U’s defeated after more spot-kick controversy
npower League One Colchester Utd 0 Brentford 2
THEY say that things even themselves out in football.
Having won last Saturday’s home game with a penalty awarded for a handball clearly a yard OUTSIDE the box, Colchester United were last night given only a free-kick for a foul seemingly a yard INSIDE the area.
Like the incident which left Hartlepool boss Mick Wadsworth fuming just three days’ previous, the referee once again gave his controversial decision after a lengthy consultation with his linesman.
A spot-kick would have given the U’s a chance to equalise, but in truth that would have been harsh on a well-organised Brentford side who defended Gary Alexander’s 27th minute opener superbly before wrapping up a professional victory a minute from time when former Colchester loanee Charlie MacDonald finished off a quick counter-attack.
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U’s boss John Ward made two changes to his side following Saturday’s last-gasp 3-2 home win over Hartlepool. Pat Baldwin replaced Magnus Okuonghae after the centre-back suffered a flare-up of his ankle injury, while the fit-again David Mooney returned to the side at the expense of Anthony Wordsworth.
Brentford manager Andy Scott made one alteration to his team following their 2-1 win at Plymouth, former Sunderland full-back returning after injury to replace Michael Spillane in defence.
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Colchester enjoyed the better possession in the opening exchanges but the well-organised Bees defended solidly and limited their hosts to hopeful balls into the box and long-range half-chances.
At the other end, Brentford showed signs of posing a serious aerial threat with keeper Ben Williams having to pull off a fine reactionary save from a Gary Alexander header in the 15th minute after the U’s failed to deal with a deep cross.
It was therefore little surprise that Brentford opened the scoring from their first corner in the 27th minute, Alexander sweeping home the loose ball after the home defence once again failed to deal with the initial delivery.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first with Brentford comfortably soaking up home pressure and almost adding another headed goal on the counter as Marcus Bean nodded just wide from another excellent Saunders cross.
With the U’s lacking that little bit of invention to unlock the door, Brentford could have added a second when keeper Ben Williams got away with completely missing a punch.
The introduction of Liam Henderson off the bench instantly made the hosts a bit more threatening though and visiting keeper Richard Lee had to make a brave stop at his feet following the U’s first crisp bout of passing of the night.
The big talking point came 10 minutes from time when Ashley Vincent was seemingly pulled down in the area by marker Leon Legge. The referee immediately blew for a foul but, after consulting with his linesman on the far side, gave a free-kick on the edge of the box.
Brentford then sealed victory a minute from time when former U;s loanee Charlie MacDonald was left with a simple close range tap-in following Michael Spillane’s low cross on the counter-attack.
The U’s drop back to sixth place with this result in what remains an incredibly tight League One table.
– Reaction in tomorrow’s EADT.
COLCHESTER UTD (4-4-1-1): Ben Williams 6; Brian Wilson 6, Marc Tierney 6, Paul Reid 6, Pat Baldwin 6; Ashley Vincent 6, Ian Henderson 6 (Anthony Wordsworth 85), Andy Bond 6, David Perkins 7; David Mooney 6; Kayode Odejayi 5 (Liam Henderson 63, 7).
Unused Subs: Mark Cousins, Matt Heath, John White, Lee Beevers, Lloyd James.
BRENTFORD (4-4-2): Richard Lee 7; Stephen Wright 7, Craig Woodman 7, Leon Legge 7, Karleigh Osborne 7; Kevin O’Connor 6, Sam Saunders 7, Marcus Bean 7, Toumani Diagouraga 7 (Myles Weston 66 (5), Michael Spillane 82, 6); Charlie MacDonald 6, Gary Alexander 7 (Robbie Simpson 89).
Unused Subs: David Hunt, Pim Balkestein, Ben Hamer, Nicky Forster.
Booked: Woodman (84).
U’s Man-of-the-Match: David Perkins
Referee: Mr David Foster (Tyne & Wear)