U’s suffer fifth defeat in six matches as play-off hopes fade
Bury 2 Colchester United 0
Colchester United suffered a massive blow to their League Two play-off hopes, when sliding to a 2-0 defeat Bury this afternoon.
A second-half brace by striker Dom Telford sealed the U’s fate at Gigg Lane, against a Bury side who had lost their previous three matches.
The U’s have now lost five of their last six matches, and not scored in any of those five defeats – the one highlight was a 1-0 win at Cambridge.
With results elsewhere not going for the U’s either, they find themselves five points adrift of the top seven with just four matches remaining.
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Telford broke the deadlock five minutes into the second half, from close-range.
Leading scorer Nicky Maynard managed to head into the danger zone, from a corner, and fellow striker Telford was on hand to head the ball into the roof of the net from inside the six-yard box.
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The same duo combined for the Shakers’ second goal, as well, which came in the 66th minute.
Maynard did well down the right flank and whipped over an inch-perfect cross for Telford to send a stooping header low into the centre of the net.
The U’s showed four changes to the side that were beaten 2-0 at home by Oldham last weekend.
In came Rene Gilmartin, Sam Saunders (U’s full debut), Frank Nouble and Mikael Mandron, with Dillon Barnes, Ben Stevenson, Luke Norris and Abo Eisa all relegated to the substitutes’ bench.
The U’s almost break the deadlock after just 45 seconds when Courtney Senior’s cross-cum-shot was hacked off the goal-line to safety.
Tom Lapslie, not renowned for his shots from distance, eyed up the target from 20 yards out with a rising drive that keeper Joe Murphy did well to claw over his bar on nine minutes.
Murphy was in the action again, just a minute later, when smothering Sammie Szmodics’ low shot.
Certainly the visitors enjoyed the better of the first half-hour, although O’Shea was not far adrift with a curling free-kick.
Lapslie came to his side’s rescue with a superb double block in the 33rd minute. Gilmartin struggled to fully punch clear a cross, and O’Shea hammered in a couple of shots that were both blocked by Lapslie, at point blank range.
Gilmartin made a good save to deny Telford on a one-on-one situation in the 48th minute. The U’s keeper came off his line to block Telford’s shot with his chest, in front of his near post.
However, Telford did score just 60 seconds later to put the Shakers ahead, heading into the roof of the net from close-range.
The U’s tried to respond quickly and Murphy did well to shepherd Ryan Jackson’s shot away for a corner, in the 57th minute.
Only the woodwork denied the U’s an equaliser just before the hour mark as Saunders’ long-range thunderbolt beat keeper Murphy, only to rebound back off the bar.
But the visitors had all to do when Telford netted his second goal of the game, heading home Maynard’s cross in the 66th minute.
Saunders had a free-kick diverted over the bar by keeper Murphy in the 88th minute, but the U’s could not find a way back into the game.
BURY: Murphy, Aimson, Wharton, Stokes, McFadzean (sub Moore, 46), Danns, Aimson, Rossiter, O’Shea, Telford (sub Omotayo,89), Maynard (sub Lavery, 81). Unused subs: Moloney, Thompson, Cooney, Hulme.
COLCHESTER: Gilmartin, Jackson, Prosser (sub Eastman, 65), Kent, Vincent-Young, Lapslie (sub Norris, 77), Saunders, Senior, Szmodics, Nouble, Mandron (sub Dickenson, 75). Unused subs: Barnes, Stevenson, Chilvers, Eisa.
Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear)
Attendance: 3,898 (317 away fans)