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Roman Circus

A reference to Colchester, but equally refers to us at times this year…

This isn’t going to be a proper report on last night, as I wasn’t intending to do anything until tomorrow.

I didn’t make any notes, and I haven’t even begun to think of a “humourous” scoreline description.

I should think of something about Camulodunum, as the Romans called it. Or Col Ewe, which is what Southend fans prefer.

But to quote at least one former footballer of ours, this morning I’m buzzing.

I have to admit that for large parts of the game I believed our unbeaten run would come to an end in deepest Essex.

We lacked life, coherence, and firepower up front. We went behind and then saw them hit the post, and taking an early trip back on the A12 appealed.

But then Josh Davison popped up. I’d forgotten that he hasn’t scored in a while.

Yet even that put us on the back foot again for some reason. This wasn’t just something from last night, because I’ve noticed that on too many occasions.

When it’s 1-1 though, and you’ve survived a scare, anything can happen. And all it takes is to have a fucking shot on goal…

There was something a bit League Two-esque about the way that the goalie couldn’t handle Biler’s shot, and Chislett showing enough awareness to follow up.

Your editor said to somebody at half time that it would be nice if we could get a last minute winner.

It almost was, except that we had seven minutes additional time. Where Towler cleared off the line.

It sounds like he’ll be staying with us for the rest of the season, which would be great as he’s fast becoming a favourite.

His last bit of major defending seemed to deflate Colchester and put a spring in our collective step, and seeing the game out was quite straightforward after that.

But it was everyone’s reaction at the end that sticks in my mind this morning. And why I’ve decided to do an update this morning.

The club’s Twatter page has a GIF of JJ absolutely fired up, and it has to give any manager a kick when they see that sort of victory under them.

I can’t argue with too much he said in his post-match interview, by the way.

It was Kalambayi’s reaction afterwards that I’m thinking of right now. It was as though he just scored the winner in a cup final.

Such is our (over?) reliance on the yoof, it’s a bit mental to see it was his hundreth game last night.

With him, there might be something more, and not just because he’s now almost undroppable after being a fringe player.

Here is a lad who could have very easily seen his football career go the same way as his train journey back in 2018.

And I think he knows it.

He’s clearly got the hunger and drive, and that’s what you want. He’s part of a backline that hasn’t conceded a non-penalty League goal since Harrogate in October.

We talk about the likes of Assal, Currie, even Biler being our next transfer kitty funders. I wonder if another club will need to learn the Backstreet Boys song?

Was last night the perfect way to win a match? A victory is always good. A victory away is better.

And it’s almost spot-on when you’ve played quite ordinarily and netted in the last minute. So it might be.

This might be that win which turns us from mid-table mediocrity to genuine playoff contenders after all.

Granted, we’ll need to strengthen when the window opens on Sunday. Forester-Caskey is a name mentioned in the saloon bars, and he’s apparently a mate of JJ.

Not to mention Charlton reported fucked up the paperwork in the last transfer window.

As ever this time of year, we’ll see. I also remain not particularly impressed with Hudlin, though he did manage to win one or two headers last night.

He reminds me of John Gayle without any of the physical strength. Or flair. Or ball skills.

A couple of other things from last night. If you hadn’t bought your ticket, Colchester had a McDonalds type self-service ticket machine in their club shop.

Just one, so I can imagine the queues, but I noticed one of our higher-ups asking questions about it to the helper.

The ground itself is OK, typical modern build, but the atmosphere was shit.

It also reminds me why I’ve developed a dislike to out-of-town stadia, which is something that’s got more pronounced since we’ve returned to Merton.

Imagine PL in the middle of nowhere, and think how you wouldn’t want to spend any longer than possible there.

On the plus side, they had a nice big screen showing QPR v Luton beforehand. I bet it wouldn’t be bad in warmer weather.

Their fans are typical Essex, and they had a drum. If you know the chant, you’ll know somebody gave their mother a late Xmas present.

Oh, and as at least two people picked up upon last night – yes, it was cold. I did warn you.

As for the rest of it, one senses we’re in a good place right now, both mentally and in terms of the league table.

While I think we’ll lose to Slutton on NYD – it’s just the sort of thing we’d do – it’s nice that we end 2022 on a high.

It was an utterly shite first half of this year, both on the field and off it, and that bitter taste is just about fading.

We are starting to look like the team we can be, and some would perhaps argue should be as well.

I think I said on here recently that we should see where our uptick in form takes us, and I still stand by that.

There was something in that post-match celebration which made me think that it was more than a last minute victory away from home.

I could be wrong. But I don’t think I am.

One final thing, before SW19 sees you all next year. You know how we went 27 games without a win?

It won’t happen, but wouldn’t it be funny if we now went 27 games without a loss…

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