Colchester United’s lowest crowd misery
An unwanted record was broken last night, as the lowest-ever attendance for a Colchester United home match witnessed their final Checkatrade Trophy group match, against League One outfit Charlton.
A gate of just 548 saw the U’s win a penalty shoot-out (4-3) after the sides had shared a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes at the Community Stadium.
That eclipsed the previous lowest crowd of just 791, which was set in the U’s previous match in this competition, at home to Southampton Under-23s.
The U’s had already been knocked out of the competition, regardless of last night’s outcome, having lost their first two Group E matches at Crawley and against the Saints.
Charlton, nursing only slender hopes of progressing themselves, having been beaten 2-0 by Crawley in their previous outing, went ahead via Nicky Ajose’s close-range finish.
But Maculey Bonne equalised with a superb finish in the 42nd minute.
Drey Wright whipped over a cross from the right flank and Bonne headed powerfully home, past keeper Dillon Phillips.
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Neither side could fashion a winner during the second period, and so a penalty shoot-out decided who would claim the second bonus point.
U’s keeper Dillon Barnes was the hero, saving two spot kicks, the second from Ezri Konsa to seal the shoot-out success.
Kurtis Guthrie, Bonne, Wright and Craig Slater all scored their penalties, with Louis Dunne having his effort saved.
The U’s return to action in League Two against struggling Leyton Orient on Saturday, eager to halt a run of eight league games without a victory.
COLCHESTER: Barnes, Vincent-Young (sub Brindley, 46), Kent, Eastman, Wynter, Kamara, T Lapslie (sub Slater, 60), Wright, Guthrie, Dickenson (sub Dunne, 46), Bonne. Unused subs: Bransgrove, Prosser, Szmodics, Johnstone.