One fit striker in their ranks – no wonder Colchester United are struggling

Lone striker Macauley Bonne, in action against Northampton in the U's last outing

Lone striker Macauley Bonne, in action against Northampton in the U's last outing

There aren’t many teams in the Football League, if any, who are currently operating with just one fit striker in their ranks, and a teenager at that!

Macauley Bonne, a product of Colchester United’s Academy, has led the U’s front-line for six of the first seven matches of this season.

Tellingly, there has been no back-up striker on the bench.

Main target man, Chris Porter, has been nursing an ankle injury since the opening day 2-2 draw against Blackpool, while fellow striker Dan Holman has been farmed out on loan to National League (Conference) club Woking until January.

Manager Tony Humes needs to bolster his depleted strike-force with a new loan recruit – he is hoping to do that this month – but in the mean-time Bonne has not looked out of place on the League One stage.

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The 19-year-old, who first burst onto the first team scene two years ago, was expected to be a back-up striker at the start of this term, but instead he has responded with three goals in seven starts.

Ipswich-born Bonne netted a brace at Northampton in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy last week, only for the U’s to bow out 3-2 at the first hurdle.

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“Macauley’s a goalscorer. He’s proven that throughout his time at the club,” enthused manager Humes.

“They were two very good goals (against Northampton). He was very composed, and took them very well.

“He had another opportunity, which he tried to take too early, but the kid has scored two goals and it’s just sad that he finished on the losing side, after scoring two goals.

“Those goals will do his confidence the world of good.

“It was great for him, and it was a good performance. He’s learning bit-by-bit. There are still elements of his game that he has got to get better at.

“But he is a threat, as he showed at Northampton.”

As expected, for a striker still learning his trade, Bonne has been a little inconsistent during the first few weeks of the season.

He has had quiet games, when he has been largely starved of possession, and also struggled to hold the ball up at times.

But he looks to have a bright future ahead of him – he turns 20 next month.

“That’s part of his learning, these quiet games,” continued Humes.

“He’s still only 19, learning his trade.

“What he’s been through over the last six games will have done him the world of good.”

The U’s did not have a game last weekend – the away game at Sheffield United was postponed, due to the Blades’ international call-ups, and has been rescheduled for next Tuesday evening.

Their next fixture is away at Chesterfield on Saturday week, by which time manager Humes hopes that club captain Porter will finally be available again, after his ankle injury.

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