Tarique Fosu nets brace but Colchester United miss out on the play-offs
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Colchester United 2 Yeovil Town 0
Tarique Fosu netted a sweet brace to beat Yeovil Town this afternoon, and ensure a winning end to the season, but they finished agonisingly short of the play-off zone.
For much of the afternoon, the U’s were occupying a top-seven place, due to Fosu’s 36th minute opener and other results elsewhere going in their favour.
And when Fosu doubled the lead in the 77th minute, the U’s looked in a strong position.
But almost simultaneously Carlisle scored a winner at Exeter, to snatch that last play-off berth at Colchester’s expense.
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Fosu’s first goal came out of the blue. The Reading loanee let fly with a low drive, from at least 25 yards out, the ball flying past keeper John Maddison and into the bottom corner of the net.
It was his fifth goal of the season, and his second in successive weekends following his opener at Leyton Orient last Saturday.
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Fosu then crashed home the loose ball to add a second, with 13 minutes remaining.
The U’s home crowd celebrated in style, but they were soon silenced when news filtered through that Carlisle had scored at Exeter.
The U’s were unchanged from last weekend’s 3-1 win at Leyton Orient, although Cameron James had recovered from a tweaked hamstring to be named on the bench.
They started at a frenetic pace, as expected, but it was Yeovil who actually had the first chance and they should really have broken the deadlock in the eighth minute.
Ben Whitfield crossed into the danger zone for an unmarked Otis Khan, who lifted his shot over the top from just 10 yards out.
The hosts did not really threaten until the 19th minute, when Drey Wright dragged a 20-yarder wide of target.
Six minutes later and Matt Briggs spurned a few better chance to score, heading wide from Richard Brindley’s teasing free-kick to the edge of the six-yard box. Briggs climbed high, but could not direct his free header on target.
The same combination linked up on the half-hour mark, with a similar result. This time Briggs’ firm header, from Brindley’s free-kick, flew straight into the arms of Glovers keeper Maddison.
But the U’s did grab the all-important opening goal, in the 36th minute, thanks to Fosu’s speculative long-range shot, the ball skidding low past Maddison and into the bottom corner of the net.
The U’s almost doubled their lead just 60 seconds later, as Briggs’ angled drive flew across the face of goal and agonisingly wide of the far upright.
It remained 1-0 at half-time and, with the other scores elsewhere, McGreal’s men returned to the dressing room in the play-offs, due to Carlisle losing at Exeter and both Cambridge and Stevenage only drawing.
Early in the second period, Chris Porter had an opportunity with a free header that failed to beat Maddison from eight yards out.
Wright squandered an even better chance in the 51st minute, ballooning his shot over the bar having sneaked behind the Yeovil back-four.
The U’s continued to search for that second goal, and Brindley was only a whisker away with a well-struck free-kick from 30 yards out, which dipped just over the bar on 59 minutes.
At the other end, defender Nathan Smith headed straight at Sam Walker, and Ben Whitfield blazed over from substitute Tom Eaves’ cross in the 75th minute.
Fosu made the game safe by tucking home his second to make it 2-0 in the 77th minute, but almost simultaneously Carlisle scored to go ahead at Exeter, and so dislodge the U’s from the top-seven.
COLCHESTER: Walker, Eastman, Wynter, Elokobi, Brindley, Lapslie (sub Loft, 82), Murray, Briggs, Fosu, Wright (sub O’Sullivan, 88), Porter (sub Bonne, 86). Unused subs: Brill, Pyke, Kinsella, James.
YEOVIL: Maddison, Shepherd, Lacey, Smith, Dickson, Lawless (sub Butcher, 81), Whitfield (sub Goodship, 83), Dolan, Khan, Akpa-Akpro, Harrison (sub Eaves, 67). Unused subs: Magabi, Tomlinson, Sowunmi, James.
Referee: Robert Jones
Attendance: 6,565 (231 away fans)