Colchester United rue Chris Porter’s penalty miss in defeat at Doncaster

Doncaster Rovers 2 Colchester United 0

Chris Porter’s early penalty miss proved crucial as Colchester United tumbled to defeat at Doncaster Rovers this afternoon.

Once again the U’s failed to record back-to-back wins – they have been unable to do this all season – as goals by Enda Stevens and Nathan Tyson (penalty) secured a home win for the play-off chasing Yorkshire hosts.

Porter’s penalty miss arrived after just 12 minutes, when the big man himself was shoved in the back by defender Luke McCullough.

Centre-forward Porter had ironically scored a couple of penalties for Sheffield United, against the U’s only last season, but he was not so deadly this time – his rather wild spot kick was high and wide of target.

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That miss was to prove costly as Rovers broke the deadlock in the 40th minute, via Stevens’ well-struck low volley, from the edge of the box.

The U’s had managed to cut out the initial cross by Tyson, but Stevens’ follow-up shot flew like a bullet past Sam Walker, who appeared to be unsighted by a couple of players in front of him.

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And Tyson killed off any hopes of a U’s comeback, when he drilled home an 83rd minute penalty, after Alex Wynter had been harshly adjudged to have fouled Dean Furman in the box.

There was no way back for Colchester.

The U’s had showed two changes to the side that shocked leaders Bristol City with a 3-2 win last weekend.

Left-back Matt Briggs was ill, and midfielder Tom Lapslie missed out with a foot injury, so in came new recruit Karleigh Osborne and back came skipper David Fox.

Osborne, signed on loan from Bristol City on Thursday, played alongside Tom Eastman in central defence, with Wynter switching to left-back.

Fox had recovered from a hip injury, which caused him to miss the Bristol game, so he was the obvious replacement for Lapslie in central midfield.

The U’s were on the defensive early on, and Wynter was in the right place to head off the goal-line from Curtis Main’s cross into the six-yard box.

From the ensuing corner, skipper Andy Butler’s towering header struck the bar and, as luck would have it, the rebound looped into the hands of Walker. That was a big escape for the visitors.

U’s debutant Osborne was in the thick of the action on 10 minutes, when back-tracking to head away a dangerous cross from Reece Wabara, deep inside the six-yard box.

But it was the visitors who should have taken the lead on 12 minutes, when Porter won a penalty after being shoved in the back by defender McCullough, while preparing to meet a cross by Sean Clohessy.

However, Porter smashed his penalty high and wide of target, with keeper Stephen Bywater not required to make a save.

Six minutes later and the U’s woodwork was struck again, this time via Abdul Razak’s glancing header which skimmed the top of the bar.

Elliott Hewitt came close to finding the back of the net in the 28th minute. The Ipswich Town loanee capped a strong run with a measured shot that curled just the wrong side of the far upright

At the other end, Rovers had half-hearted appeals for a penalty turned down in the 33rd minute, when left-back Stevens took a tumble with Hewitt in close attendance. Referee Peter Bankes was not impressed.

However, Stevens was celebrating a goal, just seven minutes later, as his low volley screamed past Walker, from 20 yards out, to put Rovers 1-0 up.

Walker came to his side’s rescue, in first-half stoppage time, to prevent the U’s from going two-down. Tyson’s close-range effort, from Richie Wellens’ low cross, was saved on his goal-line by the U’s keeper.

Into the second half and Gavin Massey, who had been quiet during the first period, burst into the Rovers’ box. He rather sliced his shot, which was skied to the far post, where Macauley Bonne was unable to capitalise from an acute angle.

Bonne was then very close to getting on the end of Porter’s flick into the six-yard box, as the U’s stepped up their search for an equaliser.

At the other end, Walker was relieved to see Wellens’ cross-cum-shot fizz past his far post on 53 minutes, with no home player on hand to divert into an unguarded net.

Just a minute later and Porter nodded over from point blank range, after he had reacted instinctively to Bonne’s initial header.

Roves threatened to double their lead in the 69th minute as Tyson broke free of the U’s back-line. He delivered a cross into the path of fellow front-runner Curtis Main, who drilled his shot straight at Walker.

But Tyson wrapped up the points with his 83rd minute penalty.

DONCASTER: Bywater, Wabara, McCullough, Butler, Stevens, Razak (sub Bennett, 79), Keegan, Tyson (sub Ikpeazu, 86), Wellens, Furman, Main (sub Forrster, 79). Unused subs: Marosi, Evina, McCombe, Robinson.

COLCHESTER: Walker, Clohessy (sub Gordon, 65), Osborne, Eastman, Wynter, Hewitt (sub Moncur, 82), Fox, Gilbey, Massey, Bonne (sub Healey, 70), Porter. Unused subs: Lewington, Marriott, McEvoy, Sembie-Ferris.

Referee: Peter Bankes

Attendance: 6,330 (220 away fans)


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