Mooney: I’ve given up worrying about away goal

COLCHESTER United striker David Mooney must score at Yeovil this afternoon if he wants to avoid the unwanted and unusual record of going an entire season without netting an away league goal.

COLCHESTER United striker David Mooney must score at Yeovil this afternoon if he wants to avoid the unwanted and unusual record of going an entire season without netting an away league goal.

The Irish forward leads the U’s scoring charts with 13 goals in all competitions this season – five of them penalties.

However, having netted twice on his full Colchester debut at League Two side Hereford in the League Cup back in August, he is yet to score again on his travels with all eight of his league strikes having come at The Weston Homes Community Stadium.

This afternoon’s match at Huish Park, against a Yeovil side that haven’t kept a clean sheet since the end of February and who have already guaranteed survival, is Colchester’s final away game of the campaign.

“The away league goal thing doesn’t really bother me to be honest,” said Mooney, who is set to be released by parent club Reading this summer following a season-long loan with the U’s.

“One or two people have mentioned it to me, including the manager (John Ward), but I have now gone past the stage of worrying about it.”

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Mooney – sometimes deployed as a lone striker and sometimes as the deeper forward in a partnership – has made three official assists this season. That doesn’t take into account goals like the one which the U’s opener at Brentford last Friday though which he played a significant part early on in the move.

The 26-year-old said: “A big part of my game is linking the play up and when you’re trying to do that it’s hard to also be in the box finishing things off.

“My number of goals hasn’t been as high as I would have liked, but that’s probably due to the fact that I’ve wanted to be on the ball all the time. Sometimes you have to sacrifice yourself for the good of the team.

“If another player scores and I’m involved in the build-up then I’m happy – I just hope people recognise my contribution.”

Mooney is not the only player to be firing blanks away from home for Colchester this season. The U’s have scored just 19 goals from 22 games on their travels in League One this season with only Hartlepool registering fewer. It’s therefore no surprise that they’ve lost 11 of their last 15 away league games – seven by a single goal margin – to fall just short of the play-offs for a second season running.

“We keep getting the away thing thrown at us so it would be nice to get it off our backs,” said Ward, whose side drew 1-1 at Brentford on Good Friday having been thrashed 4-1 at Carlisle in their previous away match.

“It’s been our downfall without doubt – there’s no hiding from that.

“I’m analysing it all the time, but I think it’s going to be one of those anomalies where you might not be certain why it is.

“It’s a strange one and hopefully it won’t drift over into next season.”

The U’s travelled down to Somerset yesterday in preparation for today’s game – a something they do for most away matches.

“Maybe it’s the journeys, maybe it’s the way we do things off the pitch? We’ve got to look at everything,” said Ward.

“We’ll have to look at it all and think ‘could we have done this differently?’”

Colchester are without striker Steven Gillespie – scorer of two of their away goals – today and for their season finale against Bristol Rovers after he fractured his left arm at Brentford. The Liverpudlian had an operation on Thursday.

Midfielder David Perkins could make a return to the team though having made a quicker-than-expected recovery from a hamstring injury.

– For live match updates this afternoon, follow Stuart_Watson on www.twitter.com.

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