Super Szmodics scores again as U’s win at Forest Green Rovers

Sammie Szmodics, right, hugged by team-mate Mikael Mandron, fired Colchester United into a first-hal

Sammie Szmodics, right, hugged by team-mate Mikael Mandron, fired Colchester United into a first-half lead at Forest Green Rovers tonight. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Forest Green Rovers 0 Colchester United 1

Sammie Szmodics chalked up his eighth goal of the season to seal a third away win of the season for impressive Colchester United, at Forest Green Rovers tonight.

The U’s cemented their place in the League Two automatic promotion zone, by seeing off Gloucestershire hosts Rovers, who had themselves begun the evening in the top 10.

Fresh from his goal in Saturday’s 1-1 home draw against Exeter City, Szmodics struck again to guarantee some much-needed away-day joy, after the recent defeats on the road at Accrington Stanley (FA Cup), Cambridge United (Checkatrade Trophy) and Newport County (league).

Frank Nouble’s effort rolled into the path of Szmodics, and the U’s attacking midfielder made no mistake with his right-footed shot to secure a 25th minute lead.

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John McGreal’s men then stuck to their task to secure a richly deserved third away win of the campaign, following victories at Cheltenham Town and Morecambe.

It was a very low-key first quarter of the game, with neither side really threatening, although Frankie Kent did well to defend one awkward cross pumped into the box.

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Kent was playing alongside Luke Prosser in the heart of defence, skipper Prosser having returned to the side after serving a one-match suspension for the 1-1 home draw against Exeter on Saturday.

The return of Prosser was the one change to the starting line-up from that game, with young Ollie Kensdale, after his impressive league debut, back on the bench.

The U’s defence was happily able to look on as Szmodics steered the visitors into the lead on 25 minutes.

And Szmodics was close to doubling his lead in the 41st minute, only to be denied by a good save from James Montgomery.

The first half ended with Harry Pell blasting a long-range shot over the bar, and the second period started with Nouble cracking in a shot which was comfortably saved by Montgomery in the 49th minute.

Courtney Senior saw his shot fly into the side netting on 54 minutes, while at the other end substitute Reuben Reid had a goal disallowed for offside after the hour mark.

Rovers huffed and puffed, but could not way their past a stubborn U’s defence. Gavin Gunning headed over the bar from a good position, while team-mate Reece Brown ballooned a shot over the top in the 79th minute.

Mikael Mandron and Pell both had shots saved during the closing minutes, as the U’s comfortably held onto their advantage.

FOREST GREEN: Montgomery, Rawson, Digby, Gunning, McGinley, Winchester (sub Williams, 74), James, Worthington (sub Archibald, 46), Mills, Brown, Morris (sub Reid, 59). Unused subs: Sanchez, Collins, Campbell, Pearce.

COLCHESTER: Barnes, Jackson (sub Dickenson, 70), Prosser, Kent, Vincent-Young, Pell, Lapslie, Senior (sub Comley, 79), Szmodics, Nouble Mandron. Unused subs: Ross, Wright, Gondoh, Kensdale, Collins.

Referee: Kevin Johnson

Attendance: 1,600 (151 away fans)

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