Lowest-ever Colchester United home crowd witnesses defeat to Southampton under-23s

Dion Sembie-Ferris, who scored his first senior goal for Colchester United tonight

Dion Sembie-Ferris, who scored his first senior goal for Colchester United tonight

Colchester United 1 Southampton Under-23s 2

The lowest-ever crowd for a Colchester United home match saw the U’s bow out of the much-maligned Checkatrade Trophy, following a defeat to Southampton Under-23s tonight.

This evening’s official attendance of 791 eclipsed the previous club record for the smallest gate, which had stood at 912 from the Layer Road game against Peterborough in October, 1987.

A second successive defeat in this group stage of the competition, following a 1-0 reverse at Crawley Town last month, ensured that John McGreal’s men cannot make progress into the knock-out stage, even though they have one more group match to play, at home to Charlton.

The Saints Under-23s had drawn 0-0 at The Valley, with Charlton winning a penalty shoot-out to gain a bonus point, but they won outright against the League One U’s.


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Defender Sam McQueen broke the deadlock with a close-range header, from an eighth minute corner.

Dion Sembie-Ferris smashed home the first goal of his senior career to equalise, in the 23rd minute, following good work by Sammie Szmodics, although the winger later picked up an injury which forced him to be substituted at half-time.

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The young visitors dominated the second period, after taking the lead in the 50th minute through Olufela Olomole’s slick finish into the roof of the net.

And they held on to record a narrow victory.

Squads

COLCHESTER UNITED: Bransgrove, Vincent-Young, Prosser, Wynter, Kinsella, Slater, Wright (sub James, 72), Kamara, Szmodics, Sembie-Ferris (sub Issa, 46), Johnstone (sub Porter, 64). Unused subs: Barnes, Akinwande, Eastman, Regis.

SOUTHAMPTON U-23s: Lewis, Valery, Cook, Jones, McQueen, Reed, O’Connor, Sims, Hesketh, Johnson, Olomola. Unused subs: Slattery, Parkes, Bakary, Vokins, Mdalose, O’Driscoll, Afolabi.

Referee: S Martin (Staffs)

Attendance: 791

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