Two striker approaches rejected

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward will step up his search for a loan striker after admitting he will not appeal David Mooney’s red card against Southampton.

The U’s boss had already set about searching for forward reinforcements prior to Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat after Icelandic international Matthias Vilhjalmsson asked that his loan spell be terminated due to a lack of first team opportunities.

Mooney is now facing an immediate three-match suspension following his controversial dismissal for ‘violent conduct’ – missing tomorrow’s game at Dagenham & Redbridge followed by matches against closely-placed MK Dons (h) and struggling Tranmere (a) – with Ward saying after the game that there would be ‘no point’ appealing.

It leaves the U’s boss with just two recognised strikers – Kayode Odejayi and the injury-prone Steven Gillespie – although midfielders Andy Bond and Ian Henderson have both played up front at stages this season.

“I was turned down on a couple of requests for a loan forward late last week and I’ll keep trying to do that if I can,” confirmed Ward.

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“Robbie Cowling (chairman) is quite happy that if we can improve the group he’ll back me, but if I can’t make it better we won’t get players for the sake of it.

“We’ve still got people like Gillespie, Ashley Vincent and Andy Bond so we’re not too bad.”

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Meanwhile, Southampton skipper Dean Hammond was left delighted after scoring against his former club.

The 27-year-old transferred from the U’s to St Mary’s early in the 2009/10 season, but this was his first victory over his former employers in four attempts.

“It’s always nice to score – but it’s always that little bit nicer against your old team,” said Hammond.

“We said at half-time if we could get the next goal then the game would be pretty much over.

“It was a nice time to score, the ball just fell to me and I had a good connection.”

He added: “It’s a great three points for us, it was difficult.

“They started very well, but you expect that. They’re a decent team.

“We weathered the storm, obviously got a goal at a good time, then there was the sending-off and I think we pretty much controlled it from there.”

– Who would you like to see brought in on loan to Colchester? E-mail:, or leave a comment below.

– Full match preview of Dagenham & Redbridge v Colchester in tomorrow’s EADT.

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