‘Lethargic’ U’s end pre-season in defeat

Colchester United’s pre-season campaign ended in disappointment on Saturday with a 2-1 defeat at League Two side Aldershot.

Aldershot 2 Colchester United 1

COLCHESTER United’s pre-season campaign ended in disappointment on Saturday with a 2-1 defeat at League Two side Aldershot.

The U’s came into their final warm-up match having had failed to concede a goal in seven friendlies against non-league opposition.

However, with their League One kick-off at Exeter now less than a week away, manager John Ward admitted his side looked ‘lethargic’ in defeat against Football League opposition at the weekend.

Including their 1-0 win over Leyton Orient on the final day of last season, Colchester came into this game having gone over 720 minutes without conceding a goal.

That impressive statistic was ended 20 minutes into this encounter though when impressive forward Marvin Morgan turned sharply in the box before curling home past the despairing dive of Mark Cousins.

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There was some concern amongst U’s fans at the absence of keeper Ben Williams from the team considering the transfer speculation that has surrounded him this summer, however, he had been given special dispensation to be at the birth of his first child.

Colchester responded well to their set-back and equalised just eight minutes later when Ashley Vincent acrobatically volleyed home from close range after Lloyd James’ corner had only been half cleared.

The Shots almost regained their advantage on the half hour mark when Cousins clawed Morgan’s header away from danger and The Shots continued to threaten after the break.

With Morgan a constant danger for the hosts, Ward made changes during the second period and the U;s improved.

Vincent and Steven Gillespie both had efforts smothered by the keeper, Brian Wilson shot over and kaode Odejayi forced a fine save, however, just as the visitors looked to be getting on top they were hit with a suncker punch.

With just four minutes to go, Danny Hylton surged forwards and unleashed a shot from the edge of the box which nestled into the bottom corner.

The U’s now face AFC Hornchurch in the final of the Essex Senior Cup on Tuesday night before travelling to Exeter on Saturday for their League One opener.

Colchester: Cousins, Wilson, Tierney (Bender 46), Okuonghae (Baldwin 69), Reid, James (Wordsworth 69), Bond (Izzet 57), Perkins (Henderson 57), Gillespie, Vincent, Odejayi.