After U’s: Swindon fail to keep up with Colchester

Anthony Gingell catches us up with Town’s latest defeat, this time at the hands of Colchester

On a beautiful sunny September Saturday at the County Ground we went into the game against Colchester hoping to play the first football since an away day at Crewe. Yes we’ve really seemed that bad. Could anyone really say we’ve seen football recently by our beloved club? Well it certainly wasn’t last week versus Burton.

Ty Belford and Yaser Kasim start in front of Lawrence Vigouroux, and the side or backwards passing Anton Rodgers. Nathan Thompson is dropped from the team through injury and replaced by Fabien Robert. This leads to a more familiar back three starting and playing two up top. Wow… Mr Cooper; that is a change!

Within 2 minutes of Colchester’s kick-off towards the Town End; the away side have had a chance with a cross that sees a Town defender flick the ball on stopping the danger of the incoming attacker. Wes Thomas gets the breakaway ball and tries to feed Nicky Ajose but the ball was over hit and not good enough. Colchester get down Town’s right the ball is squared into the box and side-footed into the back of the net by George Moncur (son of former Town midfielder John). Town 0-1 Colchester after 2 minutes.

Town start to look as though they can play football on 6 minutes with Henrik Ojamaa and Kasim working the ball to Robert with a chance to cross. The ball is knocked back into the 6 yard box by Ojamaa, who had carried on his run, but the keeper gets down and saves.

Robert then tries a dink over the top of the opponents back four. Ajose chases but it has a little too much pace and the goalie easily collects just inside the penalty area.

Wes Thomas misses on 10 minutes by blasting from around 14 yards. This should and would have been 1-1 had this been on target. Some really good link up play led to the opportunity which hasn’t been seen regularly for a while. More familiar play gets Town in trouble at the back through overplaying and being closed down quickly.

Jordan Turnbull takes the ball from defence and charges through to the Colchester half (reminiscent of Alan McCormack at Northampton); lays the ball off to Thomas who squares to Ojamaa on 20 minutes leading to a corner kick… Some ‘excitement’ in the box with the ref talking to Branco and his marker. The ball is whipped in and is not dealt with bouncing to the unmarked Thomas. He buries the ball into the back of the net with tremendous power. 1-1. Game on.

A 35-yard shot from Colchester on 23 minutes goes over the bar. There seems to be a bounce in the step of Thomas after that goal as he goes chasing after every ball now. However; after only a couple of minutes since scoring he pulls up and is substituted on 26 minutes for Jermaine Hylton.

Town should be 2-1 up on 28 minutes. Kasim feeds the ball from the halfway line to the running Ajose. He looks up and spots the run of Louis Thompson. When going to strike the ball he goes down in the penalty box looking like the defender wiped him out but Ojamaa is there at the back but his first time effort is saved by the U’s ‘keeper.

Colchester then boot the ball from the back; it hits their own man some 10 yards in front with Raffa Branco making the interception. The touch is heavy but finds Ojamaa. It’s knocked back to Kasim who plays the ball first time into Branco’s continued run. The early cross falls awkwardly to Ajose but one too many touches leads to Colchester making the block.

Shortly after, Colchester hit the side netting through their star man, Moncur. The ball from Town’s left only needed to be directed past Belford but some luck for Town; no-one is there attacking. Belford makes a routine save on 36 minutes as the away side start to come back into the game.

Robert, definitely not at his best; blasts over into the Stratton Bank. At least Town have started playing football again. We seem to create more chances when we do this and with pace.

Oh dear. Colchester, moving quicker than Swindon, keep the ball moving and a neat one-two puts Callum Harriott in against Belford and slides the ball past the Town goalie at his near post on 41 minutes. Not what we needed just before half time.

Town have been trying to walk the ball in but have at least started to play football again. Too many sloppy, misplaced passes has stopped the enjoyment of last year. This was summed up by Jordan Williams who makes the challenge on the edge of Town’s box; runs into the Colchester half and has to stop as no options are available.

Town kick off the second half still not winning the second balls. Turnbull gives away a foul on 50 minutes after winning the ball. The free-kick is headed out by Jordan T. which allows Kasim to bring the ball out. His through ball for Ojamaa has no accuracy and arrives comfortably at the away goalkeeper.

Town try to use a training ground routine for the corner but Branco nearly clears the Town End stand. The game is becoming uninspiring as passes are misplaced and lazy. Slight cheers happen in the Don Rogers stand as paper airplanes are now the amusement of the fans.

Turnbull makes a block on 57 minutes after Colchester had a wonderful opportunity having teed up the attacking midfielder. This before the talking point of the second half; Kasim is off for James Brophy who goes to the left wing, moving Robert to the centre. The talking point is not removing Kasim, it’s the fact that he walks straight down the tunnel with no sign of injury. This is not good team spirit; you do what the team needs and sit on the bench supporting the players. If Kasim really wants a move away then so be it but play your best and you’ll get offers!

Town have a corner. It ends up after a little pinball going out for a throw. The throw is worked well for Turnbull to have his header saved.

Belford makes a superb stop from the number 31 who had turned James Brophy inside-out after running half the pitch. The left footed shot was excellently saved by Belford who managed to tip the ball onto the crossbar for a corner.

Robert is replaced by the Sideshow Bob lookalike, Jeremy Balmy. Within a minute Balmy keeps the ball in play; the cross makes its way all the way to the back post where the stretching Ajose can just connect with the ball but he hits the post from two yards out.

The only thing to note after this was the performance of young Jordan Williams. He never gave up and was regularly our saviour ensuring Town’s defeat was not any heavier. The defence seems to be missing the protection of the midfield and the strikers not receiving the service required. So with all our excellent midfielders we just do not seem to be completing the basics. Onto another long trip to Blackpool. Let’s hope we play some football and can stop the leakage of goals!

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