U’s shaken by injuries in home defeat by Bury
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Colchester United 1 Bury 2
What could go wrong, did go wrong, as Colchester United suffered only their second defeat of the season from 10 league starts at the hands of Bury this afternoon.
The U’s were severely hampered by injuries to centre-halves Frankie Kent and Tom Eastman, which forced several reshuffles in the heart of defence during a frustrating afternoon at the Community Stadium.
And the Shakers took full advantage, scoring goals in each half via strikers Byron Moore and Chris Dagnall.
Luke Norris bagged his seventh goal of the season with an 82nd minute penalty to at least set up an exciting finish.
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Front-runner Moore broke the deadlock for Bury in the 35th minute, after the visitors had bossed possession for much of the first half-hour.
Winger Nicky Adams, a nuisance down the right flank, made the most of Jay O’Shea’s pass by delivering into the box for Moore to control and then turn before smashing the ball into the roof of the net.
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It was a clinical finish by Moore, helped by keeper Dillon Barnes, who lost his footing momentarily and so had struggled to get back into position.
Bury doubled their lead in the 52nd minute. Dagnall ran at makeshift centre-half Brandon Comley, who gave the striker too much space to shoot.
And Dagnell’s swerving shot flew past the despairing dive of Barnes and cannoned in off the inside of the far post.
The U’s gave themselves hope by halving the deficit in the 82nd minute, Norris tucking home a penalty after he had been fouled in the box.
But they could not fashion a late equaliser.
The U’s showed one change to the side that drew 3-3 at Oldham last weekend. Courtney Senior came in for Brennan Dickenson down the flank.
It was a very shaky start from the U’s especially as a defensive unit, and they were lucky to get away with keeper Dillon Barnes seeming to cling onto a back pass on four minutes, on the edge of his six-yard box.
A collision between Kent and Chris Stokes, inside the U’s penalty area, led to centre-half Kent hobbling off, to be replaced by fellow centre-half Eastman in the ninth minute.
Just 60 seconds later and the hosts created their first chance. Luke Norris volleyed the ball back for Sammie Szmodics, whose fierce drive went straight into the midriff of keeper Joe Murphy.
At the other end, midfielder Jay O’Shea lifted a 20-yard free-kick narrowly over the bar, although Dillon Barnes had that covered, in the 16th minute.
Szmodics engineered a godo U’s break, on 18 minutes. He had Courtney Senior for company but chose to slide the ball into the path of Frank Nouble, who hammered in a low drive which Murphy saved with comfort.
On the half-hour mark, substitute Eastman was in the right place to charge down Stokes’ goal-bound shot, just eight yards from goal.
But Bury did take the lead, just five minutes later, with Moore rifling the ball into the roof of the net. It was a clinical finish by the Shakers front-man, capitalising on poor U’s defending and also keeper Barnes being in no man’s land.
The U’s should really have been level shortly afterwards. Senior wriggled his way into the penalty area, latching onto Luke Norris’ lay-off, but his final shot was well saved by Murphy from close-in.
Injury prevented Eastman from appearing for the second half, so on came substitute Brennan Dickenson with the U’s reverting to a makeshift back three, Luke Prosser flanked by Kane Vincent-Young and Brandon Comley.
Senior broke menacingly in the 50th minute, but his low cross was stabled wide of the near post by the unrushing Szmodics.
However, it was Bury who struck again, on 52 minutes, Dagnall steering an angled 18-yard drive into the far corner of the net.
Norris converted a penalty, with eight minutes left, to halve Bury’s lead. Norris also rifled a 25-yard free-kick over the bar as the hosts searched for a late equaliser.
COLCHESTER: Barnes, Jackson, Prosser, Kent (sub Eastman, 9, sub Dickenson 46) Vincent-Young, Pell, Comley (sub Mandron, 70), Nouble, Szmodics, Senior, Norris. Unused subs: Ross, Wright, Gondoh, Collins.
BURY: Murphy, Aimson, Thompson, O’Connell (sub McFadzean, 46), Adams, O’Shea, Danns, Stokes, Mayor, Dagnall (sub Maynard, 68), Moore (sub Telford, 85). Unused subs: Hudson, Beckford, Dawson, Styles.
Referee: Thomas Bramall (Yorks)
Attendance: 3,161 (162 away fans)