U's concede late to suffer a defeat at Crewe and drop out of the top seven
PUBLISHED: 17:02 26 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:02 26 January 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Crewe Alexandra 2 Colchester United 1
Colchester United took an early lead but were eventually felled by two second-half goals at Crewe Alexandra this afternoon.
Sammie Szmodics broke the deadlock after just 11 minutes to put the U’s in the driving seat, and it was a lead they held until earlier in the second half.
However, Charlie equalised three minutes into the second period, and Eddie Nolan then poached a winner for the Railwaymen with three minutes remaining.
The U’s, following on from last weekend’s 3-2 home defeat to Mansfield, have therefore dropped out of the top seven, and so the play-off zone.
After a quiet opening, with no real chances for either side, Szmodics came up trumps with the opener in the 11th minute, capitalising on a stray pass by Paul Green.
Deadly marksman Szmodics fired past keeper Garrett and into the far corner of the net with a well-struck shot, via his trusty right boot, to bring up his 10th goal of the season, in his 32nd senior appearance, and his ninth in 27 league outings.
The U’s nearly doubled their lead in the 24th minute, only for centre-forward Mikael Mandron to see his shot-on-the-turn fly agonisingly wide of upright.
Crewe huffed and puffed, in search of an equaliser, and Green squandered a couple of chances around the half-hour mark.
But it was the visitors who were on the attack again, in the 37th minute, with keeper Garrett saving his side by diving at the feet of Courtney Senior to ensure that the U’s winger would not have a tap-in.
Former U’s striker Chris Porter went close in first-half stoppage time, with a trademark header that drifted wide.
But three minutes into the second half and Crewe were level, via Kirk’s simple finish from close-in.
Green was the provider with the low cross for Kirk to divert home with his head from a few feet out.
Szmodics and Frank Nouble had shots blocked in a second-half of few chances, for either side.
A draw looked likely until Nolan pounced in the 87th minute. He headed into the roof of the net from close range following Green’s cross.
COLCHESTER: Gilmartin, Jackson, Eastman, Prosser, Vincent-Young, Pell, Lapslie (sub Dickenson, 89), Senior, Szmodics, Nouble, Mandron. Unused subs: Barnes, Kent, Dickenson, Comley, Wright, Dunne, Ogedi-Uzokwe.