Vital Colchester`s newest addition to the writing staff has done his homework ahead of what promises to be yet another fiery encounter between Wycombe and United this weekend. But will it be a case of history repeating itself? Coco tells us more…
When a Colchester fan is asked, for whatever reason, ‘so who are your rivals?`, most will just say Ipswich and Southend.
The majority of Colchester fans over a certain age will remember, however, the fierce and sometimes farcical rivalry with Wycombe Wanderers – but many will not know the ins-and-outs of the tender relationship between the clubs. Indeed, nearly the whole football world is ignorant to a history which has never been far from controversy.
It all began during a somewhat routine F.A. Cup match in 1985, at Loakes Park. The then Fourth Division Colchester were embarrassed 2-0 by a non-league Wycombe, by all accounts was a ‘cupset,` and trouble between the two sets of fans ensued later in Wycombe town.
Five years later and a relegation for the U`s, saw the teams meet again on more even footing: the Conference. Colchester failed to beat Wycombe that season, being held 2-2 at Fortress Layer Road but then losing 1-0 at the new Adams Park. The following season, however, it was a different story, with Wycombe and Colchester fighting a mini-league all of their own at the top, for promotion back to the Football League. The Essex side did the double, which saw them lift the championship on goal-difference.
It was the 1997/98 season where the football controversy really started. The two rivals met first at Layer Road, where a last minute penalty gave Colchester the 2-1 victory and, if Wycombe fans thought that was painful, the match at Adams Park was even worse. A full NINE minutes into stoppage-time, Colchester were given a penalty which gave them that much-needed equaliser. The following season, Lomano Lua Lua was the Man of The Match, as he slammed home another last minute goal to win the game 1-0 against a nine-man Wycombe side.
In 2000, a 0-0 math saw yet more controversy – a mass rawl broke out on the pitch which led to both clubs being fined.
And who could forget this season`s match at Adams Park? An early Kayode Odejayi goal from a goal keepering error was cancelled out by Jean Paul Pittman just three minutes from the end, with the U`s fans making a racket in a busy away end.
So this Saturday, as the stars of today, including Premiership loanee Franck Queudrue, run out to a brand new 10,000 seated ground, remember the days of the two sides scrapping it out in the Conference, the last-gasp goals and the brawls on the crumbling terraces? above all, remember that the much-hyped and very real controversy will never be far away.
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