Dillon Barnes stuck in traffic and Colchester United’s disappointing season ends in defeat

Joe Edwards, who scored for the U's against Rochdale this afternoon

Joe Edwards, who scored for the U's against Rochdale this afternoon - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United 1 Rochdale 2

Colchester United’s disappointing 2015-16 season ended in a home defeat, at the hands of mid-table Rochdale this afternoon.

Goals from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Calvin Andrew sandwiched an equaliser from Joe Edwards, although at the least the U’s did not concede a third, otherwise that would have ensured a final tally of 100 goals conceded for the campaign.

Instead, the already-relegated U’s finished with 99 in their goals against column. They will be playing in League Two next season.

Steve Ball, installed as the assistant manager to new boss John McGreal on Wednesday, was in caretaker charge for this one game, before McGreal takes over next week.


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It was also supposed to be a big day for keeper Dillon Barnes, who had been selected in the starting line-up to make his long-waited U’s debut.

However, the 20-year-old was unfortunately stuck in heavy traffic, and so had to sit out the game after arriving late.

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Instead, James Bransgove was promoted from the bench to make his first-team debut, and the teenager had little chance with either of Rochdale’s goals.

The visitors were good value for their 1-0 lead at half-time.

Nathaniel Mendez exchanged a one-two with former U’s front-runner Ian Henderson before burying a low shot in at the near post, on 18 minutes

The U’s were level in the 53rd minute, thanks to a slick finish by Edwards.

Alex Gilbey was the creator down the right flank, and his cross was teed up by Chris Porter for the lurking Edwards to crash home a shot from 18 yards out.

But the visitors restored their lead in the 69th minute, thanks to substitute Andrew’s rising shot which flew past Bransgrove into the top corner of the net.

Andrew’s effort proved to be the winning goal.

Squads

COLCHESTER: Bransgrove, Edwards (sub James, 64), Wynter, Briggs (sub Shorey, 46), Lapslie, Gilbey, Massey, Moncur, Lee, Bonne (sub Porter, 48). Unused subs: Parish, Wright, Harrison, Dunne.

ROCHDALE: Lillis, Cannon, Eastham, Lancashire, McNulty, Lund, Allen, McDermott, Bunney (sub Camps, 60), Henderson, Mendez-Laing. Unused subs: Musangu, Rafferty, Vincenti, Andrew, Tanser, Hooper.

Referee: Andy Davis (Hants)

Attendance: 3,435 (209 away fans)

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