Pentney brought in as keeper cover

Colchester United have signed keeper Carl Pentney on a non-contract basis following the news that Ben Williams will miss the start of the season with an ankle injury.

COLCHESTER United have signed keeper Carl Pentney on a non-contract basis following the news that Ben Williams will miss the start of the season with an ankle injury.

Williams injured his ankle playing in the Essex Senior Cup final win over AFC Hornchurch on Tuesday night and will be out for at least two weeks.

U’s boss John Ward confirmed that he will start with Mark Cousins against Exeter City in Saturday’s League One opener and has brought in 20-year-old free agent Pentney purely as cover.

A former Ipswich Town schoolboy, Pentney joined Leicester City at 16 but after making just one first team appearance over the last three seasons was released this summer. He has recently been training with Blue Square South side Braintree Town.


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Ward said: “Mark (Cousins) will play our opening games as Ben (Williams) is likely to be out for two weeks.

“Carl was happy to come and sit on the bench and provide cover in that time. He has been training with the lads for a week or so and will give us back-up.”

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Cousins had to wait patiently behind Williams last season as the former Carlisle keeper deservedly swept the board at the Player of the Year awards. The 23-year-old’s last appearance for the first team came in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy against Gillingham last September.

Ward added: “Mark deserves his chance. He spent nearly 50 games on the bench last season without getting his gloves dirty and has worked hard in pre-season. He deserves his opportunity to play in the first team.”

Colchester did have the experienced Andy Marshall training with them in the first part of pre-season, with ex-Ipswich and Norwich keeper featuring in a couple of friendly matches.

The decision to play Williams on Tuesday was made because he had missed the previous Saturday’s friendly match at Aldershot to attend the birth of his first child and it was felt he would benefit from one last warm-up match.

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