U’s crash out of Trophy

Colchester United 1 Barnet 3

COLCHESTER United were knocked out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at the first hurdle last night, beaten by 10-man Barnet in an incident-packed encounter.

Izale McLeod was both a hero and a villain for the Bees, converting a 19th minute penalty to put the visitors 2-1 up, before being sent off following a rush-of-blood-to-the-head, not once but twice!

McLeod does not cherish very fond memories of his short loan spell with Colchester back in early 2008 – the ex-MK Dons and Charlton striker suffered a serious knee injury in only his second appearance for the U’s, which ruled him out for the rest of that season.

And he will have mixed emotions about last night. Booked for not retreating from a U’s free kick, he then vented his anger at referee David Phillips and was duly flashed a second yellow card and ensuing red for dissent.

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McLeod’s dismissal came on 65 minutes, with Barnet still 2-1 up, and substitute Steve Kabba dashed any hopes of a U’s recovery by netting the third just eight minutes later.

A losing finalist in this competition 15 seasons ago, the U’s have now bowed out of the Trophy at the first attempt in the last three years.

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Barnet set the tone for an entertaining evening by breaking the deadlock after just seven minutes. Ricky Holmes slotted home with ease, from Sam Deering’s slick pass.

It took the U’s just nine minutes to equalise, via Pat Baldwin’s close range header.

Steven Gillespie’s initial header, from Lloyd James’ corner, cannoned back off the bar, but the rebound dropped kindly for Baldwin to nod home from inside the six-yard box.

It was only Baldwin’s second goal in a Colchester shirt, since his move to the Essex club in 2002, and a fine way to celebrate his first appearance of the campaign.

However, the U’s joy was short-lived, due to the pace of McLeod and then his accuracy from the penalty spot.

Matt Heath was adjudged to have tripped McLeod inside the box – it looked a harsh decision with referee Mr Phillips awarding the penalty while some way from the incident.

McLeod picked himself up to ram home the spot kick, so handing the Bees’ a 2-1 lead on 19 minutes.

The U’s squandered numerous chances to level the issue before half-time.

Dean Brill parried an angled drive from Ian Henderson around his near post, and the Bees keeper then excelled with a wonderful block from Andy Bond’s close-range volley.

Brill continued to thwart United. He safely gathered a 25-yard shot from Michail Antonio in the 33rd minute, before pulling another terrific block to keep out Gillespie’s shot. Antonio looked poised to prod home the rebound, only for full-back Danny Senda to stretch out a boot and deflect the ball onto the bar.

The introduction of Kayode Odejayi as a substitute, on the hour mark, gave the U’s more of a presence up front.

Odejayi did not take long to power through on goal, setting up Kem Izzet on a plate, only for the U’s midfielder to see his close-range shot blocked by Deering with an unguarded net beckoning.

McLeod’s ill-discipline ensured that Barnet had to play the final 25 minutes with just 10 men.

But substitute Kabba eased their worries by nodding home the Bees third from point blank range in the 73rd minute, following Mark Byrne’s corner which keeper Ben Williams was unable to fully clear.

Ex-Ipswich Town defender Tom Eastman made his U’s debut as an 83rd minute substitute, but by then the game was lost.

n Colchester United defender Tom Bender has joined League Two club Accrington Stanley on a season-long loan.

n Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell was at the Weston Homes Community Stadium to watch last night’s game.


COLCHESTER UNITED: Williams 5, Wilson 5, Baldwin 6, Heath 5 (sub Eastman, 83), Rose 5, Izzet 5, James 6, Bond 6 (sub Wordsworth, 69), Henderson 6, Gillespie 6, Antonio 7 (sub Odejayi, 59) Unused subs: White, Duguid.

BARNET: Brill 8, Senda 7, Kamdjo 7, Geohaghon 7, Parkes 7, Byrne 7, Marshall 7 (sub Taylor, 90), Hughes 7, Holmes 8 (sub Dennehy, 89), Deering 8 (sub Kabba, 68), McLeod 7. Unused subs: O’Brien, Vilehet.

Referee: Mr David Phillips (West Sussex)

Attendance: 1,747

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