Lambert rues missed chances

COLCHESTER United boss Paul Lambert had no option but to replace Jamie Guy at half-time, due to a lost contact lens, in Saturday's disappointing defeat at Walsall.

Carl Marston

Lambert rues missed chances

COLCHESTER United boss Paul Lambert had no option but to replace Jamie Guy at half-time, due to a lost contact lens, in Saturday's disappointing defeat at Walsall.

Guy was handed only his second ever League start in a Colchester shirt, after a remarkable 49 appearances as a substitute, but it was a mixed afternoon for the 21-year-old striker.


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It was more than two years since Guy had made his first League start, at Sunderland in a 3-1 defeat on November 18, 2006. He had struggled to make an impact since that day, and was farmed out on loan at non-league Oxford United during the first half of this season.

Finally, Guy was given another chance, though it didn't go quite to plan. He was a handful for Walsall's defenders, but squandered two one-on-one situations with keeper Clayton Ince inside the first 13 minutes, before being replaced at half-time suffering from blurred vision.

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Lambert explained: “Goals change games. Jamie (Guy) had a couple of early one-on-ones, and maybe he should have scored from at least one of them.

“We were on top early on, and we had the chances to get out of reach of Walsall.

“But Jamie then lost one of his contact lenses, which is why I had to take him off at half-time. His vision was blurred and he didn't have a spare set.

“I haven't known this sort of thing to happen before, and maybe Jamie should bring a spare set along with him next time. It was strange.

“But he's still young. He's robust and raw, and he just needs more match fitness,” added Lambert.

This was only the U's third defeat in their last 14 league matches, and their first defeat on the road in seven away games. Lambert believed that it could have been a very different result.

“Marc Tierney gave the ball away for their first goal, which is not like him. We got caught, and the second goal was also poor with a long cross,” continued Lambert.

“We had more half-chances in the second-half, and had a goal disallowed for offside (Paul Reid). Simon Hackney also went close a couple of times.

“I thought we were unlucky today. We should have taken one of those two chances early on, because in the end we gave ourselves an uphill battle. It's easy to play when you're two goals down.

“However, I still think that the play-offs are still on. Nothing much has changed. We are still in a position to do something,” added Lambert.

Walsall boss Chris Hutchings said: “I'm very pleased to get three points against a very good side.

“We didn't start too well and Colchester had a good chance early on. They got behind us a few times, and on another day we could have conceded. But that's three matches unbeaten for us, and we're closing the gap on Colchester,” added Hutchings.

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