1997–98 Colchester United F.C. season

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Colchester United
1997–98 season
Chairman Gordon Parker[1]
Manager Steve Wignall
Division Three 4th (Promoted via Playoffs)
FA Cup 2nd Round
Coca-Cola Cup 1st Round
Auto Windscreens Shield 1st Round
Top goalscorer League:
Paul Abrahams
Neil Gregory
Mark Sale
Aaron Skelton (7)
All:
Mark Sale (8)
Highest home attendance 6,220 (Leyton Orient)
Lowest home attendance 1,867 (Chester City)
Average home league attendance 3,122

The 1997–98 season was Colchester United's sixth consecutive season in fourth tier of English football. The season ended in success with Colchester achieving promotion after beating Torquay United 1–0 at Wembley Stadium in the Playoff final.

Season Review[edit]

Colchester, once famed giantkillers, again lost to a non-League side when Hereford won a 1997/8 replay at Edgar Street on penalties. The FA Cup was truly Steve Wignall's Achilles Heel.

Meanwhile, the club was vindicated in the Courts when the George Burley case was settled at £300,000 and, with the lease on Layer Road due to expire in 2002, Kirklees McAlpine were commissioned as consultants for the new stadium.

Wignall broke the club's transfer record spending £50,000 on Neil Gregory. The dividend was paid when U's won 10 of their last 15 missing automatic promotion by one point, but more importantly qualifying for the play-offs. In the play-off semi-finals, Barnet held a 1-0 lead but in a powder-keg Layer Road atmosphere, a brace from David Gregory, the second in extra time, turned the tie in U's favour and earned a third trip to Wembley in six years.

Disappointingly moved to a Friday night to accommodate a meaningless England v Saudi Arabia friendly match, the Play-Off Final with Torquay attracted just 19,486 with live TV coverage another factor. David Gregory's 22nd minute penalty was enough to fire U's back to the third tier after 17 years away. Once again the streets of Colchester thronged to an open-top bus parade.[2]

Squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
–– United States GK Garrett Caldwell
–– England GK Carl Emberson
–– England GK Tamer Fernandes
–– England DF Simon Betts
–– England DF Peter Cawley
–– Republic of Ireland DF Joe Dunne
–– Republic of Ireland DF David Greene
–– England DF Scott Stamps
–– England MF Paul Buckle
–– England MF Karl Duguid
–– England MF Steve Forbes
–– England MF David Gregory
No. Position Player
–– England MF Ian Hathaway
–– England MF Nicky Haydon
–– England MF Dave Rainford
–– England MF Aaron Skelton
–– England MF Richard Wilkins
–– England FW Paul Abrahams
–– England FW Tony Adcock
–– England FW Neil Gregory
–– England FW Tony Lock
–– England FW Mark Sale
–– England FW Steve Whitton

Player Info[edit]

Pos. Name Place of Birth Date of Birth Previous Club Date Joined Fee
GK United States Garrett Caldwell United States Princeton 6 November 1973 United States Princeton University 24 September 1995 Free
GK England Carl Emberson England Epsom 13 July 1973 England Millwall 6 July 1994 £25,000
GK England Tamer Fernandes England Paddington 7 December 1974 England Brentford 29 January 1998 Undisclosed
DF England Simon Betts England Middlesbrough 3 March 1973 England Ipswich Town 11 December 1992 Free
DF England Peter Cawley England Walton-on-Thames 15 September 1965 England Barnet 9 October 1992 Free
DF Republic of Ireland Joe Dunne Republic of Ireland Dublin 25 May 1973 England Gillingham 27 March 1996 Free
DF Republic of Ireland David Greene England Luton 26 October 1973 England Luton Town 21 June 1996 £30,000
DF England Scott Stamps England Edgbaston 20 March 1975 England Torquay United 26 March 1997 £10,000
MF England Paul Buckle England Welwyn Garden City 16 December 1970 England Wycombe Wanderers 28 November 1996 Free
MF England Karl Duguid England Hitchin 21 March 1978 England Youth Team 16 July 1995 Free
MF England Steve Forbes England Stoke Newington 24 December 1975 England Millwall 14 March 1997 Undisclosed
MF England David Gregory England Polstead 23 January 1970 England Peterborough United 7 December 1995 Free
MF England Ian Hathaway England Wordsley 22 August 1968 England Torquay United 1 August 1997 Free
MF England Nicky Haydon England Barking 10 August 1978 England Youth Team 1 August 1995 Free
MF England Dave Rainford England Stepney 21 April 1979 England Youth Team 1 August 1996 Free
MF England Aaron Skelton England Welwyn Garden City 22 November 1974 England Luton Town 3 July 1997 Free
MF England Richard Wilkins England Lambeth 28 May 1965 England Hereford United 3 July 1996 £30,000
FW England Paul Abrahams England Colchester 31 October 1973 England Brentford 23 October 1996 £20,000
FW England Tony Adcock England Bethnal Green 27 February 1963 England Luton Town 3 August 1995 Free
FW England Neil Gregory Zambia Ndola 7 October 1972 England Ipswich Town 26 March 1998 £50,000
FW England Tony Lock England Harlow 3 September 1976 England Youth Team 1 August 1994 Free
FW England Mark Sale England Burton upon Trent 27 February 1972 England Mansfield Town 10 March 1997 £23,500
FW England Steve Whitton England London 4 December 1960 England Ipswich Town 24 March 1994 £10,000

