north London and their vociferous backing was rewarded when Sammie Szmodics curled home a magnificent late winner, to send them back to Essex in high spirits.

What a difference a week makes; seven days earlier, jeers had greeted the U’s performance against Oxford City but on this occasion, there were no boos to be heard - at least from the away end, that is.

In fact, not even the loud music that blasted out at the Hive on the final whistle could drown out the cheers of Colchester’s happy fans.


COLCHESTER United’s win at Barnet has left them two points adrift of the play-off places.

They have 25 points after 17 games in League Two so far, this season.

After the equivalent amount of matches this time last season, John McGreal’s side had accumulated eight fewer points.

Indeed, it was around this time last year that Colchester transformed their season after a ten-game winless league run.

A 3-0 win at Cheltenham Town saw them embark on a charge up the table which ultimately saw them just miss out on a play-off place.

With key players like Kurtis Guthrie and Brennan Dickenson waiting in the wings to return the U’s are arguably even better placed for a similar assault this season, especially with the backing of some shrewd January transfer business.


SAMMIE Szmodics grabbed the headlines for Colchester United yesterday following his fabulous winning goal.

But it was the performance of one of his U’s team-mates at the other end of the pitch that played a big part in helping them register a 1-0 win at Barnet.

Collectively, Colchester defended very well but centre-back Ryan Inniss in particular was simply magnificent.

The Crystal Palace loanee was dominant in the air, made some crucial blocks and was also unlucky not to score when his goalbound header appeared to be blocked on the line by Barnet’s Jack Taylor.

Inniss will be at Colchester until the end of the season but if there is any way in which they can secure his services for longer, they should do all they can to pursue it.