Colchester United 0 Huddersfield Town 0

COLCHESTER United drew a blank in their historic first competitive game at the new Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United drew a blank in their historic first competitive game at the new Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Visitors Huddersfield proved to be gritty opponents, but at least Geraint Williams' men picked up their first point of the season following the opening day defeat at Hartlepool.

One of the most disappointing aspects of the afternoon was the attendance. The Essex club had been hoping for a gate in excess of 7,000, but in the end they had to make do with a crowd of 5,340.

Mark Yeates came the closest to breaking the deadlock in the first-half, when his delicate free-kick cannoned off the top of the bar.

Chances were limited after the break, although both sides had appeals for a penalty turned down. Scott Vernon headed narrowly wide from Johnnie Jackson's cross on 84 minutes, and also forced a save from keeper Matt Glennon.

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But in the end, the U's had to make do with a point.

U's boss Williams recalled three players to the side that won 1-0 at Gillingham in midweek. Back came striker Steven Gillespie, left-back Matt Lockwood and midfielder Johnnie Jackson, at the expense of Scott Vernon, Phil Ifil and Dean Hammond.

But there was no place in the starting line-up for club skipper Chris Coyne, who was only on the bench. Matt Heath retained his place after scoring the winner at Priestfield.

Huddersfield earned the first ever corner at the new ground, but Clive Platt was on hand to emphatically head clear from the ensuing cross on five minutes.

It was the U's who registered the first shot on target. That occurred on eight minutes, when Platt latched onto Anthony Wordsorth's delivery and turned to drill in a low shot that keeper Matt Glennon turned away for a corner.

Ex-Ipswich Town winger Gary Roberts was patrolling the right flank for the Terriers, and he tried his luck with a 25-yard free-kick that Dean Gerken easily caught on 19 minutes.

Huddersfield were perhaps shading the game, in terms of attacking opportunities, and veteran front-runner Andy Booth was not far adrift with a spectacular long-range volley.

John White, so impressive in pre-season, then carved out a chance for himself at the other end. The U's young right-back skipped past two challenges and exchanged a one-two with Gillespie. But when he was on the point of off-loading his shot, defender Chris Lucketti intervened with a last gasp challenge.

Terriers midfielder Jim Goodwin was the first player to be booked at the new stadium. He clattered into Kem Izzet near the half-way line on 25 minutes, and so was shown the yellow card by referee Rob Shoebridge.

Only the woodwork denied Colchester an opening goal in the 29th minute. Goodwin tripped Anthony Wordsworth just outside the box, and the ensuing free-kick from Mark Yeates left Glennon flat-footed. However, the ball clipped the top of the bar and ricocheted over the top for a goal-kick.

Huddersfield left-back Robbie Williams was the villain of the Community Stadium, following his cynical foul on Yeates in the 42nd minute. He clearly dragged down Yeates, to stop the Irishman from sprinting clear down the wing.

The U's faithful wanted a red card, but there were covering defenders and so Williams was given a yellow card instead.

Half-time: Colchester United 0 Huddersfield Town 0

Huddersfield's robust tactics resulted in a third booking after 56 minutes. White was left in a heap by a woefully late challenge from ex-Everton striker Cadamarteri, who was therefore shown the yellow card.

A minute later and the U's had appeals for a penalty turned down. Yeates' cross was blocked by Williams at point blank range. The ball seemed to strike the defender on the hand, but it was not deliberate.

Huddersfield had penalty appeals of their own turned down in the 62nd minute. Cadamarteri turned inside to crack in an angled shot that Jackson looked to handle, while lying on the floor. But the referee was not convinced.

Platt disappointed when slicing a shot over the top from a good position, and his strike-force partner Gillespie was then substituted in the 68th minute, with Scott Vernon as his replacement.

Jackson thumped in a hopeful 30-yard drive that Glennon saved on his haunches, and Platt likewise failed to really test the Huddersfield keeper with his low cross-cum-shot on 78 minutes.

Medy Elito appeared as an 81st minute substitute for Wordsworth, and was soon advancing goalwards. But his first shot was charged down outside the box.

Substitute Vernon had a half-chance with seven minutes remaining. Elito took a corner short to Jackson, who swept over a cross for Vernon to climb high and head wide while at full stretch.

Yeates also headed wide from Elito's 87th minute cross.

Elito then gave the ball away to Cadamarteri, and this almost led to a late Huddersfield winner. Roberts delivered a low cross into the danger zone, but Booth could not finish from close in, with Heath in close attendance.

In injury-time, Vernon beat his marker outside the box, but his attempted chip was saved by Glennon.

Full-time: Colchester United 0 Huddersfield Town 0

Squads

COLCHESTER UNITED: Gerken, White, Reid, Heath, Lockwood, Yeates, Izzet, Jackson, Wordsworth (sub Elito, 81), Gillespie (sub Vernon, 68), Platt. Unused subs: Coyne, Hammond, Cousins.

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN: Glennon, Holdsworth, Butler, Lucketti, Williams, Roberts, Worthington, Goodwin, Flynn, Cadamarteri, Booth. Unused subs: Collins, Parker, Beckett, Unsworth, Smithies.

Referee: Mr Rob Shoebridge

Attendance: 5,340

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