Helter-skelter game sums up U's season
COLCHESTER United's entire season was encapsulated in 90 minutes of helter-skelter action at fellow relegated club Scunthorpe today.The free-scoring U's plundered another three goals, but the Championship's poorest defence also leaked three.
COLCHESTER United's entire season was encapsulated in 90 minutes of helter-skelter action at fellow relegated club Scunthorpe today.
The free-scoring U's plundered another three goals, but the Championship's poorest defence also leaked three. That neatly summed up the tale of the 2007-08 campaign.
Kevin McLeod had scored the U's very first goal of the season, in the opening day 2-2 draw at Sheffield United, but the mercurial left-winger had only managed one more before this final day thriller.
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McLeod, who is out-of-contract this summer, responded with the first and third goals to cap an exhilarating display, sandwiching a breathtaking overhead kick by Scott Vernon.
But a hole-ridden defence, the Achilles heel for Geraint Williams' men since day one, once again denied them a victory. Jonathan Forte cancelled out McLeod's opener, and Paul Hayes netted twice to transform a 3-1 deficit into a 3-3 draw.
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McLeod bagged the first with his head on 10 minutes. The excellent Kevin Lisbie robbed right-back Cliff Byrne and did well to keep the ball in, before sweeping over a pinpoint cross for McLeod to glance home.
Forte levelled just five minutes later, but the U's sped into a 3-1 lead with two goals in quick succession at the start of the second half.
Karl Duguid helped on Johnnie Jackson's 47th minute free-kick, but a goal still seemed unlikely until Vernon obliged with a superb bicycle kick.
Just 60 seconds later and the U's had some breathing space. McLeod eyed up the target from the left edge of the penalty area with a delicately chipped shot that soared over keeper Joe Murphy and into the roof of the net.
An eighth win of the season was looming large, until the U's shot themselves in the foot. Hayes struck twice, the equaliser coming from Matt Heath's dreadful backward header with eight minutes remaining.
So the U's have ended the campaign with 38 points, eight adrift of second-from-bottom Scunthorpe. They scored a healthy 62 goals, but conceded an horrific 86.