Transfers[edit]

Transfers In[edit]

Date Pos. Player Name Previous Club League Transfer Fee Notes
3 July 1997 MF England Aaron Skelton England Luton Town Football League Division Two Free
1 August 1997 MF England Ian Hathaway England Torquay United Football League Division Three Free
29 January 1998 GK England Tamer Fernandes England Brentford Football League Division Two Undisclosed
26 March 1998 FW England Neil Gregory England Ipswich Town Football League Division One £50,000

Transfers Out[edit]

Date Pos. Player Name New Club League Transfer Fee Notes
31 May 1997 DF England Paul Gibbs England Torquay United Football League Division Three Free
31 May 1997 DF England Ben Lewis England Southend United Football League Division Two Free
31 May 1997 DF Republic of Ireland Tony McCarthy Republic of Ireland Shelbourne League of Ireland Free
31 May 1997 DF England Geoff Pitcher England Kingstonian Isthmian League Premier Division Free
1 August 1997 MF Wales Chris Fry England Exeter City Football League Division Three Free
1 August 1997 DF England Adam Locke England Bristol City Football League Division Two Free

Loans In[edit]

Date Pos. Player Name Parent Club League Date Returned Notes
26 September 1997 FW England Isaiah Rankin England Arsenal Premier League 26 December 1997
17 October 1997 DF England Wayne Brown England Ipswich Town Football League Division One 8 November 1997
1 January 1998 FW England Neil Gregory England Ipswich Town Football League Division One 2 March 1998
9 February 1998 DF England Guy Branston England Leicester City Premier League 31 May 1998

Results[edit]

Division Three Results Summary[edit]

Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
3 Lincoln City (P) 46 20 15 11 60 51 +9 75
4 Colchester United (PO) (P) 46 21 11 14 72 60 +12 74
5 Torquay United (PO) 46 21 11 14 68 59 +9 74

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points

Division Three Results[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
09/08/1997 Darlington H 2–1 2,958 Abrahams, Buckle (pen.)
16/08/1997 Hartlepool United A 2–3 2,174 Buckle (pen.), Abrahams
22/08/1997 Barnet H 1–1 3,286 Wilkins
30/08/1997 Torquay United A 1–1 2,081 Wilkins
02/09/1997 Cambridge United A 1–4 3,264 D.Gregory
08/09/1997 Brighton & Hove Albion H 3–1 3,081 Greene (2), Abrahams
12/09/1997 Scarborough H 1–0 2,756 Lock
20/09/1997 Swansea City A 1–0 3,414 Greene
27/09/1997 Exeter City H 1–2 3,175 Abrahams
04/10/1997 Mansfield Town A 1–1 2,341 Greene
11/10/1997 Peterborough United A 2–3 6,277 Rankin, Adcock
18/10/1997 Shrewsbury Town H 1–1 2,977 Skelton
21/10/1997 Doncaster Rovers H 2–1 2,588 Sale, Skelton
25/10/1997 Leyton Orient A 2–0 4,592 Adcock, Forbes
31/10/1997 Scunthorpe United H 3–3 3,134 Rankin, Buckle, Sale
04/11/1997 Macclesfield Town A 0–0 1,577
08/11/1997 Rochdale A 1–2 1,702 Duguid
18/11/1997 Notts County H 2–0 2,643 Sale, Rankin
22/11/1997 Lincoln City H 0–1 2,932
29/11/1997 Rotherham United A 2–3 3,259 Skelton, Sale
13/12/1997 Hull City A 1–3 3,896 Adcock
19/12/1997 Chester City H 2–0 1,867 Adcock, Duguid
26/12/1997 Brighton & Hove Albion A 4–4 2,647 Rankin (2), Adcock, Stamps
29/12/1997 Cambridge United H 3–2 4,518 Wilkins (2), Skelton
03/01/1998 Hartlepool United H 1–2 2,885 Buckle
10/01/1998 Darlington A 2–4 2,170 N.Gregory
16/01/1998 Torquay United H 1–0 2,776 Tony Lock
20/01/1998 Cardiff City H 2–1 1,929 N.Gregory, Buckle
24/01/1998 Barnet A 2–3 2,471 Skelton, Wilkins
31/01/1998 Scarborough A 1–1 2,219 Whitton
06/02/1998 Swansea City H 1–2 2,789 N.Gregory
13/02/1998 Mansfield Town H 2–0 2,320 Lock, D.Gregory
21/02/1998 Exeter City A 1–0 3,346 Lock
24/02/1998 Shrewsbury Town A 2–0 1,972 N.Gregory, D.Gregory
27/02/1998 Peterborough United H 1–0 4,117 Branston
03/03/1998 Rochdale H 0–0 2,112
07/03/1998 Scunthorpe United A 0–1 2,143
14/03/1998 Macclesfield Town H 5–1 2,760 Sale (2), Skelton, Abrahams, Lock
21/03/1998 Notts County A 0–0 6,284
28/03/1998 Lincoln City A 1–0 4,040 Dunne
03/04/1998 Rotherham United H 2–1 3,824 Skelton, Sale
11/04/1998 Cardiff City A 2–0 2,809 Abrahams, D.Gregory
13/04/1998 Hull City H 4–3 4,168 D.Gregory, Lock, Dunne, Duguid
18/04/1998 Chester City A 1–3 1,780 Abrahams
25/04/1998 Leyton Orient H 1–1 6,220 N.Gregory
02/05/1998 Doncaster Rovers A 1–0 3,572 N.Gregory

