Colchester United suffer heartache of another defeat
Leyton Orient 2 Colchester United 1
Colchester United suffered another defeat, this time at league leaders Leyton Orient, to slither closer to the relegation mire in East London this afternoon.
The U’s were unlucky to lose this one, having done so well to get themselves back on level terms with just 10 minutes to go.
Marcus Bean had headed home an 80th minute equaliser, to cancel out David Mooney’s opener, only for Moses Odubajo to poach an 84th minute with a breakaway goal.
It means the U’s have now taken just one point from a possible 15, in their last five matches.
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Mooney broke the deadlock with a wonderful finish against his old club on 21 minutes.
The U’s failed to deal with centre-half Scott Cuthbert’s cross into the box, and Mooney crashed home an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net from 12 yards out, giving keeper Sam Walker no chance.
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It was the former U’s loanee’s 18th goal of the season, in all competitions.
But the U’s dominated the second half and substitute Bean headed home on 80 minutes, despite keeper Eldin Jakupovic getting a hand to the ball. It still trickled over the line.
However, just four minutes later and skipper Brian Wilson gave the ball away in a dangerous position, enabling winger Odubajo to burst through and beat Sam Walker to net the winning goal.
U’s boss Dunne had made two changes to the side that were beaten 1-0 at home by Sheffield United, with Craig Eastmond and Gavin Massey recalled at the expense of Bean and Clinton Morrison, who were both on the bench.
The O’s included four former U’s players in their side – strikers Kevin Lisbie and Mooney, skipper Nathan Clarke and midfielder Lloyd James.
Colchester had not managed a shot on target throughout Tuesday night’s defeat to the Blades, but Freddie Sears put the record straight with a couple of early shots.
Sears tried his luck from distance on seven minutes, with a curling shot which keeper Jakupovic saved down at his near post.
Two minutes later and the Hull City loanee caught another goal-bound effort by Sears.
The visitors continued to look dangerous going forward. The marauding Eastmond managed to poke goalwards from Ryan Dickson’s cross, only for the ball to ricochet away for a corner off Romain Vincelot.
But it was Leyton Orient who took the lead, via Mooney’s spectacular finish in the 21st minute.
The U’s responded well to this setback, and Gavin Massey was only a couple of feet wide with his angled shot, from Dominic Vose’s lay-off, just before the half-hour mark.
However, Walker had to be at his best to deny the O’s a second goal in the 34th minute.
Kevin Lisbie won a foot race with Magnus Okuonghae and cut back inside the U’s defender, before unleashing a low shot which Walker did well to divert around his post.
O’s winger Moses Odubajo nearly sneaked through on a one-on-one in the 42nd minute, only for Tom Eastman to intervene with a last ditch tackle.
Play switched to the other end, and Eastmond was unlucky to see his firm header soar over the bar, with what was the last chance of the first half.
The U’s so nearly grabbed an equaliser at the start of the second half, only for Massey to be thwarted twice in quick succession by Jakupovic.
The O’s keeper was at full stretch to palm away Massey’s initial shot, and then recovered well to block a follow up drive by the U’s winger on the other side of his goal. Massey’s third effort, from the rebound, flew into the side netting.
United continued to press and a great run by Ryan Dickson nearly led to a goal. He crossed menacingly into the six-yard box, but no one was on hand to apply the finishing touch, with Sears unable to get his shot away.
Macauley Bonne was introduced as a 68th minute substitute, and within seconds he had miscued a first-time shot onto the top of the stand, at least showing that he would not be afraid to shoot at any opportunity..
Bean did find the net with an 80th minute header, but it was to prove all in vain as Odbubajo snatched a dramatic late winner for the O’s.
LEYTON ORIENT: Jakupovic, Omozusi, Cuthbert, Clarke, Sawyer, Odubajo, Vincelot, James (sub Bartley, 75), Cox, Lisbie (sub Dagnall, 89), Mooney (sub Batt, 69). Unused subs: Larkins, Lasimant, Simpson, Ness.
COLCHESTER UNITED: Walker, Wilson, Okuonghae, Eastman, Dickson, Wright (sub Sanderson, 85), Eastmond (sub Bean, 61), Vose (sub Bonne, 68), Sears, Massey, Ibehre. Unused subs: Cousins, Morrison, Olufemi, Sesay.
Referee: David Webb (County Durham)
Attendance: 6,323 (799 U’s fans)