2014–15 Colchester United F.C. season

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Colchester United
2014–15 season
Chairman Robbie Cowling
Manager Joe Dunne
(until 1 September)
Tony Humes
(from 1 September)
League One 19th
FA Cup 3rd round
(eliminated by Cardiff City)
League Cup 1st round
(eliminated by Charlton Athletic)
Football League Trophy 2nd round
(eliminated by Gillingham)
Top goalscorer League:
Freddie Sears (10)
All:
Freddie Sears (14)
Highest home attendance 8,413
v Preston North End, 3 May 2015
Lowest home attendance 1,401
v Gillingham, 8 October 2014
Average home league attendance 3,782
Home colours
Away colours

The 2014–15 season is Colchester United's seventh consecutive season in the third tier of English football. The season saw Joe Dunne leave his managerial role by mutual consent in September, and his replacement Tony Humes guided the U's to League One safety on the final day of the campaign by beating promotion hopefuls Preston North End 1–0.

Season overview[edit]

Pre-season[edit]

Just days after the final game of the 2013–14 season saw Joe Dunne's squad immediately begin to change shape. Following club stalwart Karl Duguid's retirement[1] and Clinton Morrison's exit announcement prior to the final game of the season,[2] the next player to leave the Community Stadium was recently appointed club captain Brian Wilson. With Colchester United in the midst of financial cutbacks, the U's were unable to offer Wilson competitive terms, as the defender decided to leave and search for a new club.[3] Following Wilson out the exit door were Academy products Jordan Sanderson and Shaun Phillips, while Ryan Dickson was offered a new deal after his one-year contract expired.[4]

Former Gillingham and Southend United player Sean Clohessy signed for the U's on 1 July.[5]

Colchester's first signing of the campaign was young striker Dominic Smith on a one-year contract on 14 May. Smith had been on trial with the U's and had featured during the tail-end of the 2013–14 season for the development squad. He joined following his release from Crewe Alexandra.[6] On 22 May, Dominic Vose signed a contract extension that would tie him to the club until 2016,[7] while Ryan Dickson decided against signing a fresh deal with Colchester in early June, instead opting to join League One rivals Crawley Town on a two-year contract.[8] Academy goalkeeper Mark Cousins decided to end his ten-year association with the club to sign for Dagenham & Redbridge on a free transfer on 23 June.[9] The U's brought in a trio of players on 1 July to the positions left void by the departing Brian Wilson, Ryan Dickson and Mark Cousins. First, it was announced former Southend United and Gillingham right-back Sean Clohessy had joined the club on a two-year deal.[5] It was then confirmed that left-back Ben Gordon had joined on a free transfer from Ross County.[10] Finally, ex-Dagenham goalkeeper Chris Lewington signed a two-year contract with Colchester to challenge Sam Walker for the number one position, having made almost 150 league and cup appearances for the Daggers.[11] Josh Thompson did enough to prove to manager Dunne that he deserved a new contract, signing a one-year deal alongside David Wright on 3 July.[12] On 8 July, Colchester signed former Braintree Town striker Dan Holman on a two-year deal to bolster their attacking options.[13]

Colchester's first friendly for pre-season was an away trip to Brantham Athletic on 12 July. The U's won 4–1, with goals provided by Dominic Vose, Jabo Ibehre and Freddie Sears, with Dan Holman also registering his first goal for Colchester in his first appearance for the club.[14] Their next friendly followed on 15 July, with a game against Heybridge Swifts. Swifts' goalkeeper Danny Sambridge arrived late for the game, which meant Chris Lewington unusually started in goal for Heybridge until Sambridge arrived. Colchester opened the scoring on 16 minutes through Freddie Sears, before triallist loanee George Moncur doubled the lead two minutes later. David Wright then headed home a Dan Holman cross to make it 3–0, until Sears scored from a free kick for a 4–0 half-time lead. As with the Brantham tie, Dunne fielded an entirely different team for the second half, as Gavin Massey scored, shortly followed by Dominic Vose with a solo effort to bring his tally to two goals in two games. Two goals from Jabo Ibehre sealed an emphatic 8–0 victory for Colchester.[15] The U's pre-season tally totalled 16 goals in three games across the space of six days as they defeated A.F.C. Sudbury 4–1 on 17 July at King's Marsh. Goals came from a Freddie Sears penalty, Drey Wright, Sammie Szmodics and Dan Holman.[16] Sears added a further four goals to his pre-season total on 19 July in Colchester's 8–1 win at Leiston. Dan Holman opened the scoring on five minutes with a header, but it wasn't until the 42nd minute that the U's doubled their advantage through Gavin Massey. Sammie Szmodics then made it 3–0 on the stroke of half-time. Leiston pulled a goal back through Gareth Heath on 52 minutes, but substitute Sears scored the first of his four goals two minutes later. He netted his second two minutes after, and his hat-trick came following Drey Wright's goal on 64 minutes, rounding Leiston goalkeeper Danny Gay and producing a sublime finish. The U's completed the scoring in the 87th minute when Alex Gilbey was fouled in the penalty area, and Sears stepped up to covert the spot kick.[17]

Former Ipswich Town midfielder Darren Ambrose featured for Colchester in a friendly against his former club on 23 July.[18]

Colchester faced Southend United in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Roots Hall on 22 July. A youthful U's lost 2–1 to a strong Shrimpers side, who went two goals ahead through Lee Barnard and Will Atkinson. Frankie Kent pulled a goal back for Colchester, who made eleven substitutions after 70 minutes.[19] The following day, the club hosted its first home game of the pre-season workout, hosting neighbours and rivals Ipswich Town. The Colchester starting eleven featured all four players who had signed over the summer, and also included former Ipswich player Darren Ambrose on loan. Despite having the better chances in the first half, the U's went in at half time 0–0 against their Championship opponents. Less than ten minutes after the interval, Town opened the scoring through Frank Nouble, who doubled their lead just two minutes later. Jack Marriott completed the scoring in a result that ended in identical fashion in 2013–14 pre-season.[18] Colchester were held to a 2–2 draw at Dover Athletic on 25 July. They had fallen behind in the fourth minute when Craig Stone scored from a rebounded shot. The U's went in at half-time 2–1 up, with Sammie Szmodics getting on the end of a Gavin Massey cross after 30 minutes, and a header from Josh Thompson put gave United the lead five minutes before the break. Colchester were denied victory when Nathan Elder equalised in the 78th minute.[20]

The U's featured in a seven-goal thriller at Victoria Road as they came from 3–1 down to win 4–3 on 26 July. Colchester's goalkeeper Lewington faced a trip to his former club, as Colchester also came up against a number of former players, including goalkeeper Mark Cousins, who had made a switch to the Daggers earlier in the summer, and triallist George Porter, who starred for the club on loan in 2013. Macauley Bonne opened the scoring after six minutes, tucking home a rebound from a cross that Dagenham had failed to deal with. However, they equalised on 15 minutes, as Abu Ogogo netted with a header from a corner. Triallist Ashley Hemmings put the Daggers in front just before half-time, and Ashley Chambers scored their third on the hour mark, blasting a 25-yard shot past Lewington. Five minutes later, Colchester began their fightback when Dominic Vose scored from a long range free kick. Vose then scored the U's equaliser on 76 minutes, with a 35-yard shot flying into the net. Jabo Ibehre scored the winner for United just two minutes later.[21] Colchester's next outing was at Luton Town on 29 July, where they battled to a 2–2 draw against their League Two opposition. The Hatters' opened the scoring on 26 minutes after the U's defence failed to clear a parried save from Sam Walker, as Mark Cullen buried the ball from inside the box. Just two minutes later, Colchester drew level after Ibehre's scuffed shot deflected into the net via Luton defender Paul Connolly. Ibehre scored a goal for himself six minutes after the break, slotting past Elliot Justham. However, Luton levelled on 67 minutes through former-Colchester player Luke Guttridge.[22] The clubs final arranged pre-season game followed the Luton match on 30 July, as a young U's squad travelled to Conference South side Bishop's Stortford. After a goalless first half, the Blues opened the scoring within a minute of the restart through Sheldon Sellears. They quickly doubled their lead, with goalscorer Sellears setting up teammate Anthony Church to inflict a 2–0 defeat on the U's.[23]

Following his pre-season training with the club, George Moncur signed on loan until 11 January 2015 on 7 August ahead of the opening fixture against Oldham Athletic the following weekend.[24] On the same day, it was announced that Magnus Okuonghae would be Colchester United's new club captain, with new-boy Sean Clohessy named as vice-captain.[25]

League One[edit]

August[edit]

