10-man Colchester United hold out for a point at a windswept Swindon
Swindon Town 0 Colchester United 0
Sanchez Watt would have expected to receive cards galore, on what was his birthday as well as Valentine’s Day, but he received an unwanted extra card at Swindon tonight.
Watt was flashed a red card, by referee Darren Sheldrake, for violent conduct following an altercation with Nathan Thompson on 70 minutes.
Already the recipient of a yellow card, for a first-half booking, Watt’s miserable evening was completed by this straight red one, for an unnecessary over-reaction to Thompson’s initial challenge.
Colchester United’s winger now faces a three-match suspension, but at least his team-mates managed to hold out for a point in very challenging weather conditions.
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The 10-man U’s produced a backs-to-the-wall performance to earn a precious point, in a game ruined by the elements.
Conditions in Wiltshire really deteriorated two hours before kick off, with heavy rain and gusting winds putting the game in serious doubt.
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Referee Sheldrake saw fit to stage two pitch inspections, in quick succession at 6.30pm and again at 7pm, and the signs did not look promising with heavy rain continuing to blow across the County Ground.
However, the pitch passed Mr Sheldrake’s second inspection, and at least the weather did ease a little during the game – the ball rolled well across the wet turf, although the wind was obviously a factor in the match as a spectacle.
The first-half was a virtual non-event. Ryan Dickson curled a sixth minute free-kick over the bar, but that was the extent of the U’s attacking forays before the break.
Swindon had more joy, playing into the teeth of the wind, and Sam Walker twice made fine saves to deny winger Alex Pritchard midway through the first half.
The second half was even poorer, but the 10-man U’s won’t be over-concerned.
SWINDON: Foderingham, N Thompson, Archibald-Henville, Ward, Byrne, Pritchard, L Thompson, Luongo, N’Guessan (sub Reis, 86), Smith, Ranger (sub Murphy, 45). Unused subs: Belford, Branco, Reckford, Cox, Gladwin.
COLCHESTER: Walker, Wilson, Okuonghae, Eastman, Dickson, Wright, Bean, Eastmond (sub Massey, 74), Vose (sub Sears, 65), Morrison (sub Gilbey, 74), Watt. Unused subs: Cousins, Sanderson, Olufemi, Sesay.
Referee: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey)