Colchester United 0 Swindon Town 0: Dillon Barnes and Ryan Gondoh make League debuts in stalemate

Drey Wright battles with Ryan McGivern during the first half of this afternoon's clash between Colch

Drey Wright battles with Ryan McGivern during the first half of this afternoon's clash between Colchester United and Swindon Town. It was the U's last home game of the season. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United 0 Swindon Town 0

Colchester United’s home campaign ended in a low key goalless draw against Swindon Town, although that at least halted a sequence of three straight defeats.

Both clubs had drifted out of the League Two play-off picture in recent weeks, so there was not much at stake.

And that was clearly in evidence as both sides struggled to create any clear-cut chances, although there were encouraging Football League debuts for keeper Dillon Barnes and wide-attacker Ryan Gondoh (as a substitute).

John McGreal’s men end their season away at Exeter City next weekend.

The U’s had made three changes to the side that lost to an injury-time goal in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at Lincoln City.

There were recalls for centre-half Frankie Kent and wide-attacker Courtney Senior, while Barnes was handed his League debut in goal.

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The previously ever-present Sam Walker, who made his 200th league appearance for the U’s at Lincoln seven days earlier, was on the bench, suggesting that he is likely to leave the club this summer – his contract expires at the end of this season.

League debutant Barnes was forced into his first save on six minutes, the 22-year-old safely getting his body behind a long-range free-kick from Matty Taylor, which was deflected into his arms.

It was an otherwise low-key opening, Robins young striker Scotty Twine scooping a shot several yards over the top, much to his manager Phil Brown’s frustration, on 18 minutes.

The U’s did earn a corner, midway through the first half, but Mikael Mandron volleyed wide from Ben Stevenson’s delivery.

Sean Murray tested visiting keeper, Stuart Moore, with a 20-yard daisy-cutter that was easily gathered, while Courtney Senior ballooned a shot over the top from a promising position in the 35th minute.

The best moment of the first period arrived in the 43rd minute, when winger Drey Wright capped a strong run with a goal-bound shot which was palmed to safety at full stretch by keeper Moore.

From the ensuing corner routine, Senior’s delivery was headed powerfully over the bar from centre-half Kent.

Entertainment continued to be in short supply in the second half, although Wright blasted a cross-cum-shot dangerously across the face of Swindon’s goal on 58 minutes.

Ten minutes later and the U’s made a double change, with the ex-Maldon & Tiptree duo of Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe and Gondoh coming on for Mandron and Wright. It was wide-attacker Gondoh’s debut in the Football League.

Gondoh looking very bright down the right flank. He drew a foul from Donal McDermott, which earned the Swindon substitute a booking, and the U’s man then picked himself to take the free-kick, which was deflected over the bar.

Gondoh also embarked on an exciting run from deep in his own half, on 82 minutes, before releasing Sammie Szmodics, who was closed down inside the penalty area.


COLCHESTER: Barnes, Jackson, Prosser, Kent, Vincent-Young, Comley, Wright (sub Gondoh, 68), Stevenson, Murray, Senior (sub Szmodics, 78), Mandron (sub Ogedi-Uzokwe, 68). Unused subs: Walker, Lapslie, Eastman, Issa.

SWINDON: Moore, Knoyle, McGivern, Menayese, Taylor, Elsnik (sub Woolery, 51), Banks, Dunne, Anderson (sub Hussey, 85), Twine (sub McDermott, 60), Richards. Unused subs: Henry, Purkiss, Mullin, Linganzi.

Referee: Mr Craig Hicks (Surrey)

Attendance: 3,687 (295 away fans)

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