Barnet 0 Colchester United 1: Super sub Sammie Szmodics nets cracking late winner for U’s
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Barnet 0 Colchester United 1
Colchester United extended their fine recent run in League Two to just one defeat in eight league games, thanks to a wonderful late winner from Sammie Szmodics at The HIve this afternoon.
On as a 73rd minute substitute, Szmodics obliged with a terrific winner just 11 minutes later.
Back in the squad after a six-week absence with ankle ligament damage, Szmodics made room for himself just outside the penalty are before lashing home a curling shot, giving keeper Jamie Stephens no chance.
It was no more than the U’s deserved, because they appeared to be denied what looked like a clear-cut penalty, just before the hour mark.
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Centre-half Ryan Inniss’ powerful header, following a corner by Doug Loft, was en route for goal until it appeared to be blocked by an opposing hand, inside the six yard-box.
Referee John Brooks waved play on, possibly being unsighted, but had he spotted the handball then the U’s would have won a penalty and Barnet would have been reduced to 10 men, with 30 minutes still to play.
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But Szmodics came up trumps with the all-important only goal.
The U’s showed one change to the side that were beaten 1-0 at home by non-league Oxford City in the FA Cup last weekend, Kane Vincent-Young replacing Kyel Reid at left wing-back.
Sam Walker was forced into his first save after just five minutes. Ryan Jackson felled David Tutonda, just outside the box, and Ryan Watson’s ensuing free-kick was goal-bound until Walker smothered it low to his left.
Walker was a busy man during the early stages, and he did well to drop on another Watson effort, this time struck from 25 yards out after John Akinde had air-kicked following a corner.
The U’s created very little during the first quarter of the game, although Ryan Jackson miscued a drive well wide of the near post on 18 minutes.
Inniss had a great first half-hour in the heart of U’s defence, ruling tha air-waves, as well as blocking a shot by danger-man Mauro Vilhete in the 28th minute.
Just before half-time, Doug Loft lifted a rare U’s corner into the danger-zone. Inninss climbed highest, but his header was comfortably cleared inside the six-yard box.
Into the second half and Loft had a 20-yard drive deflected wide for a corner, off the head of defender Charlie Clough.
And there was controversy from the resulting corner, taken by Loft on 59 minutes, when Inniss’ header appeared to be blocked by Jack Taylor with his hand, near the goal-line.
If referee Brooks had spotted that, then the U’s would surely have been awarded a penalty and Barnet would also have been reduced to 10 men.
Szmodics was introduced as a substitute on 73 minutes, and he took just 60 seconds to seriously work home keeper Jamie Stephens for the first time this afternoon. Szmodics made room for himself before lashing in a shot that Stephens did well to save.
But Stephens had no chance when Szmodics arrowed home the winner, with six minutes remaining.
BARNET: Stephens, Clough, Almeida Santos, Nelson, Vilhete, Watson, J Taylor, Tutonda (sub Blackman, 78), Coulthirst, Akinde (sub Akpa Akpro, 70), Akinola (sub Nicholls, 62). Unused subs: Ross, Bover, H Taylor, Fonguck,.
COLCHESTER UNITED: Walker, Eastman, Inniss, Kent, Jackson, Loft, Comley, Vincent-Young, Wright (sub Odelusi, 83), Mandron, Hanlan (sub Szmodics, 73). Unused subs: Gilmartin, Kinsella, Lapslie, Reid, Slater.
Referee: John Brooks (Leics)
Attendance: 2,301 (610 away fans)