Colchester United’s sad case of 17 dropped points

U's players make their way off the pitch at Walsall after last weekend's soul-destroying 2-1 defeat.

U's players make their way off the pitch at Walsall after last weekend's soul-destroying 2-1 defeat. The U's entertain Doncaster this afternoon.

Colchester United are 10 points adrift of League One safety, and effectively 11 due to a dreadful goal difference, with just nine fixtures remaining.

In short, the U’s WILL be a League Two club from next season.

And yet it could all have been so different, if the Essex club had not dropped so many points, both from being in healthy winning positions, and also from conceding woefully late goals.

In fact, this dreadful habit of capitulating, when sitting in the driving seat, will ultimately cost United their third tier status.

Below are the games that have condemned the U’s to almost certain relegation, with the number of points dropped:


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GAME 1:

Shrewsbury 4, U’s 2 (Oct’ 10)

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The U’s were in complete control in a very one-sided first half, and should have been more than 2-0 up at the break. But the game was turned on its head by substitutes Tyrone Barnett and Sullay Kaikai, who both scored twice to complete a remarkable comeback.

Shrews boss Micky Mellon said: “I don’t want to underestimate that comeback. It’s hard enough to score four goals in this division at any time of the season.”

GAME 2:

U’s 4 Walsall 4 (October 24)

Darren Ambrose appeared to have secured a dramatic home win, when drilling the U’s into a 4-3 lead on 80 minutes, only for James O’Connor to grab an equaliser in the first minute of stoppage time.

U’s midfielder Owen Garvan admitted: “To be honest, it could have ended 10-all. It shows just how much work we still have to do.”

GAME 3:

U’s 2 Crewe 3 (November 24)

When George Moncur doubled the U’s lead, early in the second half, Tony Humes’ men looked odds-on to inflict another defeat on bottom club Crewe. They were still 2-1 up, going into the last 10 minutes, before Marcus Haber (80) and 37-year-old Ryan Lowe (90+3) broke their hearts.

GAME 4:

U’s 1 Sheff Utd 2 (January 16)

This was so cruel on the U’s, who had looked the more likely winners until defender David Edgar’s bundled home from close range in the 91st minute.

GAME 5:

Bury 5 U’s 2 (February 20)

The score-line looks horrible, but the U’s were in pole position when breezing into a 2-0 lead inside the first 20 minutes at Gigg Lane, with Chris Porter and Gavin Massey on target. However, Tom Eastman’s 33rd minute sending-off was a big turning point, the 10-man visitors leaking five unanswered goals.

GAME 6:

U’s 3 Wigan 3 (March 12)

George Moncur’s penalty, on the hour mark, put the U’s 3-2 up in a thriller last Saturday week, after the hosts had twice rallied from a goal-down. But Kevin Keen’s men could not hold on, conceding an injury-time equaliser to striker Will Grigg. It was another nail in their relegation coffin, with games running out fast.

GAME 7:

Walsall 2 U’s 1 (March 19)

The U’s were heading for a shock away win last week, good value for their lead via Alex Gilbey’s first-half injury-time header. But they construed to lose in dramatic fashion, conceding an 89th minute equaliser to Tom Bradshaw before letting in a 94th minute winner for substitute Matt Preston.

OVERALL:

17 points dropped in the above seven games

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