Colchester record narrow victory

COLCHESTER United took advantage of a late red card to record a narrow 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town and make it three successive home victories

Coca-Cola League One

Colchester United 1 Huddersfield Town 0

COLCHESTER United took advantage of a late red card to record a narrow 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town and make it three successive home victories

Terriers defender Peter Clarke was dismissed in the 77th minute following two soft second half yellow cards and, four minutes later, Kayode Odejayi smashed home from close range following fine work from Kevin Lisbie.

The U's have now gone six games undefeated under Aidy Boothroyd but it could have been so different.

After a scrappy, wind-effected first-half in which neither side managed a meaningful shot on target, Huddersfield looked the more dangerous for the first half an hour of the second period.

Most Read

Clarke's dismissal changed the match however and Odejayi was able to score his third goal in two games and seal the win.

U's manager Boothroyd - who was nominated as League One Manager of the Month for September - unsurprisingly named an unchanged side to that which beat Charlton 3-0 in midweek.

In contrast, Terriers boss Lee Clark made three changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Walsall in midweek. Andy Butler, Anthony Pilkington and former Ipswich striker Jordan Rhodes were all dropped to the bench in place of Nathan Clarke, Robbie Simpson and James Berrett.

The latter, traditionally a midfielder, dropped back to play in an unfamiliar sweeper role as Huddersfield - coming into the game without a win in their previous four - experimented with a 5-3-2 formation.

With the wind playing havoc it was a very scrappy first half in which neither side had a meaningful shot on target.

The closest Huddersfield came to a goal in the opening stages was a blocked long range shot which ballooned away and into one of the practise nets in the far corner of the ground, while Colchester were largely limited to snatched chances from distance.

Anthony Wordsworth almost scored direct from a corner in the 17th minute, his left-footed in-swinger curling just past the far post and this proved the catalyst for the U's to get the ball down and put together their best move of the match.

Left-back Marc Tierney started a multi-pass phase of play and, when the ball eventually came back to him on the edge of the box, his outside of the boot effort when just over the bar.

Kevin Lisbie - once again playing wide right - saw little of the ball in the opening period, but when he did, he looked to have the beating of blue-booted left wing-back Joe Skarz.

First the on-loan Ipswich striker fired over from distance, before winning a free-kick from which Clive Platt headed over.

Colchester looked the marginally more threatening side, but more often than not they were getting crowded out in the box by Huddersfield's back five system.

Even when the U's did manage to work some space for John-Joe O'Toole on the edge of the box, the referee managed to get in the way and impede his effort.

Huddersfield's best chance of the half came just before the break. Right wing-back Lee Peltier played a nice ball in the area but, just as striker Simpson turned to get his shot off, Tierney made a timely block.

Three minutes later the referee blew his whistle to bring an uninspiring first half to an end.

With both sides unchanged after the break, Huddersfield created more chances in the opening 10 minutes of the second half than they had for the entire first period.

In front of the travelling support, Skarz fired dangerously across the face of goal, while Simpson saw an effort deflected wide following a good move.

At the other end, Odejayi was flagged for offside following a fine ball from Kem Izzet, while a superb run from Tierney set up a period of pressure following a counter-attack.

There was a brief moment of panic for the U's in the 65th minute when keeper Ben Williams came flying out towards the edge of his area to collect a long ball and only just got his fingertips to it as it looked to fly over his head.

Soon afterwards, O'Toole made an important challenge on Anthony Kay after substitute Lee Novak had got the better of Batth and provided a dangerous cross across the goalmouth.

Steven Gillespie was introduced for Platt with little under 20 minutes to go and, following a long period without a U's chance on goal, he fired over the bar.

Huddersfield's Peter Clarke was controversially sent-off in the 77th minute. The centre-half, who had already been booked, climbed above John White in the box and seemed to accidently catch the U's defender with his arm. White went to ground and the referee raced over to show the red card.

Up until that point Colchester had been on the back foot but, with the extra man, they pushed on for the first time and broke the deadlock with eight minutes to go.

Lisbie raided down the right, beat his man and slid a fine ball across the goal for Odejayi to smash home from close range.

A minute later Lisbie, who had always looked Colchester's most dangerous outlet, was replaced by Phil Ifil after another hard-working display.

Ten-men Huddersfield pressed for an equaliser late on and almost got one when Simpson got the better of Okuonghae, however, White was there to clear off the line.

With the game stretched, the hosts had chances to put the game to bed, but the lively Gillespie twice fired into the side netting.

Colchester: Ben Williams 6, John White 7, Marc Tierney 7, Magnus Okuonghae 6, Danny Batth 8, Kevin Lisbie 7 (Phil Ifil 82), Anthony Wordsworth 6, Kem Izzet 6, John-Joe O'Toole 6, Kayode Odejayi 6, Clive Platt 6 (Steven Gillespie 72, 7).

Unused Subs: Mark Cousins, Matt Heath, Simon Hackney, David Fox, Medy Elito.

Booked: Batth (58).

Huddersfield: Alex Smithies 6, James Berrett 7, Peter Clarke 7, Nathan Clarke 7, Lee Peltier 6, Joe Skarz 6, Anthony Kay 6, Jim Goodwin 6 (Anthony Pilkington 83), Danny Drinkwater 6 (Andy Butler 78), Theo Robinson 6 (Lee Novak 64, 6), Robbie Simpson 7.

Unused Subs: Matt Glennon, Michael Collins, Gary Roberts, Jordan Rhodes.

Booked: Goodwin (61), P.Clarke (66, 77).

Sent-Off: P.Clarke (77).

Man-of-the-Match: Danny Batth.

Attendance: 5,154.

Referee: Mr G.Ward (Kent)

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter