U's pay a heavy price for petulance

WHEN he is good he is very good, but when he is bad he is horrid.A moment of stupidity from Marc Tierney against his former club proved the catalyst for Colchester's downfall at Boundary Park on Saturday.

Stuart Watson

WHEN he is good he is very good, but when he is bad he is horrid.

A moment of stupidity from Marc Tierney against his former club proved the catalyst for Colchester's downfall at Boundary Park on Saturday.

With the U's 2-0 up and cruising, the 24-year-old petulantly kicked the ball away in the 55th minute of this match to receive his second yellow card and marching orders.


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The Essex side subsequently collapsed and, in the end, were left gratefully hanging onto a point against a side with rank bad home form.

On his day - as shown against Exeter just a week earlier - Tierney is one of the best left-backs in the league.

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However, the combination of a volatile temperament and a no-nonsense approach to tackling means that Saturday's scenario will always remain a strong possibility.

The articulate Tierney - who has now been booked seven times in 16 league games this season - described himself as a “fan in a shirt” recently.

And while U's fans won't want to change him, he will know a more professional head will be required in the future.

Putting the red card aside, Colchester, who have shown such resilience in recent games, should not have folded in the manner that they did on Saturday.

The U's had found themselves in front at the break courtesy of David Fox's neat near post finish in the 12th minute.

Oldham had failed to score in their previous three games, so when Kayode Odejayi headed in the seventh goal of his loan spell five minutes into the second half it looked like game over.

However, U's boss Aidy Boothroyd was forced into a number of changes following the red card and his side simply didn't adjust.

A frustrated Kevin Lisbie - fit again following a two match absence - was sacrificed for Phil Ifil, the sub going to right-back in the reshuffle.

John White switched to left-back, Clive Platt tried to fulfil an unfamiliar right-midfield role, while Kemi Izzet and Paul Reid were also introduced as the game wore on.

Oldham took full advantage, retaining the ball with ease and launching wave-after-wave of attack.

The impressive Chris Taylor halved the deficit from the spot in the 62nd minute after he was fouled by Magnus Okuonghae in the box.

And, after throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at their visitors, Oldham deservedly grabbed a share of the spoils with two minutes to go when sub Ryan Brooke headed home fellow replacement Keigan Parker's cross.

Colchester have now taken just two points from their last three league games and have conceded six goals in that period.

And while there is no need to panic just yet, a return to clean sheet form against Stockport tomorrow night would not go amiss.

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