West Ham United loanee George Moncur scored on his U's debut against Oldham Athletic on 9 August.[26]

Colchester kicked off their League One campaign at home to Oldham Athletic on 9 August. The Latics' team featured two former Colchester United players, with Brian Wilson featuring having moved north from the U's earlier in the summer, and George Elokobi, who had featured for the club during its stint in the Championship. The U's opened the scoring after seven minutes, with Magnus Okuonghae placing a shot past Oldham goalkeeper Paul Rachubka. However, Oldham equalised through Jonathan Forte on 18 minutes, who then doubled their lead in the 40th minute. Having replaced the injured Craig Eastmond in the first half, George Moncur made his debut for the club a memorable one as he fired a shot into the top corner of the net after 58 minutes to level the scores at 2–2. The scores would remain the same, while new signing Dan Holman received his first taste of League football when he came on as a late substitute for Gavin Massey.[26] On 16 August, the U's travelled to Ashton Gate to take on league favourites Bristol City. Without captain Okuonghae through suspension, and Josh Thompson once again ruled out through injury, a senior starting debut was handed to Frankie Kent. Colchester took the lead in the ninth minute, with George Moncur tapping home his second goal in as many league games. They held on to their slim advantage until half time, but conceded immediately after the interval as Aaron Wilbraham converted a Greg Cunningham cross. He scored his second goal in the 68th minute to hand the Robins a 2–1 lead, heading Wade Elliott's delivery into the back of the net. City held on for their win to leave Colchester 17th in the League One table.[27] Despite dominating their match with nine-man Notts County at Meadow Lane on 19 August, Colchester found themselves on the end of a 2–1 defeat.[28] The U's had been looking to break a winless run of five games against the Magpies, and they had not won at Meadow Lane in their last five visits.[29] They got off to a bad start, conceding after six minutes when Ronan Murray slotted a shot home in the bottom left corner of the goal. County held onto their slender lead until half-time, but with Colchester dominating possession and registering more shots on target than their counterparts, the pressure eventually paid off on 69 minutes when Freddie Sears helped himself to his first goal of the season. However, the celebrations were short-lived as County immediately hit back with a goal from Liam Noble whose shot from outside of the box flew in to the top right corner of the net. The Magpies were able to hold onto their lead, but had both Cieron Keane and Nicky Wroe sent off for second bookable offences.[28] A 1–0 home defeat to Doncaster Rovers on 23 August left the U's still looking for their first win of the season. The result saw them lie third-bottom in the League One table after Kyle Bennett's strike midway through the first half sealed victory for Doncaster.[30] Colchester esnured they ended August with only one point from five league games when Peterborough United visited the Community Stadium on 30 August when they suffered a 3–1 defeat. Goals from Conor Washington and Kgosi Ntlhe in four first-half minutes put the Posh in a commanding position going into the half-time break. Freddie Sears scored his second of the campaign to reduce the deficit to one goal on 64 minutes, but Jermaine Anderson tied up the win for Peterborough 13 minutes from time. Goalscorer Ntlhe saw the red card for a second bookable offence shortly after Peterborough's third goal, but they held on to ensure that Colchester remained without a win in all competitions for the month of August.[31]

September[edit]

Rhys Healey scored on his debut for Colchester on 27 September against Crewe Alexandra.[32]

Following the clubs poor run of form, manager Joe Dunne left the club by mutual consent on 1 September.[33][34][35] Chairman Robbie Cowling acted quickly to replace Dunne by promoting Tony Humes to the position of first-team manager having previously overseen youth development at the club and having guided the under-18 side to a league and cup double during in the 2013–14 season.[36] On 2 September, Humes brought in youngster Byron Lawrence from Ipswich Town on a one-year deal, with Lawrence becoming the first signing under his stewardship. Lawrence had featured on trial for Colchester in the development squad during August.[37] In Humes' first match in charge on 6 September, he took his Colchester side to face fellow strugglers Walsall. He handed Dominic Smith his professional debut when he was sent on as a second-half substitute for Gavin Massey. With limited chances for both sides, the game ended 0–0, as the U's picked up their first clean sheet of the season and only their second point in six matches.[38] Colchester picked up their first win of the season when visiting Leyton Orient on 13 September. Up until the half-time break, the score had remained at 0–0, however, U's captain Magnus Okuonghae received his second red card of the season when he was dismissed for serious foul play two minutes before the interval. Despite the disadvantage, Colchester took the lead on 62 minutes with Sanchez Watt netting his first goal of the season when he received a Freddie Sears pass in the centre of the box on a fast break. Eleven minutes later, Sears then doubled the lead to hand Tony Humes his first win as manager.[39] The U's hosted Sheffield United at the Community Stadium for a Tuesday night fixture on 16 September. George Moncur scored his third goal of the season just after the half-hour mark with a header, and Freddie Sears continued his good scoring form when he stabbed the ball home after goalkeeper Mark Howard spilled the ball with 13 minutes on the clock. However, the Blades' sparked a comeback when midfielder Ben Davies struck on 83 minutes, and the scores were levelled just two minutes later through Ryan Flynn. With two minutes remaining until the full-time whistle, Sheffield completed a remarkable six-minute salvo when Alex Gilbey fouled Stefan Scougall in the penalty area and Davies stepped up to convert the kick with his second goal of the game. The result left Colchester in the relegation zone and gave Tony Humes his first taste of defeat as first-team manager.[40]

The U's made a number of loan market moves on 19 September. First, Dan Holman joined Conference National club Wrexham on a one-month loan deal in a bid to regain match fitness.[41] Holman's move paved the way for young Cardiff City forward Rhys Healey to sign a loan contract that would run until 20 December.[42] In addition to these moves, development squad striker Nnamdi Nwachuku made an initial one-month loan switch to Isthmian League Premier Division side Leiston.[43] On 20 September, Colchester held Phil Parkinson's Bradford City to a 0–0 draw at the Community Stadium. Despite dominating the match, Colchester could not find the target with a result that left the club 23rd in the League One table.[44]

The club strengthened the development squad on 23 September by offering former Tottenham Hotspur full-back Kane Vincent-Young on a one-year deal after he impressed on trial with the under-21s.[45] The fixtures for September were brought to a close on 27 September as the U's faced the league's bottom club Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road. After a nervy and goalless first half, Colchester began goalscoring proceedings through top-scorer Freddie Sears with a six-yard shot on 57 minutes, his fifth of the season. New loan recruit Rhys Healey was brought on to replace Craig Eastmond for his club debut, and duly scored with a low drive past Ben Garratt in the Crewe goal. Sanchez Watt killed the game off following a deflection from a Sears cross after 67 minutes to secure a 3–0 result and move Colchester out of the relegation zone.[32]

October[edit]

Having last played for the U's in the 2009–10 season, David Fox re-signed for the club in October on a short-term contract.[46]

Colchester started the month with a trip to Deepdale to face Preston North End on 3 October. The match started brightly for the U's, taking the lead through Rhys Healey, scoring his second goal in his first start for the club after 16 minutes. However, Preston first equalised five minutes later with a goal from Scott Wiseman, before taking the lead four minutes after that through Alan Browne. Alex Gilbey scored his first goal of the season with a 25-yard strike to level the scores once again on 37 minutes. Paul Gallagher regained the lead for the Lilywhites shortly after half-time with a long range shot, before Gallagher provided the assist for Chris Humphrey to round off the 4–2 win for Preston in the 57th minute.[47] On the back of the defeat, Colchester once again dipped into the loan market on 6 October to sign Ipswich Town right-back Elliott Hewitt for one-month,[48] alongside securing the services of former player David Fox on a short-term three-month contract after spending time training with the U's.[46] Having not featured under Tony Humes, Jabo Ibehre was sent out on a 93-day emergency loan to Oldham Athletic on 9 October.[49] Following this news, it was announced that youth team product Sammie Szmodics had signed a three-and-a-half year contract extension with the club.[50] Szmodics then featured in the U's first home win of the season the following day as a substitute, as Colchester came from behind to beat Fleetwood Town 2–1 and move out of the relegation zone courtesy of a brace from Gavin Massey. Fleetwood took the lead in the 18th minute against the run of play through Liam McAlinden as his side took the initiative. Colchester hit back with a neat cross from top-scorer Freddie Sears, setting up Massey to hit home first-time with a volley five minutes before the break. Putting in a man of the match display, Massey wrapped up the victory with a curling effort from the edge of the box on 76 minutes.[51] Massey, alongside defenders Tom Eastman and Frankie Kent, then all signed contract extensions with the club on 16 October. Eastman agreed to an extension set to expire in 2016, Massey in 2017 and Kent 2018.[52]

