Superb Senior

COURTNEY Senior lit up the Weston Homes Community Stadium yesterday.

So the reaction of the assembled media to John McGreal’s response when quizzed about the talented youngster’s performance against Newport County was pretty priceless.

“I didn’t think he had the best of games,” quipped McGreal, with tongue firmly in cheek.

Of course, McGreal is as delighted as anyone to see Senior fulfilling the promise he undoubtedly has.

The attacker’s dazzling performances over the last few games have been a breath of fresh air for Colchester and his breathless run from inside his own half to set up Ben Stevenson’s opener against Newport was superb.

Plenty of options

THE fact that Colchester United were able to replace arguably their most impressive player against Newport County with their leading goalscorer says a lot about the strength of the squad they have now.

The introduction of Sammie Szmodics for the excellent Courtney Senior midway through the second half of the 2-0 win reflected the options head coach John McGreal now has at his disposal, following the transfer window.

That is particularly true in attack – he started with three offensive players yesterday in Senior, Mikael Mandron and Kurtis Guthrie and had Szmodics, Drey Wright, Junior Mandeville and new loan signing Liam Mandeville to call upon from the bench.

That should serve Colchester in good stead for the final 15 games of the season, particularly with key winger Brennan Dickenson well on the road to recovery following his long-term knee injury.

Captain marvel

IT had been nearly 15 months since Luke Prosser had graced the Weston Homes Community Stadium turf in a first-team fixture, prior to him starting against Newport County.

But the Colchester United club captain looked like he had never been away yesterday, after producing a slick performance in central defence.

Prosser played the game at his own pace and was a rock at the heart of the U’s back three, using all of his experience to guide others around him.

Perhaps the moment when the 29-year-old truly announced his return to the starting line-up after his long-term knee injury was when he made two magnificent blocks in his own area late in the first half, to prevent Newport from taking the lead at a crucial time in the game.

It was great to see the skipper back.

Muzza’s misery

ONE of the only downsides to Colchester United’s win over Newport County was the injury suffered by midfielder Sean Murray.

Ironically, his departure due to a painful ankle injury ultimately paved the way for the U’s to win the game, as his Ben Stevenson scored within ten minutes of replacing him.

But it was cruel luck on Murray, who has been in good form for Colchester of late and only returned in December from a knee injury.

The fact that the former Watford youngster insisted on sitting in the dugout rather than heading for the warm changing room after suffering the injury said much about his character and commitment to the cause.

Despite last week’s addition of Stevenson, the U’s could do with him being back sooner rather than later.

A legend remembered

IT was pretty fitting that Colchester United should record their first win of the calendar year on a day when one of their greatest-ever players was rightly honoured.

The minute’s applause for Vic Keeble, who died last week at the age of 87, was well received all around the Weston Homes Community Stadium and the U’s team of the present-day honoured his memory with a timely win.

During his profitable five-year spell at Layer Road between 1947 and 1952, the prolific centre-forward hit an incredible 65 goals in just 81 appearances.

How Vic, who was a regular spectator at both Layer Road and the Community Stadium, would have loved to have seen his home-town club he served so well get back to winning ways.