Colchester United’s winless run goes on, and on, and on
- Credit: Archant
Colchester United 0 Shrewsbury Town 0
Colchester United again failed to end their long winless streak, having to make do with a drab goalless draw at home to fellow strugglers Shrewsbury Town this afternoon.
The U’s had equalled a club record winless streak of 18 league games (in any one season) at Bury last weekend, and they set the unwanted club record outright today.
Kevin Keen’s men did at least keep a rare clean-sheet, their first since a 2-0 home win over Bradford at the end of September, but the solitary point has done little for their plight at the foot of the table.
The U’s created the better of the very few scoring opportunities, although the Shrews went closest to winning the game when midfielder Abu Ogogo struck the post with a fierce shot in the 40th minute.
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Chris Porter squandered the hosts’ best chance, so their winless run now stands at 19 league games, stretching to 130 days.
One of the few positives was a good debut from centre-half Leo Chambers, recruited on loan from West Ham yesterday. It was his league debut.
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It was a bright start from the U’s as they peppered the target with a string of goal-attempts inside the first 10 minutes.
Porter, who had bagged his fifth goal of the season in the previous weekend’s 5-2 defeat at Bury, stabbed a low shot narrowly wide of the near post from Nicky Shorey’s delivery in the third minute.
Three minutes later and George Moncur’s thumping low drive was deflected wide for a corner, while winger Gavin Massey scuffed one shot wide and lifted a 20-yarder over the top.
The Shrews, beaten 3-0 by Manchester United in the FA Cup on Monday night, began to inch their way into their contest and Ian Black fired narrowly over the bar in the 13th minute.
Drey Wright, starting his first league game for 18 months, took a tumble in the box on 16 minutes, under a challenge from defender Zak Whitbread.
Referee Andy Woolmer was not impressed, although he also resisted the urge to book Wright for diving.
Shrewsbury went close to an opening goal on 19 minutes. The U’s failed to deal with a corner, and centre-half Nathaniel Knight-Percival, the Shrews’ leading scorer, turned to lash in a close-range shot which whistled over the bar.
The U’s should really have broken the deadlock themselves in the 27th minute. Moncur teed up Porter, but the U’s striker dragged his shot wide of target, from just 12 yards out, with just keeper Jayson Leutwiler to beat.
On the half-mark, Wright went down in the Shrews box for the second time in the match, this time with midfielder Black in close attendance.
Again, Mr Woolmer turned away penalty appeals and this time he did book the Wright for diving.
The visitors were the closest to scoring in the first half, when Abu Ogogo’s sizzling first-time shot, from 20 yards out, cannoned back off the post and rolled to safety, with Elliott Parish rooted to the spot.
U’s boss Keen made a change for the start of the second half, with Elliot Lee replacing Wright down the left flank.
And Lee made an immediate impression, getting behind the Shrews defence to whip over a low cross which was stabbed to safety by Whitbread from inside his six-yard box.
In the 58th minute, the visitors threatened on the breakaway. Andrew Mangan burst clear of the U’s defence, but screwed his shot a foot wide of the far post with just Parish to beat.
The game before to drift towards its inevitable conclusion, and another chance did not arrive until the 78th minute, when Moncur blasted an angled shot across goal and wide of the far post.
COLCHESTER: Parish, Vincent-Young, Kent, Chambers, Shorey, Garvan, Edwards, Massey (sub Oduwa, 82), Moncur, Wright (sub Lee, 46), Porter (sub Bonne, 66). Unused subs: Barnes, Brindley, Harney, Ambrose.
SHREWSBURY: Leutwiler, Smith (sub Cole, 35), Knight-Percival, Whitbread, Grimmer, Ogogo, Whalley (sub Clark, 82), Black, Brown, Mangan, Akpa-Akpro (sub Vernon, 71). Unused subs: Halstead, Vassell, Cole, Sadler, Grandin.
Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northants)
Attendance: 3,057 (320 away fans)