U’s defeated by late Hartlepool goal

COLCHESTER United’s second half resistance eventually cracked two minutes from time at Victoria Park this afternoon as Hartlepool recorded their first win in eight.

Hartlepool 1-0 Colchester United

COLCHESTER United’s second half resistance eventually cracked two minutes from time at Victoria Park this afternoon as Hartlepool recorded their first win in eight.

Despite coming into this game with just two goals from their previous seven games, Mick Wadsworth’s side had the better chances against a U’s side that defended well but created little going forward.

And their second half pressure eventually told in the 88th minute when Antony Sweeney hooked home a shot from inside the box.


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David Perkins had headed off the Colchester line in the sixth minute after Peter Hartley got his head onto an Evan Horwood corner.

U’s keeper Mark Cousins – back in the side due to the back injury sustained by Ben Williams during the week – then made a good stop at the feet of Antony Sweeney in the 19th minute after a fine ball over the top from Paul Murray.

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Colchester’s front pairing of Steven Gillespie and David Mooney looked lively but have continually been denied by a well-executed offside trap.

The closest the visitors have come to scoring was when Gillespie put a stooping header just wide from Lloyd James’ cross in the 27th minute.

Colchester had to defend well at the start of the second half as the hosts controlled possession and got numerous balls into the box.

And only a superb double save from Cousins kept the score goalless in the 69th minute, the U’s keeper staying big to deny sub Colin Larkin one-on-one before quickly getting up and making a reflex save from Ritchie Humphreys’ follow up effort.

It looked like Colchester, who created precious little going forward throughout, would hold out for a draw.

However, Mick Wadsworth’s men found a winner two minutes from time thanks to Sweeney’s smart finish, the U’s failing to deal with a deep free-kick pumped long into the area.

And to sum up Colchester’s frustrating day, U’s striker Gillespie then missed a glorious chance to equalise two minutes into stoppage time when he headed over the bar from an unmarked position six yards out.

Colchester drop to 10th in the League One table and are now six points off the play-off places following away victories for Charlton and Huddersfield this afternoon.

– Reaction to follow.

HARTLEPOOL UTD (4-4-2): Flinders; Haslam, Collins (cpt), Hartley, Horwood; Sweeney, Murray, Liddle, Humphreys; Boyd (Larkin 64), Brown (Monkhouse 64).

Unused Subs: Rafferty, McSweeney, Gamble, Yantorno, Donaldson.

Booked: Larkin (74), Collins (80), Sweeney (84).

COLCHESTER UTD (4-4-2): Cousins; Beevers, Heath, Clarke, Coker; Bond, Izzet, James (Vincent 79), Perkins (Wordsworth 60); Mooney, Gillespie.

Unused Subs: Pentney, White, Baldwin, Henderson, Odejayi.

Booked: Mooney (45+), Gillespie (72), Odejayi (78).

U’s Man-of-the-Match: Mark Cousins

Referee: Mr Trevor Kettle

Attendance: 2,642 (107 away)

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