Colchester United football reporter Carl Marston's 1,000th game

Chelsea v Colchester, FA Cup 2006 Image copyright Archant
Image caption Carl Marston's favourite match was the 3-1 defeat at Chelsea in the FA Cup in 2006

A football reporter is about to reach the landmark of filing his thousandth match report covering the same club.

Carl Marston began writing about Colchester United for the East Anglian Daily Times on 21 November 1992 for a Third Division match at home to Rochdale.

The latest game is at Rochdale on Saturday - this time in League One.

Mr Marston, 48, said: "I'd like to keep doing it because, as a small club, you are closer to the manager and players."

Image copyright PAgepix
Image caption Carl Marston writes one of his 1,000 match reports at Coventry City's Ricoh Arena
Image copyright ARchant
Image caption Carl's second favourite match, a 0-0 draw at Yeovil, confirmed promotion and avoided a wedding clash

The reporter joined the paper in 1989 and mainly covered non-league football before getting assigned to the Essex club.

Missed team bus

The first game was a 4-4 draw - which ranks as the third favourite Colchester game he covered.

"You could say it was a baptism of fire, because the press box was new to me and I was hoping for an easy match, but it was changing constantly," Mr Marston said.

"Generally, access to the club is great and you wouldn't get that at a much bigger club.

"Once when I travelled on the team coach to Torquay, I'd finished filing my report only to find the bus had left.

"The manager George Burley realised and got them to turn back 30 miles - that's the sort of club it is."

Image copyright Archant
Image caption The 7-1 win at Norwich City in The Championship in 2008 was Carl Marston's fourth favourite match
Image copyright Archant
Image caption Carl's fifth favourite match was the 2-0 win at Layer Road over local rivals Ipswich in 2008

While the club is still arguably best known for its shock 1971 FA Cup victory over Leeds United, Mr Marston has seen Colchester spend two seasons in the Championship and lose to Chelsea in the FA Cup.

Play-off marriage

Mr Marston said his personal high would be the 1998 play-off final win against Torquay at Wembley which saw Colchester promoted to League Division Two.

He was also delighted to see Colchester draw 0-0 at Yeovil to gain automatic promotion to the Championship in 2006, because he was due to get married on the day of the play-off final.

Image copyright Archant
Image caption Carl Marston interviews John-Joe O'Toole
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Carl Marston said his favourite Colchester player from his match-reporting era is Lomana Tresor Lua Lua
Image copyright Archant
Image caption Carl Marston (left) has also turned out for the press team when they have taken on a club team

One of the other biggest changes has been the club's move from Layer Road to the Weston Homes Community Stadium in 2008.

Mr Marston said: "Layer Road has a lot of memories, but the facilities were very basic - the press box windows used to steam up and half-time tea was served in the laundry room - but it certainly had character.

"The new ground is fantastic and has potential if they can get into the Championship again, but it is soulless compared to Layer Road."

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