Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

U’s slump to eighth defeat in nine games

PUBLISHED: 16:53 22 December 2012 | UPDATED: 17:59 22 December 2012

Jabo Ibehre, who hit the bar at Walsall this afternoon, but was later substituted because of a suspected rib injury

Jabo Ibehre, who hit the bar at Walsall this afternoon, but was later substituted because of a suspected rib injury

Archant

Walsall 1 Colchester United 0

COLCHESTER United’s miserable losing run continued at a rain-lashed West Midlands this afternoon.

Joe Dunne’s men slumped to the eighth defeat in their last nine games, to leave them facing up to a relegation battle over the coming weeks.

Febian Brandy was the match-winner, slotting home on 62 minutes to end Walsall’s own desperate recent run.

Before today, the Saddlers had not won since the end of September, a run stretching to 16 games. But it was 17th time lucky, against an out-of-sorts U’s.

Man-of-the-match Brandy burst onto Sam Mantom’s through ball and kept his composure to slide the ball beyond the reach of Mark Cousins, for what proved to be the only goal of the game.

The U’s had come close to scoring on the half-hour mark, when Jabo Ibehre’s lob struck the bar, but in truth Walsall were the better team.

U’s boss Dunne made two changes to the side that suffered a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth last weekend. In came striker Clinton Morrison and Brian Wilson, for John-Joe O’Toole and Dan Potts.

The inclusion of Morrison meant a switch to a 4-4-2 formation, with the adaptable Wilson playing on the right flank rather than in his more customary right-back role.

But it was Walsall who enjoyed the better of the first half-hour, with right winger Brandy a particular danger.

Brandy was close to breaking the deadlock on 12 minutes. His 20-yard shot took a big deflection off Tom Eastman and flew into the side-netting, with Cousins wrong-footed.

And the impressive Brandy threatened again in 27th minute, charging onto Craig Westcarr’s well-weighted pass, only to drag his final shot across the face of goal and wide.

The U’s gradually began to have some attacking joy themselves, most notably when Wilson volleyed narrowly over from Freddie Sears’ delivery.

And only the woodwork denied the visitors an opening goal on the half-hour mark. Ibehre trapped John White’s lofted pass and executed a lob over the onrushing Aaron McCarey. The ball thudded back off the underside of the bar and rolled to safety.

Walsall regained the initiative, either side of half-time, raining in shots from all angles as the U’s goal lived a charmed life.

And Cousins was at his best to thwart the Saddlers twice on 48 minutes. The U’s keeper was at full stretch to beat away Will Grigg’s goal-bound shot, and he recovered well to block the follow up effort by Brandy.

However, Cousins had little chance when Brandy burst clear to sweep Walsall into a 1-0 lead on 62 minutes.

The U’s were unable to hit back during the final quarter of the game, although a header from Josh Thompson did clip the top of the bar in the last minute of normal time.

SQUADS

WALSALL: McCarey, Butler, Purkiss, Downing, Taylor, A Chambers, Paterson (sub Cuvelier, 77), Brandy, Mantom, Westcarr, Grigg (sub Bowerman, 59). Unused subs: Holden, Hemmings, Benning, Baxendale, Grof.

COLCHESTER: Cousins, White, Thompson, Eastman, Rose (sub Wright, 46), Wilson, Izzet, Wordsworth, Sears (sub O’Toole, 72), Morrison, Ibehre (sub Henderson, 60). Unused subs: Okuonghae, Bean, Potts, Pentney.

Referee: Mr A Madley

Attendance: 3,006

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers knows his place in the team is not guaranteed this season.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy is confident he will have a striker signed before his side’s Championship opener against Birmingham City, at Portman Road, in just 11 days’ time.

Ipswich Town lost 2-1 at League One side Gillingham on Saturday. Stuart Watson looks at what we learned from the first set-back of pre-season...

Ipswich Town players will proudly carry the crest of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) on their back this coming season.

The no.9 shirt at Ipswich Town has been left vacant after the Blues announced their squad numbers this morning, while Mauritian midfielder Kevin Bru has not been handed a number.

Whisper it quietly, but Ipswich Town may just be a bit easier on the eye this season.

Ipswich Town legend Ray Crawford says summer signing Joe Garner will be full of confidence following his prolific pre-season form.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he would be more than willing to put teenager Flynn Downes into his starting line-up for the Championship opener against Birmingham City if his lengthy midfield injury list does not clear up.

Ipswich Town suffered their first defeat of pre-season this afternoon, losing 2-1 at League One side Gillingham.

Ipswich Town will look to keep up their winning start to pre-season at Gillingham this afternoon. STUART WATSON looks back on how recent summers went.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24