Szmodics admits U’s did not respond to ‘kick up the backside’

Sammie Szmodics, who admitted the U's failed to perform in the second half of Saturday's 3-1 defeat

Sammie Szmodics, who admitted the U's failed to perform in the second half of Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Stevenage. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United goalscorer, Sammie Szmodics, admitted that the U’s failed to respond to a “kick up the backside” from manager John McGreal during the half-time interval, on their way to defeat at Stevenage.

The U’s suffered their first away league defeat of the season, after a win and four draws, despite Szmodics sweeping them into an early lead after just 86 seconds.

Szmodics slotted home from Ryan Jackson’s low cross, to chalk up his fourth goal of the season, but the Essex visitors failed to build on that terrific start.

So impressive for the first half-hour, the U’s then fell away in alarming fashion, conceding goals to Kurtis Guthrie, Ben Kennedy (penalty) and Emmanuel Sonupe.

Although this was their first away loss, the U’s have now leaked six goals in their last two matches on the road, with four of those goals conceded in the last quarter.

“It was a horrible time to concede the equaliser, just before half-time, especially from a set piece,” insisted Szmodics.

“It was disappointing to go in at 1-1, and the gaffer (McGreal) gave us the kick up the backside that we rightly needed.

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“But we just never got started in the second half. The foul for their penalty was a yard outside the box, but we just didn’t perform in that second-half,” added Szmodics.

The U’s No. 10 was not surprised that his ex-team-mate, Guthrie, should be key to Boro’s win.

“We know what Kurtis is all about. He can be a handful,” said Szmodics. “He did well today. He scores goals and he sets up goals.”

Guthrie had left the U’s under a cloud last March, having had his contract terminated by mutual consent, and so it was perhaps predictable that he should have such a big impact against his former club.

The 25-year-old was a constant menace and took great delight in poking home from point blank range in the 41st minute for the equaliser, after Scott Cuthbert had headed on Joel Byrom’s corner.

The U’s failed to respond, but they were still on course to preserve their unbeaten away record until substitute Brennan Dickenson conceded a 78th minute penalty. Dickenson cleared fouled Sam Seddon, but the infringement appeared to take place outside the penalty area. Kennedy converted the penalty, and the U’s fate was then sealed by Sonupe netting the third on the break on 83 minutes.

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