Colchester United v Stevenage – Sky Bet League Two – JobServe Community Stadium – Report
Colchester United 0-2 Stevenage
Colchester United slipped to a disappointing Sky Bet League Two defeat as relegation-haunted Stevenage out-thought and out-fought Wayne Brown’s men on what proved to be a frustrating afternoon at the JobServe Community Stadium.
Colchester performed like a group keen for the season to conclude against a Stevenage side without a win in eleven and without an away win since August.
U’s had started brightly. Noah Chilvers – all so often Colchester’s best player this season – tested Christy Pym’s resolve with a speculative attempt from twenty yards. The midfielder sent another attempt over the top as the home side provided the best of the games’ opening moments.
Stopper, Shamal George saved from former U’s frontman, Luke Norris. However, Colchester should have taken the lead when Luke Chambers arrived unmark only to head wide following an Alan Judge flag-kick.
The visitors’ need was far greater. Jake Taylor’s attempt was smuggled behind, while another former U’s man, Ben Coker, was wayward as the sides continued to trade blows.
Tom Eastman passed up a glorious opportunity, blasting over following another Judge corner. But the U’s were stunned in first-half stoppage-time when Jamie Reid got the final touch to hand Stevenage the lead after Taylor’s strike had looped up off Eastman.
Fighting for their lives towards the foot of the table, Stevenage doubled their advantage swiftly after the restart. Norris headed over the advancing George after Coker had nodded forward, sending the near-300 travelling fans into raptures, believing the Great Escape was on.
Freddie Sears was left frustrated by an assistants’ flag after knocking in from close range after Chilvers had hit an upright. The latter then fired over as the homes side, albeit tentatively, looked for a way back into the contest.
Stevenage were reduced to ten men in the closing stages when Norris picked up a second yellow card following a clumsy challenge on Brendan Wiredu.
But the numerical advantage was of little use to Colchester. They remain eight points above the dropzone and need to be a little more eager to ensure their EFL status which should be achieved with little more than one more victory.
Colchester United return to Sky Bet League Two action on Friday, April 15 when they face Exeter City at St James Park (1pm). The U’s then host Bradford City at the JobServe Community Stadium on Monday 18 (3pm).
Colchester United: Shamal George, Luke Chambers, Brendan Wiredu, Cole Skuse (Corie Andrews 79′), Alan Judge, Freddie Sears, Noah Chilvers, Myles Kenlock, Tom Eastman, Cameron Coxe, Tyreik Wright (John Akinde 50′) Subs not used: Sam Hornsby, Miles Welch-Hayes, Tommy Smith, Junior Tchamadeu, Emyr Hughes
Booked: Brendan Wiredu (foul), Tom Eastman (foul), Myles Kenlock (foul)
Stevenage: Christy Pym, Luther Wildin, Ben Coker, Scott Cuthbert, Elliott List (Bruno Andrade 70′), Jake Taylor (Chris Lines 64′), Luke Norris, Terrence Vancooten, Arthur Read (Charlie Carter 85′), Jamie Reid, Michael Bostwick Subs not used: Laurie Walker, Luke Prosser, Ed Upson, Luke O’Neil
Booked: Luke Norris (time-wasting), Jamie Reid (foul), Charlie Carter (foul), Ben Coker (foul)
Sent Off: Luke Norris (foul – second yellow card)
Goals: Jamie Reid 45+3′, Luke Norris 48′
Referee: Samuel Barrott
Assistants: Paul Yates and Garry Maskell
Fourth Official: Declan O’Shea
Attendance: 3,094 (296 from Stevenage)