After falling behind to Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park to a Rory Fallon header, Colchester struck back with Freddie Sears' sixth league goal of the campaign when he fired in from the edge of the box. The encounter on 18 October saw the sides draw 1–1 with the U's remaining one point above the relegation positions.[53] They then hosted Chesterfield on 21 October and got off to the worst possible start when Frankie Kent was struck in the face by a powerful strike that left him floored. Meanwhile, referee Darren Sheldrake allowed play to continue and the Spireites scored through Sam Clucas with less than a minute on the clock. Magnus Okuonghae replaced the teenager Kent after four minutes of treatment. The U's went into the half-time break still one goal down, as Humes took action, replacing George Moncur with Rhys Healey. Within five minutes of coming on, Healey found the back of the net following a swift break and a pass from Sanchez Watt. Four minutes from time, Freddie Sears once again notched an important goal, securing all three points for Colchester.[54]

Dan Holman was again loaned out on 24 October, on this occasion to Aldershot Town for one month. Also going out on loan was Josh Thompson, yet to appear in the 2014–15 season for Colchester, who joined the Football League's basement club Tranmere Rovers on loan until January in a bid to gain match fitness.[55] The U's away match at Swindon Town the following day saw the club go in to the half-time interval 1–0 down to their opponents on 25 October courtesy of a 10-yard shot from former United loanee Michael Smith. Rhys Healey levelled for his side after the break, but Colchester were immediately pegged back by Smith's second of the match. Gavin Massey struck home only four minutes later to earn the U's a share of the points.[56]

November[edit]

Birmingham City loanee Will Packwood was sent off on his debut on 29 November in Colchester's 6–0 thrashing by Milton Keynes Dons.[57]

The U's hosted Port Vale on 1 November. After a goalless first half, Vale struck twice within four minutes to put them in a commanding position. Freddie Sears earned a consolation goal with a tap-in from two yards eleven minutes from time but Port Vale held on to secure a 2–1 victory.[58] Prior to the U's FA Cup first round tie on 9 November, Humes bolstered his forward line with the month-long loan acquisition of Kemar Roofe from West Bromwich Albion on 4 November.[59] Tony Humes made further reinforcements following their FA Cup first round game, bringing in defender Jamie Harney on loan from West Ham for two months on 12 November,[60] while Ipswich Town defender Elliott Hewitt once again returned to the Community Stadium on 13 November for a further month-long loan spell.[61]

With injuries keeping both Magnus Okuonghae and Frankie Kent out of action, a very unfamiliar defence started against Barnsley in their Friday night fixture on 14 November. Hewitt made his second debut for the club, alongside regulars Sean Clohessy and Tom Eastman, with academy product Michael O'Donoghue also handed his professional debut. Sam Winnall opened the scoring for the home side after just four minutes, but Sanchez Watt hit back with a scrambled effort on 15 minutes. The first half ended 1–1, but on 55 minutes, Clohessy fouled Devante Cole in the box, and Conor Hourihane duly stepped up to convert the penalty. Peter Ramage headed in a Hourihane cross on 70 minutes to all but seal the victory for Barnsley, however Freddie Sears netted his twelfth goal of the season to set up a tense finish as the match ended 3–2.[62] Macauley Bonne received his first international call-up and featured for Zimbabwe under-23s as they took on a full-strength Morocco side on 16 November. He opened the scoring after 18 minutes as the Young Warriors fell to a 2–1 defeat.[63] More good news followed with the announcement that George Moncur had signed a permanent contract with the U's on 18 November, tying him to the club until 2017.[64] Colchester's defence was also bolstered with the loan signing of Queens Park Rangers youngster Cole Kpekawa, a centre-back and left-back who joined the U's for an initial one-month spell.[65]

Marcus Bean, who had not featured under Tony Humes, was loaned out by the club to League Two side Portsmouth on 21 November until early January with a view to a permanent move.[66][67] The same day, development squad player Billy Roast joined Isthmian League Premier Division outfit A.F.C. Hornchurch on loan until 20 December.[68] The following day, Colchester hosted Coventry City in front of the biggest crowd of the season at the Community Stadium thus far, with 4,433 in attendance. Cole Kpekawa was handed his professional debut in defence as the U's held out for a clean sheet at half-time. However, Gary Madine bundled the ball into the net on 74 minutes to give Coventry a 1–0 win and consign Colchester to their third consecutive league defeat.[69] Captain Magnus Okuonghae was stretchered off with an achilles injury in the closing stages of the game,[70] and with news that he had ruptured his achilles tendon meaning that he would be out of action until the end of the season,[71] Tony Humes would once again dive into the loan market to sign American defender Will Packwood on from Birmingham City until 1 January 2015.[72] Experienced defender David Wright left the club by mutual consent on 26 November, having suffered a series of niggling injures and making only three substitute appearances in the 2014–15 season.[73]

Once again, a makeshift defence lined up for the U's in their away match at Milton Keynes Dons on 29 November. Loanees Elliott Hewitt and Cole Kpekawa lined up alongside debutant Will Packwood, with Tom Eastman the only Colchester contracted player in the back four. The match started poorly for the U's conceding after eleven minutes to a Dele Alli goal. They capitulated shortly before half time, with Arsenal loanee Benik Afobe netting a 25-yard strike in the 37th minute, and neatly chipping over Sam Walker on the stroke of half-time. Afobe completed his hat-trick on 58 minutes, before Will Packwood saw red when fouling the Arsenal man in the box on 66 minutes. Ben Reeves converted the penalty to make it 5–0, as Tony Humes brought on Jamie Harney for his professional debut. There was still time remaining for MK Dons to score one more, with Lee Hodson curling in an effort in added time to consign Colchester to a miserable 6–0 defeat.[57]

December[edit]

Latvian international defender Kaspars Gorkšs signed a short-term contract with the club in early December.[74]

Having failed to attract interest for a loan away from the club, Dominic Vose left Colchester United by mutual consent on 2 December. Also following him out the door was West Brom loanee Kemar Roofe, who during his one-month loan spell achieved just 35 minutes of playing time.[75] Prior to Colchester's FA Cup second round match against Peterborough United on 7 December, the club brought in experienced Latvia international defender Kaspars Gorkšs on a short-term contract. He was put straight into the first-team for the fixture after flying into the UK earlier the same week to sign.[74] After Birmingham loanee Will Packwood returned to St Andrew's with a groin injury on 11 December,[76] goalkeeper Sam Walker extended his contract with the club for a further year until the summer of 2016 on 12 December.[77] High-flying Rochdale visited the Community Stadium on 13 December, and put the U's to the sword with a 4–1 victory to hand Colchester their fifth consecutive League One defeat, five points from safety and 23rd in the table. After Matty Lund and Peter Vincenti had given Rochdale a comfortable 2–0 lead, former Colchester United forward Ian Henderson netted from the penalty spot to pile on the misery shortly before half-time. Gavin Massey grabbed a goal back, but this proved only to be a consolation when Jack O'Connell headed home Rochdale's fourth in the 56th minute.[78] To further worsen the U's defensive injury woes, Michael O'Donoghue was ruled out of action for nine months during December after rupturing cruciate ligaments in training on 16 December.[79] Three loanees then extended their stay with the club, with Rhys Healey extending his loan from Cardiff until the end of the season, and Elliott Hewitt and Cole Kpekawa both signing on for a further month with the club.[80]

Colchester ended a run of five successive defeats on 20 December when they defeated Yeovil Town 1–0 at Huish Park, vitally moving the U's ahead of Yeovil in the League One table and two points from safety. Craig Eastmond scored his first goal of the season when he slotted home George Moncur's pass into the bottom corner of the net after 72 minutes.[81] Colchester then hosted Gillingham for the second time this season following their encounter in the League Trophy in October. The Boxing Day fixture drew the largest crowd of the season so far, with 4,544 fans in the stands, in contrast low of 1,401 in the previous game between the two sides at the Community Stadium. The U's were left second bottom and still two points from safety when they fell to a 2–1 defeat to the Gills. First half goals from Joe Martin and Bradley Dack gave them a 2–0 lead at the interval, while half-time substitute Sammie Szmodics reduced the deficit on 51 minutes with his first league goal.[82] A goalless away draw with Crawley Town on 28 December rounded off the year with Colchester still two points from safety in the drop zone. George Moncur hit the post and Freddie Sears hit both the bar and the post in the stalemate in which the U's dominated.[83]

January[edit]

Top-scorer Freddie Sears left the club to join Ipswich Town for an undisclosed fee on 16 January 2015.[84]

