Gallery: Colchester boss Humes admits his U’s need to sharpen up after Orient loss

Tom Eastman battles for the ball.

Tom Eastman battles for the ball.

Colchester United boss Tony Humes admitted his side will need to be ‘sharper’ as they prepare for Ipswich Town tomorrow night.

The U’s were well beaten at the Weston Homes Community Stadium against a solid Leyton Orient side on Saturday in this friendly clash, and while Colchester fielded a young side for most of the game, it was perhaps the lack of opportunities created that will have worried Humes most.

“It was a good pre-season workout for us,” Humes said.

“Bit by bit we are getting there. We didn’t create a lot of opportunities but we were trying to be more compact as a team

“The goals we conceded were two from crosses and one down the middle, so we have to work on that.

“Ipswich will be a different test and we will have to be sharper.

“But overall, it was pre-season, more minutes under the belt and there were a lot of good things to come out of it.”

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More players getting time under their belts will have been the biggest benefit of this entertaining clash which didn’t overly feel like a pre-season friendly.

Indeed referee Mr Graham was called on twice in the first 15 minutes, as players on both sides squared up to each other.

Orient were an experienced unit and had too much physicality for some of the young U’s players.

Sean Clohessy returned to his former club and was instrumental in his side’s first two goals, both expertly finished by Paul McCallum, who was a real handful for the U’s defence.

Clohessy crossed on 32 minutes for McCallum to score, then set up Bradley Pritchard to cross for McCallum’s second just after the break.

Scott Kashket netted the third when poor defending allowed him to burst through the U’s defence from a flick-on from a goal-kick.

“They gave us problems and we started with an inexperienced line-up,” Humes said.

“But some of our players needed the minutes, Frankie Kent, Sam Szmodics and Sam Walker was back too.

“Of course we need to deal with crosses better but overall, it’s a pre-season game and another opportunity to learn more about where we need to get to.

“Everyone got something from the game and we’re building up to August 8. That’s what it’s about.”

Orient started more positively but Tom Lapslie fired at Gary Woods in the visitors’ goal.

Richard Brindley shot over for the U’s and Dion Sembie-Ferris shot straight at Woods too, but it was Orient who looked the more dangerous and McCallum put them ahead in the 32nd minute, just three minutes after Brindley’s speculative cross had eluded Woods and hit the O’s bar.

Mathieu Baudry should have netted the O’s second when his free header six yards out went wide.

But it mattered little as McCallum put Orient two-up just two minutes into the second half, heading home another cross, this time from Pritchard.

Baudry hit the bar as Orient threatened again and Cox did the same with a superb controlled volley.

Colchester brought on some experienced players, like Chris Porter and Alex Gilbey, and got back into the game. But they were still not peppering the visiting goal and they were made to pay as Kashket streaked through the middle after a goal-kick was flicked on. He finished coolly and the 308 Orient fans in the crowd of just over 1,000 were left to reflect on a job well done.

For the U’s, they know there are even tougher tests ahead and will want to bounce back with a better performance tomorrow against Ipswich.