Colchester United denied by veteran keeper Roy Carroll in defeat at nine-man Notts County
Notts County 2 Colchester United 1
Colchester United were denied by some inspired goalkeeping from veteran Roy Carroll, as they slumped to defeat at Notts County tonight.
Ex-Northern Ireland and Manchester United 36-year-old Carroll pulled off a number of top-class saves, especially in the first half, to earn three points for the Magpies, despite a first goal of the season for Freddie Sears.
The home side also ended the match with just nine men, after both Cieron Keane and Nicky Wroe were sent off for two bookable offences, in the 77th and 89th minutes respectively.
The U’s suffered the worst possible start, falling behind to Ronan Murray’s clinical early finish.
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Nicky Wroe’s firm cross-cum-shot into the box was steered beyond keeper Sam Walker by the alert Murray. It was a real poacher’s finish from the ex-Ipswich Town marksman.
Ironically, Murray had also broken the deadlock in this same fixture last April, again with a fifth minute goal.
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A combination of poor finishing, and some inspired goalkeeping from Carroll, kept the U’s at bay until Sears notched a 70th minute equaliser.
Sears shrugged off his marker to slot a low shot beyond the onrushing Carroll.
However, just two minutes later and the U’s joy was cut short by Liam Noble, who blasted home what proved to be the winner, into the roof of the net.
Notts County were reduced to 10 men in the 77th minute, with left-back Keane sent off for two bookable offences, and midfielder Wroe followed suit with a red card on 89 minutes – his second yellow was for kicking the ball away.
There were six minutes of injury time, but the U’s could not find an equaliser.
Joe Dunne’s men have therefore taken just one point from their first three league games.
NOTTS COUNTY: Carroll, Dumbuya, Mullins, Hollis, Keane, Jones, Wroe, Noble, Ismail (sub Thompson, 81), Murray, Cassidy. Unused subs: Spiess, Balmy, Dawson, Whitehouse, Edwards, Bishop.
COLCHESTER: Walker, Clohessy, Okuonghae, Eastman, Gordon, Gilbey (sub Eastmond, 87), Moncur, Bean (sub Massey, 77), Sears, Ibehre, Vose (sub Szmodics, 77). Unused subs: Lewington, Holman, Kent, Curtis.
Referee: Geoff Eltingham (Tyne & Wear)