U's miss out on Wembley trip

COLCHESTER United were denied by the woodwork not once, not twice, but three times as their dreams of a trip to Wembley were dashed at Luton last night.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United were denied by the woodwork not once, not twice, but three times as their dreams of a trip to Wembley were dashed at Luton last night.

Scott Vernon, Johnnie Jackson and Steven Gillespie all struck the frame of the goal as the U's searched in vain for a reply to Claude Gnakpa's 29th minute match-winner.

“We had enough chances to win three games, especially in the second half!” rued manager Paul Lambert after his team's Johnstone's Paint Trophy southern area semi-final exit.


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“But all credit to Luton. They defended strongly and good luck to them in the next round. We never got going in the first half and that's where games are often won and lost.

“It was just one of those nights where the ball would not go in for us. I made a few changes from the Leeds game, but I still felt we'd have enough to win, though obviously this proved not to be the case.

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“We huffed and puffed in the first half. Luton got their goal and we just could not break them down.

“Obviously the luck was not with us tonight. We hit the woodwork three times.

“Scott (Vernon) hit the bar, Johnnie (Jackson) struck the post with a great shot and Steve (Gillespie) admitted that he should have scored late on.

“It was a disappointing night for us, and it always hurts to lose a game,” added Lambert.

The U's also confirmed that loanee striker Jermaine Easter has returned to his parent club, Plymouth Argyle, after suffering a knee injury during the 2-1 win at Leeds. He will be assessed by the Plymouth medical team and is set to have a scan.

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