Cambridge United 1 Colchester United 0: Carl Marston's 5 Talking Points
PUBLISHED: 19:59 02 September 2017
Colchester United reporter Carl Marston highlights five talking points from today's 1-0 defeat at Cambridge, striker Uche Ikpeazu netting the only goal of the game on 64 minutes.
AWAY DAY BLUES
The U’s have a dreadful away record this year, and it shows no signs of getting any better.
This was their third away defeat on the trot this season, following previous losses at Accrington Stanley (3-1) and Luton Town (3-0), and the back end of last season was not much better.
In fact, since a 4-2 win at Stevenage on New Year’s Eve, the U’s have only won once on the road, and that was a victory at already-doomed Leyton Orient in April.
The U’s must simply improve their away record, if they are to stand any chance of replicating last season’s play-off push.
Once again, although they did not play well, Colchester missed good chances to score.
Sammie Szmodics so nearly got on the end of Tom Lapslie’s through ball in the opening minutes, only for keeper David Forde to scurry out of his penalty area to clear.
Kyel Reid was denied by the acrobatics of Forde just seconds later, while in the second half an out-of-sorts Mikael Mandron scuffed a shot wide on 75 minutes, and debutant Sanmi Odelusi flicked an injury-time header wide of target.
That was a great chance, but the U’s have now scored just once in three away games.
Of the U’s five signings, secured on transfer deadline day on Thursday, only three were in the 18-man squad and only one made his debut.
Defender Ryan Inniss (knee injury) and youngster Brandon Hanlan were not involved, while Portsmouth loanee striker Nicke Kabamba and QPR midfielder Brandon Comley were unused substitutes.
But Odelusi, signed on a short-term permanent deal, did appear as a 53rd minute substitute. He looked a little rusty down the left flank, before moving up top alongside Mandron for the final quarter of the game.
Unfortunately, but rather predictably, former Colchester striker Jabo Ibehre made a big impact following his introduction on the hour mark.
Ibehre teed up fellow front-runner Ikpeazu for the winning goal, and was generally a real handful for the U’s stretched defence.
Furthermore, U’s boss John McGreal admitted as such in his post match interview.
At 34 years of age, Obehre is still a force at this level.
Lewis Kinsella struggled a little at left-back in the first half, so it was no real surprise when he was taken off at half-time.
It was not Kinsella’s best day – former U’s attacker Medy Elito was a danger down the right as well – so on came Ryan Jackson for the second half.
Unfortunately Reid, who was the U’s best player in the first half, was suffering from a sore hip and so was replaced after just 53 minutes.
Reid’s departure certainly did not help the U’s cause.