U’s ship three second-half goals to lose at Yeovil

Yeovil Town 3 Colchester United 2

COLCHESTER United let a one-goal lead slip as they crashed to defeat at lowly Yeovil Town this afternoon.

It had all looked so good for the U’s at half-time, as Steven Gillespie’s fourth goal in his last three appearances handed them an 18th minute lead.

But Yeovil turned this game on its head with three goals in the second period, courtesy of Dean Parrett (55 minutes), Lawson D’Ath (70) and Andy Williams (72).

There was no way back for the U’s, who will be very disappointed with their second-half performance.

Martin Rowlands did give them hope by curling home a 92nd minute free-kick, to bring it back to 3-2, after Yeovil substitute Kieran Agard had been sent off for a dangerous tackle on Karl Duguid.

But the visitors could not fashion an equaliser during a frantic last few seconds.

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The U’s were under the cosh during the opening few minutes, perhaps as they adapted to a new-look 4-4-1-1 formation with new boy Freddie Sears playing just behind front-man Gillespie.

In addition to Sears, snapped up on a month’s loan from West Ham on Friday morning, making his U’s debut, so recent signing Rowlands was also handed his full U’s debut, following his first appearance as a substitute during the 2-1 win over Brentford on Tuesday evening.

And midfielder Rowlands played a key role in Gillespie’s 18th minute opener, after the U’s had soaked up that early pressure.

It was an inch-perfect from Rowlands, which allowed Gillespie to spring the Yeovil offside trap and then guide his shot beyond the onrushing Walker from 15 yards out. It was a deadly finish.

Gillespie could have doubled the lead in the 29th minute, when racing onto Sears’ superb pass. He could have passed inside to Karl Duguid, who was in a better position, but went for goal and his low shot fizzed a yard wide of the near post.

Anthony Wordsworth also peppered the target with a snap shot, as the U’s continued to dominate following Gillespie’s goal. They deserved their half-time lead.

But Yeovil were level within 10 minutes of the restart. D’Ath cut open the U’s defence with a slick pass and suddenly Parrett was clean through on goal. He kept his cool to slot past an exposed Ben Williams from 15 yards out.

Suddenly, United were under the cosh and Jonathan Obika thought that he had swept Yeovil into a 62nd minute lead, from close in, only for his celebrations to be cut short by an offside flag.

At the other end, Gillespie nearly restored the U’s lead with a rasping long-range shot that keeper Walker did well to parry.

And it was the Glovers who took the lead, on 70 minutes. Ben Williams pushed away Obika’s angled drive, but D’Ath made no mistake from the rebound, crashing home from 12 yards out.

Two minutes later and the hosts were 3-1 up. The U’s failed to deal with a free-kick, pumped into their box, and Andy Williams hooked home in clinical fashion.

Rowlands’ wonderful free-kick, in stoppage time, gave the U’s hope of stealing a draw, and Kayode Odejayi was denied from close in right at the death.

But Yeovil held on to take three precious points to ease their relegation worries.

YEOVIL TOWN: Walker, Ayling, Hinds, N’Gala, Jones, G Williams, Upson, D’Ath (sub Agard, 89), Parrett (sub Blizzard, 69), A Williams, Obika. Unused subs: MacLean, Haynes-Brown, Stewart.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Williams, Wilson, Okuonghae, Eastman, White, Duguid, Rowlands, Wordsworth, Henderson (sub Odejayi, 77), Sears (sub Bond, 86), Gillespie. Unused subs: James, Coker, Heath.

Referee: Mr Steve Rushton (Staffordshire)

Attendance: 3,442