Width of crossbar denies U's a draw

Colchester United 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 1IF the appointment of Colchester United's new manager depended on this result, Geraint Williams may live to rue the whip of a Layer Road crossbar.

By Elvin King

Colchester United 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 1

IF the appointment of Colchester United's new manager depended on this result, Geraint Williams may live to rue the whip of a Layer Road crossbar.

Twice within seconds in the 78th minute, Jamie Cureton and then Kem Izzet struck the woodwork on a night when the U's did everything but score.

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With Williams looking to have opposition from former Plymouth boss Bobby Williamson to replace Phil Parkinson in the Colchester hot-seat, he would have liked to have shown the board another pre-season victory.

This is the first game that Williams has lost under his control - both before and after Parkinson's stay at the club.

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Colchester were enterprising and bright and went close a number of times, no more so than the double strike against the bar.

But the one thing missing was a cutting edge on a night when a 71st-minute strike by Brighton substitute Colin Kazim-Richards won the game.

Wayne Brown was beaten in the air to a long ball and Kazim-Richards made space before hammering a right-foot effort into the roof of the net with Dean Gerken motionless.

Gerken played the whole game as the other experienced keeper Aidan Davison had played 90 minutes last Saturday.

On a superb pitch that is a credit to the Colchester club, their players showed the eagerness of fresh-faced schoolboys about to sample the delights of the Upper Sixth tuck shop.

They passed the ball around with precision and the fluid midfield of the home side was too much for the visitors to hold at times.

Relegated from the Championship last season, Brighton were ideal opponents in a game watched by Rotherham manager Alan Knill, whose team play against the south coast team at the start of the season.

Richard Garcia sent a screamer just over in the 14th minute and after a 10-pass move, Johnnie Jackson, the newcomer from Tottenham, shot just wide from 20 yards.

Adam Hinshelwood was carried off on a stretcher with his shirt over his face with knee problems before Brighton's central defender Adam El-Abd was lucky not to see red when his tackle from behind floored Kevin Watson and left the Colchester man needing treatment.

With two minutes to go to the interval, Colchester were in trouble for the first time and there were wide-open gaps in their defence when Dean Hammond lobbed against the bar.

Former Braintree striker, Alex Revell had hardly had a kick before he was substituted by the Brighton management early in the second half.

Cureton shot just wide following a corner in the 63rd minute and six minutes later, Jackson saw his blockbuster beaten away by the keeper.

After the goal, Kevin Watson had a shot stopped with difficulty by the visiting keeper and in the last 10 minutes, Cureton was just wide, Izzet had a fierce drive carried by the keeper and also shot over when Brighton were stretched at the back by some more astute play.

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