Colchester United 0 Morecambe 0: Carl Marston’s 5 Talking Points

Drey Wright strikes the bar with this late shot against Morecambe. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Drey Wright strikes the bar with this late shot against Morecambe. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Carl Marston’s Five Talking Points from yesterday’s 0-0 home draw against Morecambe.

TOO MANY MISTAKES

The U’s did not really deserve to win this game.

They defended well, but their attacking play was poor, as was their build-up play.

Too many passes went astray, or were over-hit. The same can be said for their crosses and deliveries into the box.

Furthermore, the U’s finishing was poor in front of goal. They peppered the target, but failed to seriously test keeper Barry Roche.

DIFFICULT TO BEAT

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Just one defeat in nine league matches is promotion form.

So despite not playing particularly well, against such lowly opposition, the U’s must be considered to be serious play-off contenders this season.

Furthermore, the U’s have kept five clean-sheets in those last nine fixtures, away at Yeovil, Coventry and Barnet, and at home to Mansfield and Morecambe.

The three-man defence is proving difficult to break down, both at the Community Stadium and on the road, and the trio of Ryan Inniss, Frankie Kent and Tom Eastman are well-settled.

The platform, therefore, is built for a potentially successful second half of the season.

STRONG BENCH

Players coming back from injury have certainly strengthened the U’s squad, in terms of options off the bench.

That was the case against Morecambe, with John McGreal spoilt for choice.

- John McGreal’s reaction

Craig Slater is a handy man to have available from the bench, to add some flair to the midfield, while fellow substitutes Kyel Reid and Drey Wright both made an impact during their few minutes on the pitch.

Introduced as 79th minute replacements, Reid got around the Shrimps’ defence to pick out Sammie Szmodics with a low cross, although the U’s No. 10 lost his balance while about to shoot, while Wright rattled the bar with a cracking 25-yarder on 87 minutes.

MORE RISKS REQUIRED

The U’s are playing it a little safe at the moment.

They don’t commit too many players to attack, and it is obvious that there is often a lack of back-up or support, when a U’s man is on the ball, which reduces options.

Perhaps it is a fear of being caught out of position, on any potential counter-attack.

Certainly, U’s attacking players are often isolated when in possession, especially down the flanks.

SHORTAGE OF ENTERTAINMENT

The U’s are not playing with as much freedom as last season.

That is not surprising, given that their two star players from last term, Brennan Dickenson and Kurtis Guthrie, have both been nursing long-term injuries.

Their flair has been sadly missed, Dickenson with his surging runs and eye for goal down the left wing, and Guthrie for his unpredictably and his often deadly finishes.

The U’s are solid, but unspectacular.

But at least they are giving themselves a chance of being successful.

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