Clean sheet all well and good, but lack of attacking chances was Colchester’s undoing

Colchester's Tarique Fosu loses the battle to stay on his feet in this duel for the ball with Newpor

Colchester's Tarique Fosu loses the battle to stay on his feet in this duel for the ball with Newport County's Tom Meechan during the Colchester United v Newport County (Sky Bet League Two) match at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester, Essex on 08 October 2016. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

John McGreal said he and his players shared the fans’ frustrations after the Us stumbled to a goalless stalemate against a Newport side propping up the football league.

United's Sammie Szmodics battles with Darren Jones of Newport during the Colchester United v Newport

United's Sammie Szmodics battles with Darren Jones of Newport during the Colchester United v Newport County (Sky Bet League Two) match at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester, Essex on 08 October 2016. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Despite the absence of Luke Prosser, the captain suspended for a game after picking up a fifth yellow card last Tuesday, Colchester managed to keep a clean sheet for the first time since the end of August. Alex Wynter, rather than new signing and former Watford man Lloyd Doyley, stepped into the breech.

But for all that was good at the back, there was something lacking up top.

Chris Porter ploughed a lone furrow in attack but had little to feed on. Drey Wright and Sammie Szmodics were both lively in midfield but were restricted mostly to shots from long range.

Anything that was on target generally went straight towards visiting ‘keeper Joe Day – though the same could be said of the efforts from Newport when in front of Sam Walker’s net.

Kurtis Guthrie, had some strong words to say after today's 2-1 defeat at Yeovil

Kurtis Guthrie, had some strong words to say after today's 2-1 defeat at Yeovil - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller


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Afterwards McGreal said he would take the clean sheet and move on, but that Colchester needed to up their attacking game after failing to score at home for the first time this season.

“Defensively we were really sound,” he said. “We’ve created one or two chances we haven’t take, but in a tight game like that you do need to take them.

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“The overall decisions in that top third were poor today from out attackers.”

He added: “First half we didn’t move the ball quickly enough, second half we just ran in straight lines and were a little bit static. That’s the most displeasing thing.

The U's Sammie Szmodics on the ball with Darren Jones of Newport County in pursuit, during the Colch

The U's Sammie Szmodics on the ball with Darren Jones of Newport County in pursuit, during the Colchester United v Newport County (Sky Bet League Two) match at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester, Essex on 08 October 2016. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

“You’re looking at the league, every week they are tough games and we’ve got to realise it’s not going to be a walkover.”

Newport proved tough to break down on Saturday, but being frustrated by the opposition needs to be turned into something positive, said stand-in defender Alex Wynter.

He and his teammates failed to find a way through a resolute visiting defence.

“They sat back and made it difficult for us to play,” said the man who came into the side in place of suspended captain Luke Prosser. “They stuck to their game plan well. We’ve got to make sure we can adapt and break teams down.

“We started going longer, stopped playing, but we’ve got to turn the frustrations into positives.

“Maybe we just didn’t click, I’m not sure, but we’ve got to take the positive, we got a clean sheet which is long overdue.”

Wynter’s feeling is that, for a team he says is confident and training well, one good result is what is needed to get them “over that line” to kick off another successful run.

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