Ten-man Colchester United beaten by three late goals
- Credit: Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd
Southend United 3 Colchester United 0
Colchester United old boy Anthony Wordsworth ended the stubborn resistance of the U’s in today’s Essex derby at Roots Hall, scoring the first of Southend’s three late goals.
The U’s had to play with 10 men, for more than half the match, due to Alex Gilbey’s sending-off.
Gilbey was dismissed in the 36th minute, for a very rash challenge on rival midfielder, Ryan Leonard, near the half-way line.
Referee Oliver Langford instinctively reached for his red card, and Gilbey was heading for the dressing room, and a potential three-match suspension.
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Leonard was able to continue, after treatment on the pitch, although he did not appear for the start of the second half. He eventually emerged on crutches to take his set by the dug-out.
The visitors defended heroically, down to 10 men, but were eventually undone by ex-U’s midfielder Wordsworth, who drilled home a low shot from 20 yards out, in the 81st minute.
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Ten-man Colchester United had defended heroically, until substitute Wordsworth’s crucial strike.
And Southend then made the game safe when skipper Adam Barrett headed home the second, from an 88th minute corner.
Sam McQueen netted the third, in stoppage time, slotting into an empty net following a break by Payne.
So the U’s long wait for a league win continues – they have now failed to win any of their last 14 league games, with three draws and 11 defeats.
The U’s made four changes to the side that were beaten 4-1 by Tottenham in last weekend’s FA Cup fourth round tie.
Keeper Jake Kean had returned to Norwich City, at the end of his loan stay, so Elliott Parish was recalled in goal.
Also coming in were defenders George Elokobi and Frankie Kent, plus midfielder Joe Edwards. Alex Wynter was sidelined with a head injury, while Darren Ambrose and Kane Vincent-Young were dropped to the bench.
It was a feisty opening and Southend left-back, Adam Thompson, was booked after just six minutes for a late lunge at George Moncur, who was operating on the right wing in a 4-1-4-1 formation.
Neither side registered even a goal attempt during the first 15 minutes, although the U’s bossed possession.
Southend did finally threaten on 17 minutes, with Stephen Hendrie’s shot-on-the-turn grazing the outside of the far post and rolling wide of target.
At the other end, Gilbey’s initial mis-kick ended with Owen Garvan curling in a low shot which was comfortably saved by Dan Bentley.
The Shrimpers had a sight of goal in the 25th minute, only for danger-man Jack Payne to scoop his shot over the bar and out of the ground.
Seconds later and Thompson managed to sneak behind the U’s defence and get to the by-line. Hendrie was ready and waiting at the near post, but his effort was squeezed away by Parish for a corner.
Southend were beginning to take control, and striker Tyrone Barnett was not far adrift with a half-volley from the edge of the box on 28 minutes.
The U’s were unlucky not to take the lead, in the 35th minute, when Richard Brindley’s cross-cum-shot was tipped onto his bar, by keeper Bentley.
And there was a double whammy for the visitors – and a serious one at that – with Gilbey’s 36th minute dismissal for a very late challenge on Leonard, in the middle of the park.
That meant the U’s had to play the final 54 minutes with just 10 men.
Southend tried to make the advantage count quickly. Midfielder Sam McQueen sliced a shot wide, from a good position, and Parish then dived to his right to beat away a goalbound shot by Jack Payne in the 40th minute.
In the last minute of the first period, Elokobi almost diverted home Moncur’s free-kick to the near post, his close-range toe-poke drifting narrowly wide.
Southend forced the pace from the start of the second period and Barnett nearly swept home McQueen’s cross to the near post on 52 minutes.
The U’s were restricted to rare break-a-ways, although Moncur threatened with a shot which reared up off defender Cian Bolger and dropped only a foot over the bar, on the hour mark.
Joe Edwards sparked another swift break, when robbing Will Atkinson and then running half the length of the pitch. He eventually found Chris Porter, whose measured shot was deflected wide for a corner,
And from this corner, delivered in the 70th minute, Elokobi’s hooked shot at the far post looped narrowly over the bar and onto the top of the net.
The U’s were defending manfully, and Kent did well to rob Barnett just when the Southend front-man was preparing to shoot from just eight yards out.
However, they could not hold out, with late goals by Wordsworth and McQueen making it a very crusl scoreline.
SOUTHEND: Bentley, Hendrie, Thompson (sub Wordsworth, 61) Barrett,, Bolger, O’Neill, Atkinson (sub Worrall, 74), Leonard (sub Kamara, 46), McQueen, Payne, Barnett. Unused subs: Smith, Mooney, Hurst, Deegan.
COLCHESTER: Parish, Brindley, Kent, Eastman, Elokobi, Edwards, Garvan, Gilbey, Moncur (sub Ambrose, 76), Porter, Massey (sub Briggs, 51, sub Lee 84). Unused subs: Barnes, Vincent-Young, Wright, Bonne.
Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands)
Attendance: 10,279 (1,312)