U’s punished for horror start in home defeat to Oldham

Alex Iacovitti beats Colchester keeper Dillion Barnes as the visitors take an early lead during Satu

Alex Iacovitti beats Colchester keeper Dillion Barnes as the visitors take an early lead during Saturday's League Two showdown. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United 0 Oldham Athletic 2

Dillion Barnes makes a first half save, but by this time the U's were already chasing a two goal def

Dillion Barnes makes a first half save, but by this time the U's were already chasing a two goal deficit. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

A sluggish start cost Colchester United dear as two early goals enabled Oldham Athletic to ease to their third victory on the trot, at the Jobserve Stadium this afternoon.

Goals inside the first quarter-of-an-hour from defender Alex Iacovitti and striker Callum Lang really punished the lack-lustre U’s.

It was the U’s third home defeat on the bounce, following previous home losses to Forest Green Rovers and Tranmere Rovers, and it has put a dent in their play-off hopess.

Oldham created the first chance, with Tom Hamer blasting a 25-yarder narrowly wide in the third minutes.

And just three minutes later, the Latics got their noses in front, from the first corner of the game.

Centre-half Peter Clarke nodded on the delivery and fellow defender Iacovitti was in the right place to divert home low into the far corner of the net.

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It soon got worse for the hosts, as Oldham were gifted a second goal in the 13th minute.

An unwise back pass by Frankie Kent put Dillon Barnes under pressure, but the U’s keeper should have done better than merely miscue his attempted clearance straight at the feet of Lang.

Striker Lang needed no second invitation, planting a low shot into the bottom corner of the net, past a stranded Barnes, to rattle up his 14th goal of the season.

The U’s tried to respond quickly, but rarely threatened, albeit for a header by Ben Stevenson which drifted harmlessly over the bar on the quarter-hour mark.

The Latics went close to adding a third goal, around the 20-minute mark. Barnes did well to palm away a deflected goalbound shot by Lang, and a few seconds slater was diving to his right to cling onto a long-range rocket by Chris Missilou.

Kane Vincent-Young, who scored the dramatic injury-time winner at Cambridge United the previous weekend, finally registered the U’s first shot in target, in the 29th minute, but his 20-yarder was safely caught by Dan Iversen under his bar.

The U’s had penalty appeals waved away by referee Lee Swabey in the 35th minute, when Courtney Senior burst clear of the Latics defence. He went to ground, with defender George Edmundson in close attendance, but play was allowed to continue.

McGreal made a change at half-time, introducing substitute Frank Nouble for Eisa down the left flank, and the U’s did enjoy some early pressure with Luke Norris heading straight at Iversen from Senior’s 57th minute corner.

Szmodics managed to get behind the Latics defence in the 65th minute, but his low cross into the six-yard box was squeezed away before Tom Lapslie could divert home.

The U’s nearly halved the deficit in the 73rd minute, as substitute Brennan Dickenson and Nouble combined. Dickenson’s low cross only needed a firm touch from Nouble, but the ball merely glanced off his boot and rolled wide of the far post.

Szmodics had a couple of shots blocked, and Dickenson headed wide from the same attack in the 86th minute as the U’s searched in vain for a goal.


COLCHESTER: Barnes, Jackson, Prosser, Kent, Vincent-Young, Stevenson, Lapslie (sub Dickenson, 71), Senior, Szmodics, Eisa (sub Nouble, 46), Norris (sub Mandron, 65). Unused subs: Ross, Wright, Eastman, Saunders.

OLDHAM: Iverson, Hamer, Iacovitti, Clarke, Edmundson, Missilou (sub Sylla, 75), Maouche, Nepomuceno, Branger-Engone (sub Afolayan, 65), Lang, O’Grady. Unused subs: De La Paz, Coke, Hunt, Sefil, Benteke.

Referee: Lee Swabey (Devon)

Attendance: 3,975 (254 away fans)

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