U’s stung by three late goals from Bees
Brentford 3 Colchester United 1
Three late goals condemned Colchester United to defeat at Brentford this afternoon.
The U’s looked to be heading towards what would have been a first win in 10 league games, thanks to Magnus Okuonghae’s deadly finish early in the second period.
But Marcello Trotta and George Saville then struck, on 76 and 80 minutes, to ruin all of the U’s good early work, before substitute Kadeem Harris added a third in the 86th minute.
Earlier, centre-half Okuonghae was in the right place to head home Luke Garbutt’s 48th minute corner.
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The big man stooped forwards to meet Garbutt’s delivery with a thumping header that flew like a bullet into the net, from six yards out.
The U’s held out until the 76th minute, when centre-forward Trotta steered home Clayton Donaldson’s low cross at the near post.
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And four minutes later, midfielder Saville beat Sam Walker with a superb strike from the edge of the penalty area, his shot curling into the net via the inside of the post.
The U’s fate was sealed by Cardiff loanee Harris, who headed home at the far post to complete Brentford’s fine comeback.
U’s boss Joe Dunne had sprung a surprise by handing Clinton Morrison his first start of the season. Morrison played just behind the front two of Jabo Ibehre and Freddie Sears.
But it was the Bees who created the first chance, from the first corner of the game on 10 minutes. Defender Harlee Dean hooked in a shot from 10 yards out that was deflected wide, with just a suspicion of handball. Referee Brendan Malone merely waved play on.
At the other end, keeper David Button spilled a deep cross, but Marcus Bean, playing against his former club, could not find a team-mate in the six-yard box to finish off the chance.
Brentford should really have gone ahead, on 12 minutes.
Walker did well to block Saville’s goal-bound low drive, but the ball squirmed free into the path of Trotta, who construed to blast wide from just six yard out with an empty goal beckoning. It was a terrible miss.
The U’s had to soak up a good deal of pressure, and concede several corners, before the broke with purpose in the 26th minute.
Craig Eastmond intercepted a stray pass by Donaldson and released Freddie Sears, who ran half the length of the pitch before slicing an 18-yard shot well wide of target.
Otherwise, there was precious little in the way of goalmouth action for the rest of a disappointing first period, with the exception of Matt Taylor heading over the bar from Garbutt’s 40th minute free-kick.
The U’s had had a tendency to look sluggish during the early stages of the second half in previous matches this season, and they were fortunate to see Alan McCormack’s 46th minute cross drop agonisingly over the head of the lurking Will Grigg, who as unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box.
However, just two minutes later and the U’s grabbed the lead, thanks to Okuonghae’s bullet header from Garbutt’s corner.
Walker preserved the U’s lead with a terrific save in the 53rd minute. He dived low to his right to palm away Jake Bidwell’s curling free-kick.
Livewire Sears tried to double the advantage, just before the hour mark. He latched onto Ibehre’s lay-off and connected with a rising shot that Button caught under his bar.
Walker had to be at his best to thwart the Bees in the 60th minute. Trotta’s skidding low drive was heading for the corner of the net, until the Chelsea loanee pushed the ball around his post.
Walker was finally beaten by Saville’s firm header, from Sam Saunders’ 75th minute cross, but this time the ball clipped the top of the bar and dropped to safety.
However, a minute later and Trotta steered home the equaliser, from Donaldson’s low cross.
And worse was to follow as Saville crashed home the Bees’ second in the 80th minute, before Harris marked his debut with a late third.
BRENTFORD: Button, McCormack, Craig, Dean, Bidwell, Saville, Forshaw (sub Saunders, 65), Douglas, Trotta (sub El Alagui, 82), Donaldson, Grigg (sub Harris, 65). Unused subs: Lee, Logan, Diagouraga, Nugent.
COLCHESTER UNITED: Walker, Wilson, Okuonghae, Taylor, Garbutt, Bean, Gilbey (sub Bond, 82), Eastmond, Morrison (sub Massey, 62), Sears (sub Monakana, 82), Ibehre. Unused subs: Phillips, David Wright, Sendles-White, Szmodics.
Referee: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire)