U’s well beaten by high-flying Magpies

Colchester United 0 Notts County 2

COLCHESTER United were beaten by a Bishop and a Judge, as Notts County eased to a comfortable victory at the Weston Homes Community Stadium last night.

Joe Dunne’s men were hoping to bounce back from their humiliating FA Cup exit, at the hands of Essex neighbours Chelmsford City.

But they were powder puff in front of goal, and once again their Achilles heel was an inability to defend set pieces.

While both goals conceded in their last league game, a 2-2 draw at Shrewsbury, were free headers from corners, last night’s two first-half goals both stemmed from free-kicks.

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Neal Bishop was unmarked when he met Alan Judge’s free-kick with a crisp volley to hand County a 17th minute lead.

And the U’s again failed to cope with another free-kick routine, just before the break. Francois Zoko flicked on the delivery and the alert Judge reacted first to poke beyond the onrushing Mark Cousins, who was caught in no man’s land.

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Two-down after 44 minutes, the U’s never really looked like finding a route back into this game.

It was the first time the U’s had failed to score, since Dunne took over the managerial reins, a run of nine games.

Furthermore, it was also their first home defeat under the Irishman, following three straight home wins.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Cousins, Wilson, Okuonghae, Eastman, Rose, Bean (sub Bond, 67), Eastmond (sub Morrison, 87, Wordsworth, Henderson, Ibehre, Massey (sub Sears, 67). Unused subs: Duguid, O’Toole, White, Pentney.

NOTTS COUNTY: Bialkowski, Liddle, Leacock, Stewart, J Hughes, Judge (sub Mahon, 89), Boucaud, Bishop, Campbell-Ryce (sub Bencherif, 84), Zoko (sub L Hughes, 78), Arquin. Unused subs: Showunmi, Mitchell, Williams, Eastham.

Referee: Carl Berry (Sheffield)

Attendance: 3,051

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