Woeful Colchester United put in their ‘plaice’ by Cod Army

Gavin Massey, who had a few long-range shots at Fleetwood today, but failed to score

Gavin Massey, who had a few long-range shots at Fleetwood today, but failed to score - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Fleetwood Town 4 Colchester United 0

Colchester United shipped four goals on their way to a heavy defeat on the north-west coast, at Fleetwood Town this afternoon.

The U’s served up a dismal performance, with their defence creaking in alarming fashion, while offering very little as a goal-threat at the other end of the pitch.

Tony Humes’ men therefore ended a well-beaten side, and are left still searching for their first win of the season after three defeats and two draws from their first five league and cup fixtures.

Jimmy Ryan broke the deadlock with a stunning strike in the 24th minute. The Cod Army midfielder was allowed too much space, and so was able to unleash a 25-yard thunderbolt which flew past Elliot Parish into the top corner of the net.


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That was a terrific goal, but Fleetwood’s second, grabbed by David Ball just three minutes later, was a fortuitous one.

Ball’s shot took a wicked deflection off Alex Wynter’s boot, and the ball looped over Parish, who was in no man’s land, before dropping into an unguarded net.

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Any hopes of a U’s rally, in the second half, were dashed very early on as Jamie Proctor stabbed home Ball’s precision cross from the edge of the six-yard box, in the 49th minute.

Substitute Jamille Matt tucked home Fleetwood’s fourth in th 86th minute, to round off an awful day for the U’s.

Manager Humes had made just one change to the side which drew 0-0 against Oldham in midweek. George Moncur was recalled in the attacking midfield role, with Sammie Szmodics reverting to the bench.

The U’s started brightly and Gavin Massey let fly with a 20-yarder which keeper Chris Maxwell was at full stretch to finger-tip over his bar inside two minutes.

The game then rather drifted, after the U’s promising start. Darren Ambrose did curl over a dangerous corner, in the 17th minute, but Maxwell was able to claw to safety before Macauley Bonne could pounce.

However, Fleetwood grabbed the lead, out-of-the-blue, thanks to Ryan’s long-range rocket in the 24th minute.

The U’s tried to respond quickly, and George Moncur saw his attempted lob take a deflection on its way over the bar.

It didn’t take long, though, for the Cod Army to add a second goal, with Ball’s shot taking a wicked deflection as it looped over a stranded Parish and into the roof of the net.

It was nearly 3-0 to the hosts on 29 minutes, as defender Stephen Jordan was unmarked from a corner, only to send his free header over the bar.

The U’s were struggling to close down their opponents, and it needed a last ditch block by Alex Wynter to prevent Amarii Bell from registering a shot on target on the half-hour mark.

Alex Gilbey tried his luck with a 20-yarder which Maxwell comfortably smothered, in the 43rd minute, but otherwise it had been a terribly disappointing first-half showing from the visitors.

And it didn’t get any better at the start of the second period, with striker Proctor sweeping home Fleetwood’s third from point blank range, from Ball’s 49th minute cross.

The U’s were really under the cosh, and in danger of conceding even more goals.

In an effort to shore up a leaky back-line, Humes introduced George Elokobi as a 57th minute substitute, replacing Richard Brindley.

Elokobi partnered Tom Eastman in the heart of defence, with Wynter switching to right-back. It was Elokobi’s first appearance since his summer arrival from Oldham.

As an attacking force, the U’s had offered virtually nothing of a goal-threat, Massey drilling an optimistic 25-yard shot wide of the post in the 65th minute.

Fleetwood were close to a fourth goal, on 67 minutes, when an unmarked Danny Andrew headed straight into the arms of Parish, from a corner routine. That was another example of bad marking.

At the other end, substitute Elokobi at least got his head to an attacking corner, but his downward effort was cleared from inside the six-yard box.

Substitute Matt swept home a fourth for the hosts, with four minutes remaining, to complete the U’s misery.

Squads

FLEETWOOD: Maxwell, Forbes, McLaughlin, Jordan, Andrew, Sarcevic, Bell, Ryan, Della-Verde, Proctor, Ball (sub Matt, 69). Unused subs: Arestidou, Grant, McManus, Cartwright, Haughton, Sowerby.

COLCHESTER: Parish, Brindley (sub Elokobi, 57), Wynter, Eastman, Vincent-Young, Edwards (sub Szmodics, 70), Gilbey, Moncur, Massey, Bonne, Ambrose (sub Sembie-Ferris, 50) . Unused subs: Lewington, Briggs, Wright, Kent.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh (Lancashire)

Attendance: 2,688 (142 away fans)

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