Crewe Alexandra 1 Colchester United 0: U’s are hugely disappointing

Courtney Senior looks to get past Crewe's Callum Ainley during today's League Two tussle at Gresty R

Courtney Senior looks to get past Crewe's Callum Ainley during today's League Two tussle at Gresty Road. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL - Credit: Richard Blaxall / Colchester Uni

Crewe Alexandra 1 Colchester United 0

Colchester United under-performed at Gresty Road this afternoon, and were made to pay as Shaun Miller grabbed the only goal of the game for hosts Crewe Alexandra.

The Railwaymen had lost five of their previous six matches, and taken just one point from a possible 18, but they gave their chances of beating the drop a real boost, at the expense of the U’s.

The winner arrived in the 61st minute.

Brandon Comley conceded a free-kick in a dangerous position, for a foul on substitute Tom Lowery just outside the penalty area.

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Callum Ainley’s free-kick ballooned off the defensive wall, but Miller was the quickest to pounce on the rebound as he prodded home the loose ball from eight yards out.

The U’s huffed and puffed all afternoon, but failed to create many goal-scoring opportunities.

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In fact, it was a hugely disappointing performance.

The U’s had their first sight of goal on eight minutes, when Courtney Senior’s mazy run teed up Drey Wright. The U’s left wing-back cut inside before seeing his 20-yard drive turned around the post by keeper Ben Garratt.

Just 60 seconds later and Garratt was in the action again, smothering Ben Stevenson’s low shot on his goal-line.

At the other end, Sam Walker was forced into his first serious save in the 20th minute. The U’s keeper arched back to finger-tip defender Eddie Nolan’s header over the bar, from Ainleys’s free-kick.

Seconds later and Nolan had another sight of goal, only for Tom Eastman to intervene with a timely block.

The U’s were not afraid to shoot from distance, and both Stevenson and Wright peppered the target with long-range efforts, midway through the first half, both of them fizzing over the bar.

The game became a bit disjointed for the rest of the half, and that continued into the second period, Harry Pickering dragging a shot wide for the Railwaymen on 55 minutes.

However, the hosts got their noses in front with Miller sweeping home the opener in the 61st minute.

U’s boss McGreal responded by introducing substitutes Brennan Dickenson and Liam Mandeville for Senior and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe respectively.

But the visitors continued to struggle to create any clear-cut chances, Mikael Mandron heading a cross by Ryan Jackson several yards over the bar in the 79th minute.

Keeper Garratt had hardly been tested all afternoon.


CREWE: Garratt, Sterry, Ng, Nolan, Bakayogo, Kirk (sub Lowery, 46), Green, Bowery, Ainley (sub Walker, 86), Pickering, Miller (sub McKirdy, 70). Unused subs: Richards, Raynes, Reilly, Barlaser.

COLCHESTER: Walker, Eastman, Prosser, Kent, Jackson, Comley, Stevenson (sub Murray, 70), Wright, Senior (sub Dickenson, 62), Mandron, Ogedi-Uzokwe (sub Mandeville, 65). Unsued subs: Gilmartin, Lapslie, Shodipo, Inniss.

Referee: Michael Salisbury (Lancs)

Attendance: 3,548 (200 away fans)

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