Woeful Colchester United are blown away by Spireites
Chesterfield 6 Colchester United 0
Hapless Colchester United were on the wrong end of a hammering, as play-off chasing Chesterfield showed no mercy in a one-sided encounter this evening.
The U’s had a night to forget, conceding three early goals to Gary Roberts and Sam Clucas (2), before Dan Gardner, Jimmy Ryan and a Roberts penalty completed the rout in the second half.
As a result, Tony Humes’ men remain deep in the relegation mire, really needing three wins from their last four games to engineer an unlikely escape act.
The U’s suffered the worst possible start, leaking three goals inside the first 17 minutes to be completely blown away.
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Ex-Ipswich Town midfielder Roberts started the goal avalanche, by breaking the deadlock in the sixth minute.
Left-back Drew Talbot did the damage, with a strong run down the flank and a cut-back for Roberts, who made no mistake with a first time shot that screamed past Chris Lewington from 12 yards out.
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It had already been a nervous start for keeper Lewington, who was making his long-awaited league debut for the U’s, following his move from Dagenham & Redbridge last summer.
Lewington had only made one previous appearance for the U’s, in the 4-0 defeat at Charlton in the League Cup last August.
But he was given his chance due to regular No. 1 Sam Walker’s absence with a knee injury – it was the first time Walker had missed a league game all season.
Lewington’s first touch had not been a very convincing, although his scuffed clearance kick did not put his side under any unnecessary pressure.
But he was soon left exposed, time and time again, as his defence crumbled before his very eyes.
Roberts’ clinical strike had put the U’s on the back foot. It was fifth goal of the season, and his seventh in all competitions.
Clucas then doubled the lead with an equally slick finish in the 16th minute.
Alex Wynter was outwitted by left-winger Dan Gardner, who ran uncontested into the penalty area while leaving the U’s right-back trailing in his wake.
Gardner looked up to pick out Lucas, and Lewington again had no chance as the Sprities striker crashed home a rising shot into the roof of the net.
Less than 60 seconds later and Clucas notched his second, and the Spireites third, to effectively kill off the game.
Clucas burst clear of the U’s back-line and had the simple task of clipping his shot beyond the onrushing Lewington to put the Derbyshire hosts 3-0 up. It was his 12th goal of the season.
Gardner crashed home Chesterfield’s fourth in the 58th minute – Lewington should really have saved that one – before Ryan ran through uncontested to sweep home the fifth just after the hour mark.
There was still time for Roberts to thump home an 85th penalty to inflict yet more misery on the U’s, after he had been brought down by Lewington.
CHESTERFIELD: Lee, Darikwa, Evatt, Hird, Talbot (sub Jones, 26), Morsy, Ryan, Gardner (sub Ariyibi, 62), O’Shea, Roberts, Clucas (sub Banks, 76). Unused subs: Flatt, Raglan, Humphreys, Gnanduillet.
COLCHESTER: Lewington, Wynter (sub Brindley, 46), Khuamlo, Eastman, Briggs, Lapslie (sub Szmodics, 46), Gilbey, Moncur, Massey, Porter, Murphy (sub Healey, 46). Unused subs: Bransgrove, Bonne, Sembie-Ferris, Harney.
Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)
Attendance: 6,508 (158 away fans)