Colchester United dominate but have to make do with a point against Plymouth
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Colchester United 0 Plymouth Argyle 0
Play-off chasing Colchester United were the better team for long periods, but had to make do with a point against already promoted Plymouth Argyle this afternoon.
Chris Porter squandered the best chance of the match, with a first-half header drifting wide of target, and the U’s centre forward also went close with a shot-on-the-turn late on.
Plymouth had the best away record in the division, with 13 wins from their first 21 on the road, but they were second best for long periods against the U’s and happy to take a point.
As for the U’s, they have now lost just two of their last 14 home matches, a terrific record, although they really needed a win this afternoon to enhance their play-off hopes.
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John McGreal’s men will now have to win their last two matches, at Leyton Orient and against Yeovil, to stand a chance of finishing in the top seven.
The U’s settled early on and livewire Tarique Fosu curled a shot narrowly over the bar from the edge of the box inside three minutes.
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Leading scorer Chris Porter registered the game’s first effort on target, although his 10th minute header from Brennan Dickenson’s cross flew straight into the arms of keeper Luke McCormick.
At the other end, Sam Walker punched away Plymouth’s first corner of the afternoon, with ex-U’s midfielder David Fox then returning a 30-yard volley which dropped well wide of target.
Otherwise, goalmouth action was at a premium during the first quarter of the game.
The U’s went close in the 27th minute. Drey Wright’s shot was half charged down and nearly rolled into the path of strike-force partner Porter, but keeper McCormick smothered the loose ball at the striker’s feet.
Five minutes later and Plymouth created their best opportunity of the half. Graham Carey released midfielder Antoni Sarcevic, who fired across goal and wide with Walker at full stretch.
Porter squandered an even better chance for the hosts. The big man was unmarked when he met Dickenson’s cross with a free header that dropped wide of the far post in the 37th minute.
Fosu nearly broke the deadlock in first-half stoppage time. His well-struck angled drive only just skidded past the far post, with McCormick struggling to cover.
It was a bright start to the second period from the U’s, with both Wright and Fosu testing keeper McCormick from distance, while Porter was unable to capitalise on Dickenson’s cross-cum-shot into the box in the 53rd minute.
The hosts continued to press, pegging back Plymouth for long spells, but without too many clear-cut chances, while at the other end right-back Oscar Threlkeld volleyed wide from a promising position following Gary Sawyer’s 78th minute cross.
On 83 minutes, Porter was within a whisker of scoring the all-important goal. His shot on the turn, from Wright’s delivery, squirmed inches wide of the far post.
Porter also headed over the top from Brindley’s 89th minute free-kick.
COLCHESTER: Walker, Eastman, James, Elokobi, Brindley, Lapslie (sub Loft, 80), Murray, Dickenson, Fosu (sub Pyke, 75), Wright, Porter. Unused subs: Brill, Briggs, Wynter, Bonne, O’Sullivan.
PLYMOUTH: McCormick, Threlkeld, Songo’o, Sokolik, Sawyer, Fox (sub Tanner, 86), Sarcevic, Jervis (sub Slew, 70), Smith (sub Garita, 58), Carey, Taylor. Unused subs: Bulvtis, Spencer, Donaldson, Dorel.