On 6 January, Josh Thompson extended his loan with Tranmere Rovers until 24 January,[85] with Dominic Smith joining Billy Roast at Hornchurch on loan for one month.[86] David Fox agreed an extension on his current short-term contract to see him remain with the club until the end of the 2014–15 season on 8 January,[87] while Marcus Bean returned from his Portsmouth loan, but cancelled his contract with the club by mutual consent the same day. Bean then rejected a permanent move to Pompey, instead signing for Wycombe Wanderers.[88] The U's were boosted by news that Kaspars Gorkšs had signed a short-term contract to remain with the club for the next few weeks, while giving the player the ability to move on should offers come in for him from a higher level.[89] Prior to Colchester's first league game of the year on 10 January, the club additionally signed former loanee defender Alex Wynter on an 18-month contract from Crystal Palace.[90]

January's league fixtures began with an away win against Peterborough United. After being on the back foot for much of the first half, Freddie Sears struck with a low shot on 54 minutes to bring his league goals tally to double figures. Elliott Hewitt scored his first professional goal 30 minutes later to round off the win for the U's and lift them closer to safety, with just one point separating them from Leyton Orient in 20th position.[91] Hewitt's performance in the match earned him a place in the Football League's League One 'Team of the Week'.[92]

With his contract set to expire in the summer of 2015, top-scorer Freddie Sears moved to Ipswich Town for an undisclosed fee on 16 January.[84] The U's began life without Sears with a fifth successive home defeat to Walsall on 17 January, losing 2–0 with goals from Anthony Forde and Michael Cain.[93]

On the back of Sears joining Suffolk neighbours Ipswich, the U's and Town confirmed the loan signing of Jack Marriott until the end of the season, as well as Elliott Hewitt extending his stay in Essex for a further month on 20 January.[94] Colchester confirmed the signings of two further players on 22 January, with the arrival of forward Chris Porter on an 18-month contract after his Sheffield United contract was cancelled by mutual consent,[95] and Millwall defender Matthew Briggs on loan until the end of the season.[96]

Two of the three new signings made their debut in Colchester's crunch relegation-battle with Leyton Orient on 24 January. Both Chris Porter and Matthew Briggs were handed a start against the O's, while Tom Lapslie was granted his first start and his home debut for the club. Gavin Massey opened the scoring for the U's, sweeping home from close range after 14 minutes. Kaspars Gorkšs netted his first goal for the club shortly after the interval, heading into the back of the net from a David Fox corner. Colchester held on to claim a much-needed home victory, only their third of the season, with Elliott Hewitt sent off for a professional foul on Romain Vincelot with six minutes of time remaining. The win moved the U's to 21st in the League One table, two points from safety.[97]

Youth team products Billy Roast and Nnamdi Nwachuku had their contracts cancelled by mutual consent on 26 January, allowing the youngsters a chance to achieve first-team football elsewhere.[98] Meanwhile, it was announced that Rhys Healey had been sidelined for six weeks following an emergency operation to remove his appendix.[99] After Josh Thompson's loan period at Tranmere had come to an end, his Colchester United contract was terminated by mutual consent, allowing him to join Tranmere on a permanent basis on 28 January.[100] Defender Jamie Harney signed from West Ham on a permanent basis the same day, signing a contract to remain with the club until the summer of 2016.[101] With Gorkšs short-term deal now expired, Greek Superleague side Ergotelis signed the player on an 18-month contract on 29 January.[102] The following day, the U's secured Tottenham Hotspur youth product Kenny McEvoy on loan for the remainder of the season, having already appeared for the Development Squad against Millwall where he scored both Colchester goals in a 2–2 draw.[103]

Colchester's final game in January saw them travel to Phil Parkinson's Bradford City, with two changes made from the win at Leyton Orient. With Kaspars Gorkšs exit, Alex Wynter stepped back into the side, while Elliott Hewitt's red card in the previous weekends game saw him replaced by Ben Gordon on the wing. The U's got off to a positive start, with Chris Porter bagging his first goal in only his second game for the club. After taking the lead, Colchester held off Bradford's challenge until the 77th minute when Filipe Morais hit a leveller for the home side. Jack Marriott was sent on for his debut for the club as a late substitute for Sammie Szmodics but the U's held on for a useful away point.[104]

February[edit]

Transfer deadline day on 2 February saw more exits from the club. Having fallen out of favour under Tony Humes and six months remaining on his contract, Craig Eastmond was released from the club by mutual consent,[105] while striker Dan Holman, who also found his chances under Humes limited, joined Dover Athletic on loan until the end of the season.[106] Colchester faced Crewe Alexandra in a relegation battle at the Community Stadium on 7 February, with the U's gaining the upper hand through Chris Porter second goal in three games in first-half stoppage time. James Jones equalised in the 68th minute from close range, and they took the lead five minutes later with Nicky Ajose, with Anthony Grant then handing Crewe a two-goal cushion in the 81st minute. Substitute Jack Marriott netted a consolation and his first goal for the club three minutes later but it wasn't to be enough as Colchester were consigned to a 3–2 defeat and three points from safety in the relegation zone.[107] Another defeat followed just three days later when the U's visited Brammall Lane to face Sheffield United. The game started poorly for Colchester, conceding a goal after eight minutes, with Jose Baxter netting from the centre of the box. The U's fell further behind to a Matt Done goal with 37 minutes played. The Blades continued their scoring after the break, with Jay McEveley scoring from outside the box on the hour mark, before Sammie Szmodics pulled a goal back for the visitors ten minutes later. A further ten minutes passed when Gavin Massey bundled over Paul Coutts in the penalty area, which Baxter converted for his second of the game, consigning Colchester to a heavy 4–1 loss.[108]

Szmodics scored for the second successive game after two minutes in the U's match against Oldham at Boundary Park on 14 February. Despite looking the better team in the first-half, Colchester came under intense pressure in the second-half, with Oldham putting the ball in the back of the net in stoppage time, only for it to be ruled offside. Colchester held on for the 1–0 victory, moving them to within one point of 20th place Coventry.[109] They then hosted MK Dons at home on 17 February with a hope of making amends for their 6–0 defeat at the Stadium mk in November. Despite a much improved performance, the U's fell to another defeat, with Dele Alli scoring the only goal of the game in the 44th minute for the Dons.[110] A change of formation saw Macauley Bonne drafted into the first team for his first start of the campaign for Colchester's game against League One leaders Bristol City on 21 February, partnering Chris Porter upfront, while Alex Gilbey also started after making his comeback from injury in the MK Dons match. Sammie Szmodics and David Fox were both rested for the encounter, and the changes looked to have paid off after just three minutes when Tom Lapslie headed in Elliott Hewitt's spilt cross to score his first senior goal for the club. Eleven minutes later, Macauley Bonne's selection paid dividends when he nodded home his first of the season from a Matthew Briggs cross from the left. Chris Porter's third goal for the club effectively settled the tie after just 26 minutes with a turn and shot inside the box. Five minutes after the restart, City came out much stronger, and James Tavernier brought the deficit down to two goals for his side with a cross-cum-shot that looped over the head of Sam Walker and into the back of the net. Aden Flint scored in the 61st minute to set up a nervy final 30 minutes for the U's, but they held on to record a vital win and move them out of the relegation zone for the first time since November.[111]

Following his first goal of the season, Macauley Bonne was handed a two-and-a-half year contract extension, with his previous deal due to have expired in the summer.[112] Further defensive reinforcements also arrived on 26 February, with Bristol City allowing Karleigh Osborne to join the U's on loan until the end of the campaign,[113] while Elliott Hewitt had already extended his loan with the club for a further month.[114]

Colchester failed once again to record back-to-back wins on the final day of February after defeat at Doncaster Rovers, a result which placed them back in the relegation zone, two points adrift from safety. The U's were left to rue a missed penalty from Chris Porter, whose shot was blasted high and wide of the goal after being fouled in the area by Reece Wabara. Rovers capitalised on this, and took the lead six minutes prior to the half-time whistle through Enda Stevens. Late in the second-half, Doncaster had a penalty of their own when Alex Wynter fouled Dean Furman in the box. Nathan Tyson stepped up to score from the spot to record a 2–0 victory for his side and pile more misery on Colchester.[115]

March[edit]

Former South Africa captain Bongani Khumalo signed on loan from Tottenham Hotspur in March until the end of the season.[116]

