Posted by: musinganorak | February 18, 2011

NYMP 1 – It Begins

What better day to begin the New Year Master Plan (henceforth NYMP) than on New Years Day. So that’s what I do. I set sail for Essex, OK I drive to Essex, and the closest of the 92 that I hadn’t visited, Colchester United. They are starting their New Year with an npower League 1 fixture against Charlton Athletic.

Colchester’s new ground is adjacent to the A12 on the outskirts of the town. In the weeks prior to my visit they had completed the new sliproad that allows easy access, avoiding the town centre altogether. Marvellous. Except for the fact that I had to drive back into the town in order to find anywhere to park. I then had a walk of just over a mile back to the ground. What is the point in building a ground in the middle of nowhere if you then fail to provide enough parking?!

The ground is pretty much what you’d expect from a modern new build, plenty of steel structures placed around a pitch. The problem at Colchester is that there is a gap in each corner between the 4 stands meaning that the wind has easy access, and in January the wind is pretty damn cold.

This game meant that I have finished all the grounds currently in League 1 and it was a pretty good game with which to do so. 3 times the home side took the lead and 3 times the visitors pulled it back, twice through penalties. The second of these penalties, in the 39th minute, saw Colchester reduced to 10 men.

The final equaliser came in the 76th minute and both teams went all out in the last quarter of an hour for a winner but neither managed to find one. With a couple of minutes to go the referee restored numerical parity when he sent off a Charlton player. The draw was, in the end, a fair result and despite the cold whipping around the stadium it had been a good start to the NYMP. All that remained was the long walk back to the car.

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