Colchester United 1 Wycombe Wanderers 2: Carl Marston’s 5 Talking Points
PUBLISHED: 18:12 23 September 2017 | UPDATED: 18:12 23 September 2017
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Colchester United writer Carl Marston gives his five talking points on the U’s 2-1 home defeat to Wycombe Wanderers.
Craig Mackail-Smith netted the winner on 67 minutes, after Brandon Hanlan had marked his full debut with a 43rd minute equaliser, following Nathan Tyson’s 31st minute opener.
U’s boss John McGreal sprung a couple of surprises in his team selection, with four changes to the side that had disappointed in a 3-1 away defeat at Cheltenham the previous weekend.
Mikael Mandron (suspended) and Cameron James (substituted early on at Whaddon Road) were obvious changes, while Nicke Kabamba was relegated to the bench after missing a great early chance against the Robins.
But more of a surprise was Doug Loft returning from injury to replace Brandon Comley in central midfield.
Drey Wright and Brandon Hanlan came in for Mandron and Kabamba, but Frankie Kent’s return as James’ replacement was a surprise – he had been troubled by an ankle injury for a couple of weeks.
It’s still early days, but Brandon Hanlan looks a natural finisher.
He marked his full debut with an instinctive shot that flew in off the underside of the bar for his equaliser today, following good work by Drey Wright.
He was denied another equaliser in the second half by keeper Scott Brown, who saved his goalbound low drive.
This was only Hanlan’s third U’s outing, the other two having been as a substitute.
The Charlton loanee scored on his debut as a substitute against Chesterfield, in a 1-1 draw, and was unlucky not to score at Cheltenham Town last weekend.
Wycombe looked the best league opposition seen at the Community Stadium so far this season.
They looked a cut above the likes of Stevenage, Forest Green Rovers, Crawley and Chesterfield.
That was especially the case up front, with the trio of Craig Mackail-Smith, Adebayo Akinfenwa and Nathan Tyson presenting a big challenge for the U’s three-man defence.
Wycombe Wanderers custodian, Scott Brown, played a blinder.
Brown was comfortably the man-of-the-match, denying the U’s with countless fine saves, including from Sammie Szmodics, Brandon Hanlan and Drey Wright.
BIG WEEK AHEAD
Having lost their unbeaten home league record, the onus is now on the U’s to start picking up points on the road.
They have a big week ahead, playing away at Grimsby Town on Tuesday evening and then taking on Yeovil at Huish Park next Saturday.
So far, the U’s have lost all four of their away games this season.
If that bleak away record is extended to six, by the end of next week, then the U’s will be in real trouble near the foot of the table.