A home tie against Notts County began the March fixtures for Colchester, with the game played on 3 March billed as another six-pointer. Unfortunately for the U's, they were defeated 1–0, leaving them still inside the relegation zone. Macauley Bonne's late effort was cleared off the line by Blair Adams, as Paddy McCourt's 68th minute effort proved to be the difference between the two teams.[117] Still refusing to play under Humes, Jabo Ibehre was loaned out to League One rivals Barnsley on 6 March until the end of the season.[118] A further defeat followed on 7 March in the U's away trip to Rochdale. Rhys Bennett began proceedings after six minutes for Rochdale, and Colchester old boy Ian Henderson scored against the club for the second time this season ten minutes after the break. Chris Porter made amends for his penalty miss against Doncaster the previous weekend by converting from the spot after another former U's player Michael Rose brought down Gavin Massey in the box on 63 minutes. The game ended 2–1 to Rochdale, leaving Colchester in 22nd position, still two points from safety.[119]

The U's were leapfrogged by relegation rivals Crawley Town on 14 March after suffering another defeat at the Community Stadium. Their twelfth home loss of the campaign began brightly, with Sammie Szmodics with a half-volley after 11 minutes. Ex-Colchester player Ryan Dickson scored a 15th-minute equaliser, before Gavin Tomlin put the Red Devils ahead prior to half-time. U's captain David Fox scored his first goal of his second spell with a quality free-kick shortly after the restart, but the 3–2 defeat was sealed when former loanee Izale McLeod scored from the spot after he was brought down by Sam Walker.[120] The match featured newly signed Norwich City loanee Jacob Murphy,[121] while South Africa captain Bongani Khumalo signed on loan until the end of the season from Tottenham, but didn't receive international clearance in time to face Crawley.[116] Fellow Spurs player Kenneth McEvoy returned to White Hart Lane after making just one substitute appearance for the club.[122]

The next home game for the U's was on 17 March, hosting League One's bottom side Yeovil. Sam Walker made numerous important saves in the Colchester goal, which left the teams deadlocked at the half-time whistle. United were given a penalty nine minutes into the second half after Jacob Murphy was fouled by Nathan Smith. David Fox converted the penalty, making it two goals in two games for the captain. Just four minutes passed before Colchester doubled their lead, Murphy this time the scorer to seal an important win.[123]

After starting in the win over Yeovil, Rhys Healey was recalled by Cardiff City from his season-long loan deal on 19 March.[124] Meanwhile, young midfielder Conor Hubble was released by the club.[125]

The U's travelled to Gillingham on 21 March, looking to earn successive victories for the first time this season. After a goalless first half, George Moncur eventually broke the deadlock on 62 minutes. On 82 minutes, Max Ehmer headed Gillingham level, but Chris Porter struck back five minutes later with a close range header, which looked to have sealed an away win for Colchester. After four minutes of added time, Matthew Briggs was sent off for a second bookable offence, after which Gillingham scored an equaliser through Doug Loft's shot from outside the box. The result left the U's second bottom in the table.[126]

On 25 March, Ipswich Town recalled Elliott Hewitt from his second loan spell with the club.[127] To replace the departing Hewitt, Humes drafted in further defensive cover on 26 March with the signing of Rotherham United's right-back Richard Brindley on loan until the end of the season.[128]

April[edit]

On 2 April, Rhys Healey rejoined Colchester from Cardiff on loan until the end of the season.[129] Colchester then faced an away trip to Port Vale on 3 April, where the earned an important 2–1 win courtesy of goals from George Moncur and Jacob Murphy, before Vale scored a consolation with a volley from Louis Dodds. Despite the victory, the U's remained four points from safety with seven games remaining.[130] Karleigh Osborne, an unused substitute in the win, was then recalled by his parent club Bristol City after making four appearances until a hamstring injury ruled him out of action.[131] Colchester earned their first back-to-back victories of the season on 6 April when they beat play-off chasing Barnsley 3–1 at the community stadium. After a first-half of limited chances for both sides, Barnsley took the initiative through a scrappy George Waring goal in the 40th minute. After the break, the U's came out the better side, scoring three goals in 24 minutes to turn the tie around. Gavin Massey levelled the scores when he stabbed home Jacob Murphy's cross at the far post on 62 minutes, and then turned provider to Murphy who headed into the back of the net on 80 minutes. Six minutes later, Massey was again the assistant for George Moncur's third goal in as many games, sealing an important win and reducing the gap to safety to just two points.[132] Two successive defeats then dashed hopes of survival, with the U's losing 1–0 to Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena on 11 April through a Jim O'Brien goal.[133] Colchester then suffered a humiliating 6–0 defeat at Chesterfield, conceding three in each half to significantly impact their goal difference.[134]

Looking to bounce back from their midweek performance, Colchester hosted Scunthorpe at the Community Stadium on 18 April. In familiar circumstances, the U's fell behind after 30 minutes with a goal from Theo Robinson. Colchester left it late to hit back, with Tom Eastman scoring his first goal of the season in the 81st minute. The U's looked to have secured a vital three points and close the gap on the sides above them in the division, with Chris Porter making it 2–1 to the home side. However, after two minutes of injury time, Scunthorpe's Hakeeb Adelakun scored with a wicked deflection to cost Colchester the win, remaining four points from safety with a possible nine available.[135]

Despite the chances of survival looking slim, chairman Robbie Cowling publicly backed manager Tony Humes on 20 April, stating that whether the club survive in League One for another season or not, Humes would remain in his job for the following season.[136] After tying Tom Lapslie down to a three-year contract extension on 23 April,[137] Colchester made their final away trip of the season to Fleetwood Town on 25 April. The U's took the lead just after the break through George Moncur, but were pegged back by a Jamie Proctor goal on 65 minutes. Fleetwood then took the lead ten minutes later through David Ball, and with other results working against Colchester, this meant that as things stood, they would be relegated. The U's pressured Fleetwood for an equalising goal, and got their reward on 84 minutes when Gavin Massey scored from close range. Three minutes later, Dion Sembie-Ferris was fouled in the penalty area by Nathan Pond, and Chris Porter stepped up to convert the penalty and secure a crucial three points for his side, with the U's two points from safety but with a game in hand over their rivals.[138]

With an opportunity to lift themselves out of the relegation zone with a win at home to Swindon on 28 April, Colchester had the best possible start when Jacob Murphy tapped in Gavin Massey's cross after 37 seconds of their encounter. Colchester were made to pay for their missed chances in the first half when Swindon's Ben Gladwin headed an equaliser on 53 minutes. The U's pushed for a winner, but fell short, leaving them 22nd in League One, one point from safety and relying on a win against Preston other results to aid them to survive on the final day of the season.[139]

May[edit]

The final game of the season was to be played on 3 May at the Community Stadium against Preston North End, who were sitting second in League One and needing to match MK Dons result against Yeovil to gain promotion to the Championship. Anything but a win against Preston would spell relegation for Colchester, while they also needed to rely on other results working in their favour to survive. With so much riding on the game, the match was selected to be shown live on Sky Sports.[140] An end-to-end match, Colchester were put under immense pressure by Preston but defended resolutely to keep the scores at 0–0 until half-time. George Moncur was fouled in the penalty area by Preston goalkeeper Sam Johnstone ten minutes into the second half, and Chris Porter once again stepped up to take the kick. He blasted the ball over the bar, giving Preston further drive to score the goal they required to clinch promotion. However, shortly after Alex Gilbey was replaced by Sammie Szmodics and Jacob Murphy by Dion Sembie-Ferris in the 80th minute, the pair combined to win the U's a corner kick. One minute later, and Colchester had the ball in the back of the net, George Moncur the goalscorer after Chris Porter had held the ball up, placing his shot from the centre of the box past Johnstone. Colchester then held off a Preston onslaught for the remainder of normal time and the five minutes of added time. With relegation rivals Crawley, Crewe and Notts County all losing, and Leyton Orient only managing a draw, the U's stayed up by two points, finishing in 19th position and safety above Crewe who had an inferior goal difference to Colchester.[141]

Colchester's result against Preston earned the club the League Managers Association 'Performance of the Week' award, as voted by the panel consisting of LMA chairman Howard Wilkinson, Alex Ferguson, Joe Royle, Dave Bassett and Barry Fry.[142]

League Cup[edit]

The U's were drawn against Championship opposition in the first round of the League Cup in the shape of Charlton Athletic. The fixture was held on 12 August at The Valley.[143] Colchester went into the match missing five players, with long-term absentee Tosin Olufemi, David Wright and Sanchez Watt missing out, and Craig Eastmond and Drey Wright also not featuring after collecting knocks in the previous weekend's League One fixture against Oldham Athletic.[144] Joe Dunne's side once again crashed out of the competition at the first hurdle, falling to a heavy 4–0 defeat. The manager handed a debut to goalkeeper Chris Lewington for the fixture in which captain Magnus Okuonghae was sent off for a deliberate handball in the penalty area. Yoni Buyens duly converted from the spot with the sides going into the interval with the score 1–0 to the home side. After the break, former Colchester player Lawrie Wilson scored twice in five second-half minutes to give the Addicks an unassailable 3–0 lead, before Simon Church rounded off the scoring in the 89th minute.[145]

