U’s clamber off the basement with late escape

Colchester United 1 Crawley Town 1

ANTHONY Wordsworth rescued a point for struggling Colchester United, with an 86th-minute penalty, to lift the U’s off the League One basement tonight.

Wordsworth crashed home the late spot kick, after Marcus Bean had been tripped in the box. Keeper Paul Jones half-blocked the stinging penalty, but could not prevent the ball from dropping into the net.

Wordsworth’s first goal of the campaign cancelled out a 71st-minute opener from Crawley defender Kyle McFadzean.

It was a goal that smacked of controversy. Mark Cousins attempted to catch Mat Sadler’s inswinging corner, before the lurking McFadzean bundled home with what appeared to be the use of a hand.

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Cousins felt that it should have been a free-kick, but referee Andy Woolmer allowed the goal to stand.

However, Wordsworth’s penalty at least salvaged a draw, making it three defeats and four draws from the U’s first seven league games.

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Even so, this still represents the U’s worst start to a season for 61 years, in terms of no wins from seven league games, since the 1951-52 season in Division Three South.

Furthermore, tonight’s attendance of 2,484 was the smallest gate for a league game at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, since the club moved to their new ground in 2008.

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