Once again, my passion for live football led me yesterday to the Weston Homes Community Stadium. This time Colchester United were playing recently double-relegated side Wolverhampton Wanderers. Everton youngster Luke Garbutt was starting his 4th game for Colchester and his 2nd home game.

I arrived at the stadium nice and early and, as I walked in, I looked up at the television screens where Sky Sports News was reporting that Everton were currently drawing 1-1 with Man City. I took my seat and kick-off shortly followed with young Luke Garbutt playing at left back.

I should mention that Wolves are a much better team than Colchester (who are currently experiencing an injury crises) and this was a very one-sided game with Garbutt and his fellow defenders under almost constant attack. Wolves are a very physical side and immediately it looked like it was going to be a very long and testing day for Garbutt.

Garbutt actually started very well despite the pressure and managed to keep the Wolves attackers at bay. Then Colchester won a free-kick and Luke Garbutt stepped up to take it. Garbutt whipped in a cross which was perfect but unfortunately Colchester defender Matt Taylor put the header just wide of the post.

Shortly after this, things started to go wrong for Colchester and I have to say it was probably Garbutt’s fault. The Wolves attacker (can’t remember his name) turned Garbutt inside out and found himself with a clear view of the goal. Garbutt to his credit made a last ditch tackle and won the ball but it bounced into the area where Matt Taylor challenged with Jack Price and gave away a penalty. Wolves took the lead.

After the goal, Luke Garbutt and his fellow defenders were under siege but found a way to keep Wolves at bay and when the half-time whistle blew it was only 0-1 to Wolves. At half-time, I went down to grab a drink and check the television to see how Everton had finished. Man City 3-1 Everton. Bollox.

I retook my seat for the second half at Colchester, not in the best of mood’s after learning of Everton’s fate and my mood got worse as Wolves scored a second goal just a minute into the 2nd half, effectively ending this game as a competition. Garbutt was not involved in the 2nd goal. The 2nd half was a bit of a non-event after that second goal. Wolves looked for a 3rd and eventually found it while Colchester looked like they just wanted the ref to blow for full time.

There were a few moments from Luke Garbutt which stuck in my memory. At one point, Garbutt took the ball and ran at the Wolves defenders. He used his pace and actually skipped past three defenders before eventually running out of space. It was an incredibly exciting moment which gave the Colchester fans something to cheer.

It wasn’t all good though. At one point in the 2nd half Colchester won a corner and Garbutt stepped up to take it.. Sadly his corner was very poor and failed to beat the first man. Then a minute later Colchester won another corner on the other side and again Garbutt stepped up to take it but embarrassingly he once again failed to beat the first man. The crowd really groaned after that 2nd corner.

Garbutt though is young enough to not be worried about that though and soon enough his youthful enthusiasm saw him run down the wing and sling in a wicked cross perfect for the head of Colchester striker Freddie Ladapo but he mistimed it and robbed himself of a goal and Garbutt of an assist.

I was glad to hear the final whistle and walking home I felt pretty downhearted. Colchester had lost 0-3 and Everton had lost 1-3. Not a great day. This was a real test for Garbutt but I actually think he was one of Colchester’s better players. Sure his two awful corners were disappointing but it speaks volumes for the lad that after just 4 games he now appears to be Colchester’s go-to man for dead-ball situations.

There were other positives too for Garbutt. He likes to run at people and, at one point where he went past three Wolves players, he looked like Leighton Baines. And in fact Garbutt does remind me of a young Leighton Baines. He likes to go forward, he likes to whip in a cross and he’s useful with a dead ball.

He just needs to work on the more physical side of his game and tighten up defensively. But that will come with experience which is probably why Roberto Martinez sent him to Colchester in the first plae. I think Garbutt did enough to justify his place in the starting 11 and hopefully he’ll stay there for next weekend’s home game against Walsall.

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Reader Comments (13)

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Derek Knox
1 Posted 07/10/2013 at 03:26:41
Thanks for the article Dick, it made interesting reading, as it is always good to be able to know how our youngsters are progressing.

Especially when they are loaned out, as the OS rarely mentions them, unless it is unfavourable news, as in the case of Conor McAleny who sustained that leg break at Brentford recently.

It is also quite appropriate, with the ever recurring link, Baines in the January transfer widow, and once again being linked with a move to OT. Joining up with 'you know who' and Fellaini.

It would be ideal if the inevitable does go ahead (let's hope we get maximum bucks) that we could replace from within, but neither Oviedo, or young Luke, seem to be at that level.

We were linked in the recent transfer window with Bruno Martins Indi, which I got fairly excited about, as I have seen him several times on the television and he looks the real deal. The added bonus there with him is that he can play either Left Back or Left Centre Back, a bit in the Lescott mould. Also Distin will not last forever, his Peter Pan performances, never cease to amaze us all season after season, but there will be a point when he calls it a day!

James Martin
2 Posted 07/10/2013 at 11:08:23
Sounds a bit like Leighton Baines, brilliant going forward bit suspect at times at the back and set pieces vary from the sublime to the hair tearing ridiculous of not beating the first man.
Barry Rathbone
3 Posted 07/10/2013 at 11:27:29
When he played in the Wembley play-offs a season or two ago, he had the most unfortunate habit of turning his arse to the ball as the winger shaped to cross.

Fundamental flaw, decent players will dummy to cross and skip past as your arse is on show.

Harold Matthews
4 Posted 07/10/2013 at 16:22:34
Barry. We still have several highly rated players who do exactly as you have described. It makes me scream.
Paul Ferry
5 Posted 07/10/2013 at 18:39:57
Thanks very much for the Garbutt progress report Dick Brody/Brady. You are doing a nice job down there and I feel that this should be your role now following Garbutt around and therefore not being able to take part in live match forums on here!
Karl Masters
6 Posted 07/10/2013 at 19:24:53
Anybody notice how our last really promising young Left back, Danny Fox is doing now? Gradually edging his way back to the Premier League after we let him go on the same day as Steven Gerrard's cousin, Anthony who missed that penalty for Cardiff at Wembley against LFC.

Thanks for the report, Dick. I still think of Colchester playing at Layer Road, the only other ground I ever saw with anything approaching those Goodison semi circles behind the goals, but nothing else to remark about.

Michael Winstanley
7 Posted 07/10/2013 at 20:08:34
Karl, isn't Fox at Southampton?
Karl Masters
8 Posted 08/10/2013 at 00:23:49
Don't think he's actually been playing though, Michael, due to a certain Luke Shaw, who pretty much displaced him as soon as they were promoted.

So, like I said, he's been clawing his way back to the Premier League, but not quite there yet. Think he was going out on loan to Bolton about a week ago.

Matt Traynor
9 Posted 08/10/2013 at 09:17:07
Karl #398, he played on Sunday and seems to be generally perceived by Soton fans as a poor understudy to Luke Shaw. Certainly if/when Shaw moves (to a CL club, stop dreaming at the back) they'll certainly replace him, likely with an expensive foreign import.

Paul #316 - many a true word spoken in jest.

Ross Edwards
10 Posted 08/10/2013 at 09:41:34
Let's hope he isn't following him around Paul.
Eddie Tully
11 Posted 08/10/2013 at 14:22:34
Paul Ferry @316.......I completely agree, second that, concur etc!
Paul Ferry
12 Posted 09/10/2013 at 18:32:06
Karl - 320 - didn't White Hart Lane have those hoops behind the goals back in the day
Jimmy Srheim
13 Posted 10/10/2013 at 02:19:05
Dick is really not much liked on the live forums I see.
Nice to know about how our youngster is doing anyway.

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