On Tuesday, it was announced that Luke Garbutt had signed another contact extension and will remain at Colchester United until at least February.

Colchester manager Joe Dunne commented "It’s great that we have been able to extend Luke’s time here. He has shown his qualities in his time here, both defensively and when he attacks, and we were obviously keen to keep him longer. I’d like to thank Everton for allowing it to happen and I’d like to think that we’ve given him valuable experience and development towards becoming a Premier League player for them."

Today, Colchester were playing Gillingham and Luke Garbutt started at left back. The 20-year-old was making his 19th start for Colchester and I would say this was probably his best game for the Us so far.

Luke Garbutt was at his irrepressible best today. Easily Colchester’s best player and that was no easy task considering how good the entire team played today.

The first 20 minutes of the game were tight with neither team able to create any real chances. That changed after Garbutt delivered a terrific ball from a free kick which Craig Eastmond headed wide. The free kick highlighted Garbutt’s ability with a deadball and should have created the opening goal.

From this point on Garbutt became a real thorn in Gillingham’s side and for the rest of the game he inspired nearly every Colchester attack.

Some quick passing with Sanchez Watt saw Garbutt burst through towards Gillingham’s penalty area and unleash a stinging shot which the keeper just managed to save. The rebound fell to Craig Eastmond and again he should have done better.

Just minutes later, Clinton Morrison used his head to lay off a pass to Garbutt who again lashed in a shot from just outside the penalty area. This time the keeper pushed the shot wide but it could so easily have been a goal.

Colchester were now dominating and Garbutt seemed to be behind everything. Another shot, this time low and fast looked destined for the corner but amazingly the Gillingham keeper pulled out another save.

Garbutt had two freekicks just outside the box and both of them were agonisingly close to finding the net. Colchester fans now expect Garbutt to take every freekick and he nearly always delivers a shot which troubles the keeper.

Garbutt was also good in defence and a couple of times he made some tough crunching tackles to stop the Gillingham attackers in their tracks.

I cannot stress enough how good Garbutt was today. He was continually pushing forward and either creating chances for other players or shooting at the Gillingham goal himself.

The final score saw Colchester run out easily as 3-0 winners. I think it was the best Colchester have played all season and Garbutt was the stand out performer.

This was Garbutt’s best performance in a Colchester shirt and that’s not just my opinion as many of the fans around me also voiced their respect for young Luke.

At the end of the 90 minutes. the Colchester Man of the Match was announced. You won’t be surprised to learn that the name announced was none other than: Luke Garbutt.

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Reader Comments (7)

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Michael Winstanley
1 Posted 11/01/2014 at 21:37:36
Cheers Dick. Must be nice to see him develop.
Mick Davies
2 Posted 11/01/2014 at 21:22:50
That's a great report Dick, thanks for sharing the positive development of one of our hopefuls; it seems like he's a Baines clone. Maybe someone could give us all a rundown on the two Matt's at Tranmere. I'll read the Echo on Monday but it looks like a good point against a high flying Walsall. We have almost a full team of lads out on loan so it's nice to hear how they're getting on
David Ellis
3 Posted 13/01/2014 at 06:59:36
Thanks Dick - great to hear.
Sam Hoare
4 Posted 13/01/2014 at 07:04:51
Thanks Dick! If only we could have people to report on Yeovil, Wigan, Tranmere and MK Dons as well!
Ajay Gopal
5 Posted 13/01/2014 at 08:16:16
Thanks, Dick. I hope Martinez' team is also reading your reports about Luke and reporting to the boss. Surprisingly, our defence seems to be the least of our worries and we have back-ups for every position in the back 4:

CBs: Jags, Distin, Alcaraz, Stones, Duffy
RB: Coleman, Hibbert, Browning (reportedly played a superb 45 minutes for Wigan last weekend at RB).
LB: Baines, Oviedo, Luke

I wish we had more players from the U21s, U18s coming into the attacking positions especially central midfield and striking positions.

Dave Lawley
6 Posted 13/01/2014 at 11:34:50
Nice work, Dick.
Robin Cannon
7 Posted 13/01/2014 at 17:00:58
Very positive. Following these reports throughout the season, it really sounds like first team competitive football has been benefiting Luke, and he's shown consistent improvement throughout the season.

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