Colchester United 0 Barnet 1: U’s suffer another defeat at hands of League Two strugglers
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Colchester United 0 Barnet 1
Colchester United suffered a big setback, in their quest for the League Two play-offs, when they tasted only their fourth home league defeat of the season, at the hands of bottom club Barnet this afternoon.
Alex Nicholls grabbed the only goal of the game in the 66th minute to secure all three precious points for Graham Westley’s strugglers.
Nicholls controlled John Akinde’s lay-off and kept his composure to sweep home a low shot beyond keeper Sam Walker and in at the far post.
For the second weekend running, the U’s under-performed, just as they had done at Crewe when they again endured a 1-0 loss.
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The swirling wind was a big factor all afternoon, and it certainly disrupted any rhythm to the game.
Barnet had the better of the early exchanges, although Mikael Mandron glanced a header across the face of goal from Kane Vincent-Young’s ninth minute cross.
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At the other end, danger-man John Akinde flashed a header wide of the near post on 12 minutes, while midfielder Ryan Watson was not far adrift with an angled drive which drifted wide of the far upright.
Mandron pulled shot wide from Tom Eastman’s knock-down on 16 minutes, but Barnet went closer when Alex Nicholls blasted over from just 10 yards out just before the 20-minute mark.
The U’s had a half-chance on the half-hour mark, but both Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe and Ryan Jackson mis-kicked in front of goal following Courtney Senior’s cross.
The lively Watson connected better with a volley at the other end, his shot-on-the-turn whistling only a foot wide of Sam Walker’s upright.
In the last minute of the first period, Brandon Comley registered the U’s best goal attempt of the half when rifling a 25-yarder narrowly wide following a free-kick routine, and there was still time for Ogedi-Uzokwe to be denied by keeper George Legg.
Manager McGreal made two changes early in the second half, with Brennan Dickenson and Liam Mandeville replacing Tom Eastman and Ogedi-Uzokwe.
On the hour mark, Dickenson ballooned a volley over the bar from just 10 yards out, as the U’s continued to huff and puff, while Mandron nodded narrowly wide from Jackson’s long throw on 65 minutes.
But just 60 seconds later and it was Barnet who took the lead, via Nicholls’ smart finish, slotting a low shot beyond Walker.
Frankie Kent smashed a late shot over the bar, but the Bees otherwise comfortably held on for their third away win of the season.
COLCHESTER: Walker, Eastman (sub Dickenson, 46), Inniss, Kent, Jackson, Comley, Murray, Vincent-Young (sub Wright, 85), Senior, Mandron, Ogedi-Uzokwe (sub Mandeville, 56). Unused subs: Gilmartin, Lapslie, Prosser, Stevenson.
BARNET: Legg, Vilhete, Santos, Sweeney, Tutonda, Watson, Weston, Bover (sub Taylor, 78), Nicholls, Akinde, Coulthirst (sub Nicholson, 86). Unused subs: Ross, Clough, Shomotun, Payne, Plavotic.
Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northants)
Attendance: 3,121 (235 away fans)