Colchester United 0 Yeovil Town 1: Missed penalty proves costly for U’s
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Colchester United 0 Yeovil Town 1
Colchester United’s play-off hopes suffered another massive blow following a home defeat to lowly Yeovil Town at a bitterly cold Weston Homes Community Stadium this afternoon.
The U’s have now collected just one point from a possible 12 in their last four fixtures.
With just nine matches remaining, their campaign looks like ending in disappointment.
It could have been so very different if Sammie Szmodics had not had his seventh minute penalty saved by keeper Stuart Nelson.
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Alex Fisher then put Yeovil ahead, turning to lash home a low shot after the U’s had failed to clear a 20th minute throw in.
And that turned out to be the only goal of the game.
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The U’s made two changes from the side that drew 1-1 at Mansfield last weekend, Doncaster Rovers loanee Liam Mandeville coming in for his first U’s start, and Luke Prosser returning to central defence at sweeper.
Mandeville made an immediate impression, charging down the left inside the first two minutes and whipping over a dangerous cross which both Kurtis Guthrie and Tom Lapslie were close to diverting home.
The U’s were awarded a penalty in the seventh minute, when Kane Vincent-Young was tripped in the box by ex-U’s left-back Ryan Dickson.
Guthrie wanted to take the penalty, but regular spot kick regular Szmodics took in the responsibility.
However, Szmodics’ penalty was well saved by keeper Nelson. The 35-year-old guessed the right way, diving to his left to push away the shot with strong hands.
Szmodics almost made amends in the 15th minute. He latched onto Drey Wright’s forward pass but pulled his shot wide of the near post, from just inside the penalty area.
However, it was the visitors who took the lead with their first effort on target, in the 21st minute.
The U’s failed to deal with a long throw into the box, centre-half Omar Sowunmi heading on at the near post for Jordan Green to tee up Fisher, who was able to turn and direct home his shot from 10 yards out, despite Prosser and Tom Eastman sticking out legs to try and block the effort.
The home side tried to respond and Guthrie headed straight at Nelson from Wright’s 26th minute cross. The Glovers keeper smothered on his goal-line.
Just before half-time, Guthrie had another half-chance when his shot-on-the-turn was blocked at close range by defender Shaun Donnellan.
In the second and last minute of first-half injury-time, Walker kept his side in the game by pulling off a fine save to thwart Tom James, pushing the shot around his far post.
The U’s came close to an equaliser on the hour mark, only for Mandeville’s well-struck free-kick to be superbly tipped to safety by keeper Nelson.
Ten minutes later and Nelson again came to his side’s rescue, palming away Frankie Kent’s header at his near post.
The veteran custodian also did well to divert substitute Olamide Shodipo’s free-kick over his bar in the 74th minute.
Nelson made late saves to deny both Kent (from long range) and Prosser (from point blank range).
COLCHESTER: Walker, Eastman, Prosser, Kent, Wright, Lapslie, Comley (sub Senior, 46), Vincent-Young, Szmodics, Mandeville (sub Shodipo, 71), Guthrie (sub Mandron, 64). Unused subs: Barnes, Murray, Stevenson, Rooney.
YEOVIL: Nelson, James, Donnellan, Sowunmi, Dickson (sub Mugabi, 40), Green, Wing, Bird, Browne, Fisher (sub Surridge, 65), Zoko (sub Barnes, 83). Unused subs: Maddison, Khan, Santos, Seager.
Referee: Tom Nield
Attendance: 2,772 (109 away fans)