‘I wanted to take the penalty’ – Colchester United’s Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe

Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe lunges acrobatically for a cross but is beaten to it fractionally by Exeter City

Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe lunges acrobatically for a cross but is beaten to it fractionally by Exeter City keeper Christy Pym in the 90th minute of yesterday's 1-0 defeat at St James' Park Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe would love to become Colchester United’s main penalty taker, one day, but he knows that he has to prove himself on the training field, as well as establishing himself as a regular starter.

Ogedi-Uzokwe was introduced as a substitute for the start of the second half, in place of Mikael Mandron, during Saturday’s final-day 1-0 defeat at play-off bound Exeter City.

The 24-year-old striker, making his ninth appearance since his switch from Bostik North side Maldon & Tiptree in January, earned the U’s a penalty on the hour mark, after drawing a foul by defender Pierce Sweeney.

Ogedi-Uzokwe was keen to take the penalty himself, and shaped to pick up the ball, but it was Sammie Szmodics, the U’s main penalty-taker, who shouldered the responsibility.

Unfortunately, Szmodics’ spot kick, aimed straight down the middle, was well saved by keeper Christy Pym.

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“I wanted to take the penalty, but it can’t be helped and it’s unlucky that he (Szmodics) missed it,” explained Ogedi-Uzokwe.

“I took the penalties for Maldon, and maybe in the future I might hopefully be able to take the penalties at Colchester, though I’ve got to show that by maybe taking some in training, to show I can do it.

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“The missed penalty was a turning point, because before they scored we were on top of them and pressing them, getting some chances and some shots on goal.

“But we just couldn’t score. If the penalty had gone in then maybe we would have scored two or three, but unfortunately it didn’t go in.

“It was a definite penalty. I’ve gone in there and got their first, and he (Sweeney) has kicked my foot and I have gone down, so it was a penalty.

“I think in those situations a lot, and I win a lot of penalties. I saw the challenge coming in and thought I’d just get the ball before him.

“Overall, I enjoyed coming on as a substitute, but disappointed we didn’t win.”

Ogedi-Uzokwe believes that the U’s should have done better than their final 13th spot showing this term, and he is looking forward to a better campaign both for himself and the team next term.

“Most of the teams we have come up against this season, we have been the better team, but we just haven’t got the results,” said Ogedi-Uzokwe.

“My aim now is to get a good pre-season after working hard in the summer.”

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