Football League Trophy[edit]

Colchester received a bye in the first round of the Football League Trophy[146] and were then drawn a home tie against League One rivals Gillingham.[147] The match was played on 8 October, as the U's took the initiative and opened the scoring through Drey Wright with his first goal of the season after 17 minutes. His strike from 25-yards flew into the top corner of the net, before the Gills equalised through Ben Dickenson. Sanchez Watt made it 2–1 from the penalty spot after Callum Davies had fouled Rhys Healey in the box on 38 minutes. After the interval, Gillingham drew level once again through Bradley Dack, and then took the lead with 16 minutes to go when Antonio German slotted the ball in. Substitute Freddie Sears left it late to grab an equaliser, netting debutant Elliott Hewitt's low cross. With the scores level at 3–3 after 90 minutes, the match went to a penalty shootout. Sears stepped up to take the first kick and duly scored. Dack levelled proceedings at 1–1 for the Gills, before George Moncur saw his penalty saved by Stuart Nelson. Matt Fish gave Gillingham the advantage, adding pressure to Tom Eastman for his kick. Nelson again saved, allowing Jake Hessenthaler to step up and score for a 3–1 lead to Gillingham. Sean Clohessy netted his penalty, but it was too late for Colchester as Nelson stepped up and slotted his kick past U's goalkeeper Sam Walker to hand Gillingham a 4–2 penalty shootout win.[148]

FA Cup[edit]

In the FA Cup, Colchester were drawn against Conference South outfit Gosport Borough in the draw staged on 27 October. Gosport would feature in the first round of the FA Cup for the first time in their 70-year history,[149] with the tie set to be played on 9 November at Gosport's Privett Park.[150] Gavin Massey opened the scoring from close range after 14 minutes, before Sanchez Watt doubled the lead seven minutes later with a volley from a Freddie Sears cross. Sears then effectively sealed victory, scoring the U's third of the match with a spot kick on 26 minutes. Justin Bennett pulled a goal back for Gosport on 39 minutes, but the U's struck back with Alex Gilbey's second goal of the season prior to half time, producing a deflected finish following a run from his own half. Gosport once again reduced the deficit to 4–2, with Bennett grabbing his second goal of the game. Freddie Sears also grabbed his second of the game when he tapped into an empty net on 78 minutes. The scoring wasn't complete until stoppage time when both teams scored. Sammie Szmodics scored his first professional goal with a fine chipped finish over the Gosport goalkeeper, before Lee Wort rounded the game off shortly after, hitting a goal on the rebound to finalise the 6–3 scoreline.[151]

After progressing in the FA Cup for the first time since 2011, Colchester were drawn at home against League One rivals Peterborough United in the second round, with the tie to be played on the weekend of 6/7 December.[152] The match date was set for 7 December at 16:30, with the game televised by BT Sport in the United Kingdom.[153] The match saw the debut of Kaspars Gorkšs who was put straight into the first team squad by Tony Humes during the U's injury crisis in defence. He made an important block to deny Aaron McLean, but there were few clear chances in the first-half. The second-half remained a stalemate until Sanchez Watt fouled Michael Bostwick in the penalty area. Sam Walker dived to his right to save McLean's penalty kick two minutes from time, and the U's were saved by the bar from the resulting corner kick. Buoyed by the activity in their own area, Colchester bounded forward, as Elliott Hewitt cut back to George Moncur who neatly tucked the ball away on the edge of the area in the first minute of stoppage time to seal the win for the U's and book themselves a place in the third round.[154]

The U's were drawn away against Championship opposition in the form of Cardiff City in the third round draw, with the match due to be played on Friday 2 January 2015 and broadcast live on BBC Two Wales.[155] The game took place in front of a sparse crowd of just 4,194 - the lowest ever attendance at the Cardiff City Stadium in protest of the club's ownership. Joe Ralls' 34th-minute strike deflected off Cole Kpekawa to hand Cardiff the lead. Kadeem Harris made it 2–0 with a hooked volley on 53 minutes, and Kenwyne Jones' header with his first touch effectively sealed the win for the Bluebirds. Freddie Sears managed to grab a consolation for Colchester after a neat passing move to bring his tally to 13 for the season, while both Tom Lapslie and Dion Sembie-Ferris came on to make their professional debuts.[156]

Players[edit]

First-team squad[edit]

As of 3 May 2015.[157][158]

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

No. Position Player
1 England GK Sam Walker
2 England DF Alex Wynter
3 England DF Ben Gordon
4 England DF Magnus Okuonghae (captain)
7 England FW Sanchez Watt
8 England MF Alex Gilbey
9 England FW Jabo Ibehre
10 England FW Dan Holman
12 England GK Chris Lewington
No. Position Player
14 England MF Tosin Olufemi
17 England MF Drey Wright
18 England DF Tom Eastman
20 England DF Sean Clohessy (vice-captain)
21 England FW Gavin Massey
24 England MF George Moncur
28 England MF Sammie Szmodics
38 England MF David Fox
42 England FW Chris Porter

Under-21s[edit]

[159][160] Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
16 England MF Byron Lawrence
22 England DF Kevin Lokko
23 England DF Kane Vincent-Young
26 England DF Frankie Kent
27 Zimbabwe FW Macauley Bonne
29 Scotland GK James Bransgrove
30 England MF Jack Curtis
32 England MF Tom Lapslie
No. Position Player
35 Republic of Ireland DF Michael O'Donoghue
36 England FW Dominic Smith
37 England MF Dion Sembie-Ferris
40 Northern Ireland DF Jamie Harney
England DF Marley Andrews
England MF Tyler Brampton
England MF Callum Harrison

Match details[edit]

Pre-season friendlies[edit]

League One[edit]

League One results round by round[edit]

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46
Ground H A A H H A A H H A A H A H A H A H A H A H A A H H A H A A H H A H A H H A A H A A H A H H
Result D L L L L D W L D W L W D W D L L L L L W L D W L W D L L W L W L L L L W D W W L L D W D W
Position 10 17 22 22 23 23 21 22 23 20 21 16 16 14 14 18 18 21 22 23 21 23 23 22 22 21 21 21 21 21 21 20 22 22 22 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 22 19

Last updated: 3 May 2015.
Source: [1]
Ground: A = Away; H = Home. Result: D = Draw; L = Loss; W = Win; P = Postponed.

      Win       Draw       Loss

League table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Promotion, qualification or relegation
17 Coventry City 46 13 16 17 49 60 −11 55
18 Port Vale 46 15 9 22 55 64 −9 54
19 Colchester United 46 14 10 22 58 77 −19 52
20 Crewe Alexandra 46 14 10 22 43 75 −32 52
21 Notts County (R) 46 12 14 20 45 62 −17 50 Relegation to Football League Two
Updated to match(es) played on 3 May 2015. Source: BBC Sport
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Number of goals scored
(R) Relegated.

Matches[edit]

The fixtures for the 2014–15 season were announced on 18 June 2014 at 9am.[161]

League Cup[edit]

The draw for the first round was made on 17 June 2014 at 10am. Colchester United were drawn away to Charlton Athletic.[143]

League Trophy[edit]

The draw for the first round was made on 16 August 2014, with Colchester United receiving a bye into the second round.[146] In the second round draw, the U's were handed a home tie against League One rivals Gillingham, with the match played on 8 October.[147]

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 2014–15 FA Cup

The draw for the first round was made on 27 October 2014, with Colchester drawn away to Conference South side Gosport Borough.[149] The match was to be played on 9 November.[150] The U's were drawn at home against League One rivals Peterborough United for the second round, with the draw taking place on 10 November following their 6–3 victory over Gosport.[152] The game was set to be played on 7 December at 16:30 and televised live on BT Sport in the United Kingdom.[153] After their victory over Peterborough, Colchester were drawn against Championship side Cardiff City in the third round draw, with the match set to be televised on BBC Two Wales at 19:45 on 2 January 2015.[155]

Squad statistics[edit]

Appearances and goals[edit]

