Yeates laments two points thrown away

MARK Yeates has cemented his place in Colchester United folklore, after scoring the first ever goal in a competitive fixture at the new Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Carl Marston

MARK Yeates has cemented his place in Colchester United folklore, after scoring the first ever goal in a competitive fixture at the new Weston Homes Community Stadium.

But a top-quality brace from Yeates, in the 42nd and 63rd minutes, failed to wrap up an historic first win at the U's new home. Oldham responded with goals from Chris Taylor and substitute Deane Smalley, the last as late as the 88th minute, to snatch a point.

“We're all absolutely gutted! That's two points we've thrown away,” admitted Yeates.

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“On a personal note, it's nice to score the first goal at the new stadium, but that late goal took the gloss off it for me. It's all about the team, not about me.

“I thought we were good in spells today, and we were cruising at 2-0 up at home. But they got one back quickly and the one at the end was a real blow to us.

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“I feel that I'm getting back into the swing of things again. I had a long time out with my shoulder injury (sustained at the start of January), and my performances have been building up after the Huddersfield home game and the good away win at Swindon.

“It was the second operation on my shoulder. I could have played the second half of last season, and I was desperate to, but the medical advice was that another heavy bang and the shoulder would pop out again.

“The plan was to try and come back for the last three or four games of the season, if we had a good chance of avoiding relegation, but that wasn't the situation.

“But I've been fit since June, and did a couple of weeks more pre-season than the other lads.

“I'm happy to have scored a couple of goals, but I know that I can play even better than that! The first goal was a good move from the lads, and I hit the second one very well.

“Oldham made it difficult for us. They stood firm, and if Clive Platt's header had gone in rather than hit the post (at 2-1 up), then we would have won.

“I'm feeling down at the moment. The manager has every right to be angry with us, because sloppy goals have cost us.

“It's a game that we should have won,” added Yeates.

U's boss Geraint Williams was indeed an angry man after his side concede such a late equaliser.

Williams rued: “I was angry because we had seen Oldham manage to stifle Leeds United (2-0 away win), and yet today we got ourselves two goals ahead but couldn't hold on.

“It's very disappointing not to close out the game after going 2-0 up. We got ourselves into a winning position, but did not see it out.

“Mark Yeates scored two great goals. They were excellent finishes, and I felt we needed that from him because he hadn't given us enough as an attacking threat in the last couple of games.

“He's delighted to get his two goals, but disappointed with the rest of us that we have not won the game.

“To concede so quickly after scoring the second goal was criminal. We had worked so hard to get 2-0 up, and just needed to see it through for the next five or 10 minutes. That would have dampened Oldham's enthusiasm.

“But that first goal gave them a leg up into the game,” concluded Williams.

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