A bad defeat for U's

Colchester United 1 Bristol City 2COLCHESTER United suffered a damaging home defeat at the hands of Bristol City, despite taking the lead in a thunderous second-half at Layer Road.

Carl Marston

Colchester United 1 Bristol City 2

COLCHESTER United suffered a damaging home defeat at the hands of Bristol City, despite taking the lead in a thunderous second-half at Layer Road.

It was all going so well for the U's when Clive Platt steered home his eighth goal of the season, after keeper Adriano Basso had only parried Kevin McLeod's goal-bound shot.

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But this 50th minute opener was soon cancelled out as City came storming back to score a brace of quickfire goals, and so bolster their hopes of promotion.

Burly striker Dele Adebola netted the equaliser within 90 seconds of Platt's goal, heading firmly home from Jamie McAllister's cross, and Michael McIndoe then bagged what proved to be the winning goal with a deflected long-range shot on 58 minutes.

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City were reduced to 10 men with 11 minutes remaining, when defender Bradley Orr was sent off for two bookable offences, but the U's could not capitalise.

Geraint Williams' men therefore remain stuck in the relegation zone, with just 13 games remaining. They also picked up a couple of unwanted injuries, with right-back John White stretchered off in the first half and centre-half Chris Coyne jarring his back before half-time.

An awful back pass from Jamie McCombe left his keeper, Adriano Basso, in no man's land on 12 minutes. The net was unguarded, but defender Bradley Orr reacted quickly enough to shepherd the ball to safety before Duguid could slide home.

The U's continued to dictate and skipper Karl Duguid registered the first goal attempt in the 17th minute. John White floated over a deep cross to the far post, where Duguid glanced a header into the side-netting with Basso at full stretch.

Orr was the first player to be booked, for clipping the heels of Kevin McLeod down the left wing in the 32nd minute. It was not the first time that right-back Orr had felled McLeod this afternoon.

Two minutes later and Scott Vernon squandered a great chance to break the deadlock. Izzet did well to steer McLeod's deflected low cross into the direction of Vernon, with a deft back-heel, but the ex-Blackpool striker sliced his shot wide from just eight yards out.

There was a blow for the hosts when defender White was stretchered off, following a robust challenge by Ivan Sproule near the touch-line. It was a foul, but it didn't appear a nasty tackle.

However, the stretcher was quickly called, and substitute Danny Granville was the man to replace White on

The U's had to make some adjustments to their line-up for the start of the second-half, because central defender Chris Coyne was unable to continue. The ex-Luton skipper was suffering from concussion.

Hammond appeared as a half-time substitute, to make his U's debut in central midfield. Jackson moved to left-back, with Granville switching to the heart of defence alongside Virgo.

However, these changes did not disrupt Colchester too much, at least initially, as PLATT swept them into a 50th minute lead.

McLeod ran onto Karl Duguid's pass and let fly with a low drive that keeper Basso could only parry.

The ball spun loose and Platt reacted first to slide into an empty net.

But Bristol City were level within 90 seconds. ADEBOLA was the lethal marksman, sending a glorious header from Jamie McAllister's teasing cross beyond the reach of Gerken and into the bottom corner of the net.

It was Adebola's second goal in just three appearances for the Robins, since his move from Coventry.

At the other end, McLeod was only a whisker away from glancing home Vernon's deep cross, but it was Bristol City who grabbed the lead on 58 minutes.

MCINDOE was the scorer, although there was a slice of good fortune about his goal. The ex-Doncaster attacker latched onto Lee Johnson's quickly-taken free-kick and connected with a shot, from the edge of the box, which took a wicked deflection to loop over a stranded Gerken and balloon into the root of the net.

It was harsh on the U's. McIndoe's shot would probably have not troubled Gerken, but for the deflection, which seemed to come off Hammond.

Only a double save from Gerken prevented City from taking a 3-1 lead in the 75th minute. Elliott powered through on goal, with just Gerken to beat. His first shot cannoned into the chest of the U's keeper, who then recovered superbly to claw away the goal-bound shot from the rebound. He managed to push the ball around his near post.

City were reduced to 10 men in the 79th minute. Orr had been booked in the first half, and he was then penalised for a foul. The right-back kicked the ball away in anger, and was therefore shown a second yellow and ensuing red card by referee Anthony Taylor.

The visitors therefore had to play the last 11 minutes with 10 men, but the U's could not make their numerical advantage count.


COLCHESTER UNITED: Gerken 7, IFIL 8, Coyne 6 (sub Hammond, 46, 6), Virgo 7, White 6 (sub Granville, 40, 6), Duguid 7, Izzet 6, Jackson 6, McLeod 7 (sub Lisbie, 67), Platt 7, Vernon 6. Unused subs: Watson, Cousins.

BRISTOL CITY: Basso 7, Orr 6, McCombe 7, Fontaine 7, McAllister 7, Carle 7 (sub Byfield, 55, 6), Elliott 7, Johnson 6, Sproule 6 (sub Skuse, 80), MCINDOE 8, Adebola 7 (sub Vasko, 84). Unused subs: Noble, Weale.

Referee: Mr Anthony Taylor (Greater Manchester) 7

Attendance: 5,609

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