As of 3 May 2015[163]
No. Pos Nat Player Total League One FA Cup League Cup FL Trophy
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1 GK England Sam Walker 49 0 45 0 3 0 0 0 1 0
2 DF England Alex Wynter 18 0 16+2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 DF England Ben Gordon 20 0 16+2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0
4 DF England Magnus Okuonghae 11 1 8+1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0
7 FW England Sanchez Watt 25 5 17+4 3 2+1 1 0 0 1 1
8 MF England Alex Gilbey 36 2 32+2 1 1 1 1 0 0 0
9 FW England Jabo Ibehre 6 0 5 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
10 FW England Dan Holman 5 0 0+4 0 0 0 0+1 0 0 0
12 GK England Chris Lewington 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
16 MF England Byron Lawrence 1 0 0+1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
17 FW England Drey Wright 6 1 1+4 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
18 DF England Tom Eastman 51 1 46 1 3 0 1 0 1 0
20 DF England Sean Clohessy 37 0 31+1 0 2+1 0 1 0 1 0
21 FW England Gavin Massey 51 8 39+7 7 3 1 1 0 1 0
24 MF England George Moncur 46 9 34+7 8 3 1 1 0 1 0
26 DF England Frankie Kent 11 0 9+1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
27 FW Zimbabwe Macauley Bonne 10 1 3+7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
28 MF England Sammie Szmodics 35 5 17+14 4 1+1 1 0+1 0 0+1 0
32 MF England Tom Lapslie 12 1 11 1 0+1 0 0 0 0 0
35 DF Republic of Ireland Michael O'Donoghue 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
36 FW England Dominic Smith 1 0 0+1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
37 MF England Dion Sembie-Ferris 11 0 2+8 0 0+1 0 0 0 0 0
38 MF England David Fox 33 2 29+1 2 3 0 0 0 0 0
40 DF Northern Ireland Jamie Harney 1 0 0+1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
42 FW England Chris Porter 21 7 20+1 7 0 0 0 0 0 0
Players who appeared for Colchester who left during the season
2 MF England David Wright 3 0 0+2 0 0 0 0 0 0+1 0
5 DF England Karleigh Osborne 4 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
6 MF England Craig Eastmond 13 1 6+4 1 1+1 0 0 0 1 0
6 DF South Africa Bongani Khumalo 10 0 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
11 FW England Jack Marriott 5 1 0+5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
11 FW England Freddie Sears 29 14 24 10 3 3 1 0 0+1 1
13 DF Latvia Kaspars Gorkšs 9 1 7 1 2 0 0 0 0 0
15 MF Jamaica Marcus Bean 4 0 3 0 0 0 0+1 0 0 0
15 DF Guyana Matthew Briggs 18 0 17+1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
19 FW England Rhys Healey 23 4 7+14 4 0+1 0 0 0 1 0
25 MF Republic of Ireland Kenny McEvoy 1 0 0+1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
25 FW England Jacob Murphy 11 4 11 4 0 0 0 0 0 0
25 MF England Dominic Vose 8 0 2+5 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
31 DF England Richard Brindley 8 0 7+1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
39 FW England Kemar Roofe 3 0 0+2 0 0+1 0 0 0 0 0
41 DF Wales Elliott Hewitt[a] 24 1 21 1 2 0 0 0 1 0
42 DF England Cole Kpekawa 6 0 3+1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
43 DF United States Will Packwood 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Goalscorers[edit]

Place Number Nation Position Name League One FA Cup League Cup FL Trophy Total
1 11 England FW Freddie Sears 10 3 0 1 14
2 24 England MF George Moncur 8 1 0 0 9
3 21 England FW Gavin Massey 7 1 0 0 8
4 42 England FW Chris Porter 7 0 0 0 7
5 28 England MF Sammie Szmodics 4 1 0 0 5
7 England FW Sanchez Watt 3 1 0 1 5
6 19 England FW Rhys Healey 4 0 0 0 4
25 England FW Jacob Murphy 4 0 0 0 4
7 38 England MF David Fox 2 0 0 0 2
8 England MF Alex Gilbey 1 1 0 0 2
8 27 Zimbabwe FW Macauley Bonne 1 0 0 0 1
18 England DF Tom Eastman 1 0 0 0 1
6 England MF Craig Eastmond 1 0 0 0 1
13 Latvia DF Kaspars Gorkšs 1 0 0 0 1
41 Wales DF Elliott Hewitt 1 0 0 0 1
32 England MF Tom Lapslie 1 0 0 0 1
11 England FW Jack Marriott 1 0 0 0 1
4 England DF Magnus Okuonghae 1 0 0 0 1
17 England FW Drey Wright 0 0 0 1 1
Own goals 0 0 0 0 0
TOTALS 55 8 0 3 66

Disciplinary record[edit]

Number Nationality Position Player League One FA Cup League Cup FL Trophy Total
Booked Red card Booked Red card Booked Red card Booked Red card Booked Red card
18 England DF Tom Eastman 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
8 England MF Alex Gilbey 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
4 England DF Magnus Okuonghae 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2
7 England FW Sanchez Watt 4 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 7 0
21 England FW Gavin Massey 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
39 Wales DF Elliott Hewitt 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
15 Guyana DF Matthew Briggs 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
6 England MF Craig Eastmond 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
32 England MF Tom Lapslie 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
43 United States DF Will Packwood 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2 England DF Alex Wynter 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
20 England DF Sean Clohessy 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
3 England DF Ben Gordon 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
24 England MF George Moncur 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
42 England FW Chris Porter 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
28 England MF Sammie Szmodics 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
15 Jamaica MF Marcus Bean 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
38 England MF David Fox 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
19 England FW Rhys Healey 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
26 England DF Frankie Kent 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
42 England DF Cole Kpekawa 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
5 England DF Karleigh Osborne 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1 England GK Sam Walker 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
TOTALS 55 4 1 0 0 1 2 0 58 5

Player debuts[edit]

Players making their first-team Colchester United debut in a fully competitive match.[164]

Number Position Player Date Opponent Ground Notes
20 DF England Sean Clohessy 9 August 2014 Oldham Athletic Colchester Community Stadium [165]
3 DF England Ben Gordon 9 August 2014 Oldham Athletic Colchester Community Stadium [165]
10 FW England Dan Holman 9 August 2014 Oldham Athletic Colchester Community Stadium [165]
24 MF England George Moncur 9 August 2014 Oldham Athletic Colchester Community Stadium [165]
12 GK England Chris Lewington 12 August 2014 Charlton Athletic The Valley [166]
36 FW England Dominic Smith 6 September 2014 Walsall Bescot Stadium [167]
16 MF England Byron Lawrence 16 September 2014 Sheffield United Colchester Community Stadium [168]
19 FW England Rhys Healey 27 September 2014 Crewe Alexandra Gresty Road [169]
39 DF Wales Elliott Hewitt 8 October 2014 Gillingham Colchester Community Stadium [170]
38 MF England David Fox 11 October 2014 Fleetwood Town Colchester Community Stadium [171][b]
39 FW England Kemar Roofe 9 November 2014 Gosport Borough Privett Park [172]
41 DF Wales Elliott Hewitt 14 November 2014 Barnsley Oakwell [173][b]
42 DF England Cole Kpekawa 22 November 2014 Coventry City Colchester Community Stadium [174]
24 MF England George Moncur 22 November 2014 Coventry City Colchester Community Stadium [174][b]
40 DF Northern Ireland Jamie Harney 29 November 2014 Milton Keynes Dons Stadium mk [175]
43 DF United States Will Packwood 29 November 2014 Milton Keynes Dons Stadium mk [175]
13 DF Latvia Kaspars Gorkšs 7 December 2014 Peterborough United Colchester Community Stadium [176]
32 MF England Tom Lapslie 2 January 2015 Cardiff City Cardiff City Stadium [177]
37 MF England Dion Sembie-Ferris 2 January 2015 Cardiff City Cardiff City Stadium [177]
2 DF England Alex Wynter 10 January 2015 Peterborough United London Road Stadium [178][b]
15 DF Guyana Matthew Briggs 24 January 2015 Leyton Orient Colchester Community Stadium [179]
42 FW England Chris Porter 24 January 2015 Leyton Orient Colchester Community Stadium [179]
11 FW England Jack Marriott 31 January 2015 Bradford City Valley Parade [180]
25 MF Republic of Ireland Kenny McEvoy 10 February 2015 Sheffield United Brammall Lane [181]
25 FW England Jacob Murphy 14 March 2015 Crawley Town Colchester Community Stadium [182]
6 DF South Africa Bongani Khumalo 17 March 2015 Yeovil Town Colchester Community Stadium [183]
31 DF England Richard Brindley 3 April 2015 Port Vale Vale Park [184]
19 FW England Rhys Healey 3 April 2015 Port Vale Vale Park [184][b]

Transfers and contracts[edit]

In[edit]