Source: 1997–98 Season Colchester United Results – coludata.co.uk

Play-Offs[edit]

Date Round Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
10/05/1998 SF (L1) Barnet A 0–1 3,858
13/05/1998 SF (L2) Barnet H 3–1 5,863 D.Gregory (pen.) (2), Greene
22/05/1998 Final Torquay United N 1–0 19,486 D.Gregory (pen.)

Source: 1997–98 Season Colchester United Results – coludata.co.uk

League Cup[edit]

Date Round Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
12/08/1997 R1 (L1) Luton Town H 0–1 2,840
26/08/1997 R1 (L2) Luton Town A 1–1 2,816 Hathaway

Source: 1997–98 Season Colchester United Results – coludata.co.uk

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1997–98 FA Cup
Date Round Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
15/11/1997 R1 Brentford A 2–2 2,899 Sale, D.Gregory
25/11/1997 R1 (R) Brentford H 0–0
4–2 on Pens
3,613
06/12/1997 R2 Hereford United H 1–1 3,558 D.Gregory
16/12/1997 R2 (R) Hereford United A 1- 1
4–5 on Pens
3,725 Forbes

Source: 1997–98 Season Colchester United Results – coludata.co.uk

League Trophy[edit]

Southern Section

Date Round Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
09/12/1997 R1 (S) Leyton Orient A 0–1 933

Source: 1997–98 Season Colchester United Results – coludata.co.uk

Squad statistics[edit]

[3]

No. Nat. Pos. Name Total Division Three FA Cup League Cup League Trophy
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
–– GK United States Garrett Caldwell 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
–– GK England Carl Emberson 53 0 46 0 4 0 2 0 1 0
–– GK England Tamer Fernandes 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
–– DF England Simon Betts 20 0 17 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
–– DF England Guy Branston 12 1 12 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
–– DF England Wayne Brown 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
–– DF England Peter Cawley 33 0 27 0 3 0 2 0 1 0
–– DF Republic of Ireland Joe Dunne 30 2 25 2 4 0 0 0 1 0
–– DF Republic of Ireland David Greene 44 4 38 4 4 0 2 0 0 0
–– DF England Scott Stamps 32 1 26 1 3 0 2 0 1 0
–– MF England Paul Buckle 42 5 38 5 1 0 2 0 1 0
–– MF England Karl Duguid 26 3 21 3 4 0 0 0 1 0
–– MF England Steve Forbes 40 2 35 1 2 1 2 0 1 0
–– MF England David Gregory 51 7 44 5 4 2 2 0 1 0
–– MF England Ian Hathaway 16 1 12 0 2 0 2 1 0 0
–– MF England Nicky Haydon 20 0 17 0 2 0 0 0 1 0
–– MF England Dave Rainford 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
–– MF England Aaron Skelton 45 7 39 7 4 0 1 0 1 0
–– MF England Richard Wilkins 41 5 37 5 2 0 2 0 0 0
–– FW England Paul Abrahams 29 7 25 7 2 0 2 0 0 0
–– FW England Tony Adcock 32 5 25 5 4 0 2 0 1 0
–– FW England Neil Gregory 15 7 15 7 0 0 0 0 0 0
–– FW England Tony Lock 38 6 32 6 3 0 2 0 1 0
–– FW England Isaiah Rankin 12 5 11 5 0 0 0 0 1 0
–– FW England Mark Sale 45 8 39 7 3 1 2 0 1 0
–– FW England Steve Whitton 23 1 21 1 2 0 0 0 0 0

Scorers[edit]

[4]

Most Frequent Starting XI[edit]

This section shows players in a 4–4–2 formation with the most league starts during the season.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitehead, Jeff; Drury, Kevin (2008). The Who's Who of Colchester United: The Layer Road Years. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 279. ISBN 978-1-85983-629-3. 
  2. ^ "The U's History: The 90s". Colchester United F.C. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "1997–98 Season Appearance Data". coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "1997–98 Season Goalscorers Data". coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 31 March 2011.