Ward pleased with point
COLCHESTER United boss John Ward hailed his back five following a hard-fought goalless draw at high-flying Huddersfield.
The U’s stood up superbly to long periods of pressure at The Galpharm and almost snatched it in stoppage time when substitute Kayode Odejayi twice forced excellent saves from keeper Ian Bennett.
“There was a pretty strong onslaught of balls into (Alan) Lee at the top and I thought my defenders had to be pretty strong,” said Ward. “We had to get around second balls because that is the way Huddersfield came at us.
“We knew there would be a reaction from them (after a 4-0 defeat at Carlisle in midweek) but I thought my team stood up really strong today.
“There was a strong rearguard when we had to, we’ve created some chances of our own going forward and in the last 10 minutes Bennett’s made some good saves to keep it nil-nil.”
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Left-back Ben Coker followed up his superb Football League debut against Bournemouth with another excellent display, while keeper Ben Williams rivalled him for man-of-the-match with an assured performance.
“Ben (Williams) was clean and confident but he didn’t produce what I call goalbound saves which their keeper did twice,” said Ward.
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“Ben made saves I’d expect him to save, his handling was extremely clean, but Bennett’s made two goalbound saves at the end of the game.
“I’m not suggesting we should have won it but I think we had the cleanest of chances.”
He continued: “Our chances became a bit cleaner and we were a bit more clinical towards the end. I thought we had chances to shoot in the first half when instead we tried to get into a better shooting position and I said at half-time ‘just let them go’.
“In the second half we got through the first 20 minutes when they came at us, I tried to switch it around a little bit and brought Kayode (Odejayi) on because there is a strength about him which we hoped might pay off – and it nearly did.
“It was a good save, the ball was going in the net, but Bennett is a good shot-stopper. When Kay was through and dinked it over him just before that he’s spread himself well to save that one too.
“We’ll take the point, I think it’s a good result and a good performance from us.
“There’s a big respect for us here. Lee Clark knows we are a hard team to beat and we showed that today. We now want to show those performances on a regular basis.”
Colchester United travel to League One table-toppers Brighton on Tuesday night before hosting another promotion rival in the form of Peterborough on Friday.
- For more reaction see Monday’s EADT.