Date Pos Player From Fee Ref
14 May 2014 FW England Dominic Smith England Crewe Alexandra Free [6]
1 July 2014 DF England Sean Clohessy Scotland Kilmarnock Free [5]
1 July 2014 DF England Ben Gordon Scotland Ross County Free [10]
1 July 2014 GK England Chris Lewington England Dagenham & Redbridge Free [11]
8 July 2014 FW England Dan Holman England Braintree Town Free [13]
19 August 2014 DF England Kevin Lokko England Norwich City Free [185]
2 September 2014 MF England Byron Lawrence England Ipswich Town Free [37]
23 September 2014 DF England Kane Vincent-Young England Tottenham Hotspur Free [45]
6 October 2014 MF England David Fox England Norwich City Free [46]
18 November 2014 MF England George Moncur England West Ham United Undisclosed [64]
7 December 2014 DF Latvia Kaspars Gorkšs England Reading Free [74]
10 January 2015 DF England Alex Wynter England Crystal Palace Undisclosed [90]
22 January 2015 FW England Chris Porter England Sheffield United Free [95]
28 January 2015 DF Northern Ireland Jamie Harney England West Ham United Undisclosed [101]
4 February 2015 DF England Marley Andrews Youth team Youth team [186]
20 February 2015 FW England Tyler Brampton Youth team Youth team [187]
20 February 2015 MF England Callum Harrison Youth team Youth team [187]

Out[edit]

Date Pos Player To Fee Ref
3 May 2014 MF England Karl Duguid England Stanway Rovers Free [1]
3 May 2014 FW Republic of Ireland Clinton Morrison England Long Eaton United Released [2][188]
6 May 2014 GK England Shaun Phillips England Needham Market Released [4][189]
6 May 2014 MF England Jordan Sanderson England Ebbsfleet United Released [4][190]
6 May 2014 DF England Brian Wilson England Oldham Athletic Free [3][191]
1 June 2014 MF Wales Jack Simmons England Leiston Released [192][193]
4 June 2014 DF England Ryan Dickson England Crawley Town Free [8]
23 June 2014 GK England Mark Cousins England Dagenham & Redbridge Free [9]
26 November 2014 DF England David Wright Free agent Released [73]
2 December 2014 MF England Dominic Vose England Welling United Released [75][194]
9 January 2015 MF Jamaica Marcus Bean England Wycombe Wanderers Free [88]
16 January 2015 FW England Freddie Sears England Ipswich Town Undisclosed [84]
26 January 2015 DF England Billy Roast England A.F.C. Hornchurch Released [98]
26 January 2015 FW Nigeria Nnamdi Nwachuku England A.F.C. Hornchurch Released [98]
28 January 2015 DF England Josh Thompson England Tranmere Rovers Free [100]
29 January 2015 DF Latvia Kaspars Gorkšs Greece Ergotelis Free [102]
2 February 2015 MF England Craig Eastmond England Yeovil Town Released [105][195]
19 March 2015 MF England Conor Hubble England Leiston Released [125]

Loans in[edit]

Date Pos Player From End date Ref
7 August 2014 MF England George Moncur England West Ham United 18 November 2014 [24][64]
19 September 2014 FW England Rhys Healey Wales Cardiff City 19 March 2015 [42][80][124]
6 October 2014 DF Wales Elliott Hewitt England Ipswich Town 3 November 2014 [48][196]
4 November 2014 FW England Kemar Roofe England West Bromwich Albion 1 December 2014 [59]
12 November 2014 DF Northern Ireland Jamie Harney England West Ham United 13 November 2014 [60][101]
13 November 2014 DF Wales Elliott Hewitt England Ipswich Town 25 March 2015 [61][80][94][114][127]
20 November 2014 DF England Cole Kpekawa England Queens Park Rangers 24 January 2015 [65][80]
24 November 2014 DF United States Will Packwood England Birmingham City 11 December 2014 [72][76]
20 January 2015 FW England Jack Marriott England Ipswich Town 3 May 2015 [94]
22 January 2015 DF England Matthew Briggs England Millwall 3 May 2015 [96]
30 January 2015 MF Republic of Ireland Kenny McEvoy England Tottenham Hotspur 13 March 2015 [103][122]
26 February 2015 DF England Karleigh Osborne England Bristol City 5 April 2015 [113][131]
14 March 2015 FW England Jacob Murphy England Norwich City 3 May 2015 [121]
14 March 2015 DF South Africa Bongani Khumalo England Tottenham Hotspur 3 May 2015 [116]
26 March 2015 DF England Richard Brindley England Rotherham United 3 May 2015 [128]
2 April 2015 FW England Rhys Healey Wales Cardiff City 3 May 2015 [129]

Loans out[edit]

Date Pos Player To End date Ref
19 September 2014 FW England Dan Holman Wales Wrexham 19 October 2014 [41]
19 September 2014 FW Nigeria Nnamdi Nwachuku England Leiston 19 October 2014 [43]
9 October 2014 FW England Jabo Ibehre England Oldham Athletic 10 January 2015 [49]
24 October 2014 FW England Dan Holman England Aldershot Town 5 January 2015 [55][197]
24 October 2014 DF England Josh Thompson England Tranmere Rovers 24 January 2015 [55][85]
25 October 2014 DF England Conor Hubble England Leiston 22 November 2014 [198]
21 November 2014 DF England Billy Roast England A.F.C. Hornchurch 26 January 2015 [68][199]
21 November 2014 MF Jamaica Marcus Bean England Portsmouth 3 January 2015 [66]
1 January 2015 FW England Dominic Smith England A.F.C. Hornchurch 31 January 2015 [86]
2 February 2015 FW England Dan Holman England Dover Athletic 25 April 2015 [106]
6 March 2015 FW England Jabo Ibehre England Barnsley 3 May 2015 [118]
13 March 2015 GK Scotland James Brangrove England Bishop's Stortford 13 April 2015 [200][201]

Contracts[edit]

New contracts and contract extensions.

Date Pos Player Length Contracted until Ref
14 May 2014 FW England Dominic Smith 1 year May 2015 [6]
22 May 2014 FW England Dominic Vose 2 years May 2016 [7]
1 July 2014 DF England Sean Clohessy 2 years May 2016 [5]
1 July 2014 DF England Ben Gordon 2 years May 2016 [202]
1 July 2014 DF England Chris Lewington 2 years May 2016 [11]
3 July 2014 DF England Josh Thompson 1 year May 2015 [12]
3 July 2014 DF England David Wright 1 year May 2015 [12]
8 July 2014 FW England Dan Holman 2 years May 2016 [13]
2 September 2014 MF England Byron Lawrence 1 year May 2015 [37]
23 September 2014 DF England Kane Vincent-Young 1 year May 2015 [45]
6 October 2014 MF England David Fox 3 months January 2015 [46]
10 October 2014 MF England Sammie Szmodics 3 ½ years May 2018 [50]
16 October 2014 DF England Tom Eastman 1 ½ years May 2016 [52]
16 October 2014 DF England Frankie Kent 3 ½ years May 2018 [52]
16 October 2014 FW England Gavin Massey 2 ½ years May 2017 [52]
18 November 2014 MF England George Moncur 2 ½ years May 2017 [64]
7 December 2014 DF Latvia Kaspars Gorkšs 1 month January 2015 [74][203]
8 January 2015 MF England David Fox 6 months June 2015 [87]
10 January 2015 DF England Alex Wynter 1 ½ years May 2016 [90]
22 January 2015 FW England Chris Porter 1 ½ years May 2016 [95]
28 January 2015 DF Northern Ireland Jamie Harney 1 ½ years May 2016 [101]
4 February 2015 DF England Marley Andrews 1 ½ years May 2016 [186]
20 February 2015 FW England Tyler Brampton 1 ½ years May 2016 [187]
20 February 2015 MF England Callum Harrison 1 ½ years May 2016 [187]
26 February 2015 FW Zimbabwe Macauley Bonne 2 ½ years May 2017 [112]
23 April 2015 MF England Tom Lapslie 3 years May 2018 [137]

Honours and awards[edit]

End of season awards[edit]

Award Player Notes
Player of the Year award England Tom Eastman [204]
Young Player of the Year award England Sammie Szmodics [204]
Player's Player of the Year award England Gavin Massey [204]
Goal of the Season award England Drey Wright [204]
Community Player of the Year award England Frankie Kent [204]
Colchester United Supporters Association Home Player of the Year award England Tom Eastman [204]
Colchester United Supporters Association Away Player of the Year award England Tom Eastman [204]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Elliott Hewitt's squad number during his first stint was 39.
  2. ^ a b c d e Second debut for the club.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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