PLEASE put your hands together for David Blacknall and his less than many helpers who somehow managed to prepare the pitch for last Saturday’s game.

A good number of us have helped out in the past, shifting covers laden with water and snow, and it is no easy task.

The result will no doubt be that it will not look the best, or play the best, for the remainder of the season, but we all know that the head groundsman Mr B will be working his socks every day to make it as good as he can be.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

It was nice to see some football again, and also nice to see our players working their own socks off and looking in decent nick despite the lack of recent activity.

Cambridge are now top of the table and they also boast the leading scorer, but we managed to keep them and him quiet.

For me, our perennial problem of scoring goals remains my biggest concern.

The U’s can play better than the best until we get close to the penalty area but then either players become isolated or perhaps don’t have the confidence to drive towards goal and create a chance for themselves or team-mates.

I think the talent is there within the squad, so how best to utilise it? Are we too defensive minded and cautious on the back of a run of winless games?

Perhaps our new loan signing Aramide Oteh will be the boost that we need in that department.

I really hope that he’s fit and raring to go and is also lined up to start tomorrow at Morecambe, and then again at Stevenage on Tuesday night.

He certainly deserves a chance, which the fans need to provide him too, and as it looks from his career that he is looking to find a starting point away from QPR - maybe the U’s could be it.

I was sad to see another Luke leave the U’s this week.

For whatever reasons, in the manager's eyes, Mr Gambin could not command a regular place in the starting XI or even the matchday squad at times, which I think is a shame because I think he works harder than some others and always looks to take us up the pitch.

Some fans are unhappy and I can see that because it seems that another good player who could make a difference to the team has left us.

I can also see that, like many others, he is out of contract in the summer, and if we cast our minds back to last summer, we all know the state of play with new contracts.

Like all of us, football is still suffering terribly in this pandemic and no vaccine is going to make things rosy again before the end of this season or even the start of the next.

If a loan to Newport gets him in the “shop window” ahead of the rest of the pack so that he can pick up a contract elsewhere, assuming that the U’s have been up front with him as they were with Nouble and Co, then for me it is a decision that also has the best interests of the player in mind as well as helping our costs a bit for a few months. Good luck and best wishes to Luke.

Two massive away games for the U’s over the next week.

We need to find a win in at least one of them and stop this poor run of results, otherwise we will continue to drift into the lower reaches and the U’s are better than that.

Keep your fingers crossed, tune in to watch them if you can as it will help, and looks after yourselves U’s fans.

Colchester United Supporters Association chairman Jon Burns