Pressure mounts as U’s lose again

Colchester United 1 Doncaster Rovers 2

COLCHESTER United’s dreadful start to the season continued, as they slid to a third defeat on the bounce at home to Doncaster Rovers this afternoon.

The U’s were made to pay for sluggish starts to both halves, during which they conceded both Rovers’ goals.

John Ward’s men are therefore still waiting for their first victory, after seven league and cup games.

David Cotterill blasted Doncaster into a third minute lead, when capitalising on a poor clearing throw by Mark Cousins, which dropped into no-man’s land.

Cotterill’s cracking shot dipped over Cousins and flew into the roof of the net.

Colchester responded well and deserved to be level at the break, thanks to Magnus Okuonghae’s second goal of the season.

Most Read

Okuonghae’s shot seemed to hit the inside of both posts before rolling over the goal-line, on 31 minutes.

But the U’s were again caught napping at the start of the second period, with Andy Bond heading Cotterill’s free-kick into his own net for an own goal.

There were still 42 minutes remaining, but the U’s rarely looked like finding an equaliser.

U’s boss Ward made two changes to the side that lost 1-0 at Brentford last weekend. In came winger Gavin Massey and left-back Michael Rose, for Anthony Wordsworth and Ben Coker respectively.

Wordsworth had twisted his ankle at Griffin Park, and so was named amongst the substitutes rather than be risked from the start.

The U’s started very slowly, and it was no real surprise when they fell behind after just three minutes.

Cousins’ clearing throw did not find its intended target, and Cotterill took advantage by advancing a few feet and then crashing a 20-yard shot over the U’s keeper and into the roof of the net.

It was a woeful first 10 minutes from the U’s, but gradually they began to wrestle control from the visitors.

Their first attack saw a flying Massey tripped, just outside the box, to set up a promising free-kick. Bond drilled in a goal-bound shot that keeper Woods spilled, only for a defender to hastily clear from inside the six-yard box.

United nearly equalised on 25 minutes. Freddie Sears ran onto Ian Henderson’s dummy and scurried clear of his marker, into the box.

However, he could not squeeze his shot beyond Woods, the keeper blocking at point blank range.

But six minutes later and the U’s were level, thanks to Okuonghae’s strike.

Rovers failed to clear their lines, with Sears causing a nuisance of himself in the box, and Okuonghae let rip with a miscued low drive from just inside the penalty area.

His effort struck the inside of the far post and rolled across the goal-line. It also appeared to clip off the other post before drifting over the line, despite the best efforts of keeper Woods.

Only the woodwork prevented the U’s from taking the lead in the 39th minute.

The impressive Massey cut inside and found Sears, who laid the ball back for Marcus Bean. The midfielder’s first-time shot beat keeper Woods, only to cannon back off the bar

However, the U’s were just as sluggish at the start of the second half, as they were at the start of the first.

And they were made to pay when Bond could only head Cotterill’s free-kick into his own net for a 48th minute goal, to put Rovers 2-1 up.

That ensured another miserable afternoon for the U’s.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Cousins, Wilson, Okuonghae, Eastman, Rose, Bean, Izzet (sub Wordsworth, 75), Bond (sub Morrison, 64), Massey, Sears, Henderson. Unused subs: Pentney, Heath, Duguid, O’Toole, White.

DONCASTER ROVERS: Woods, Quinn, Jones, McCombe, Spurr, Cotterill, Keegan, Syres (sub Harper, 77), Woods, Bennett (sub Husband, 71), Brown (sub Hume, 83). Unused subs: Sullivan Martis, Blake.

Referee: Mr G Sutton (Sussex)

Attendance: 3,262

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter