Colchester United 0-1 Scunthorpe United
Colchester United huffed and puffed but displayed little appetite to end a winless Sky Bet League Two sequence which now stretches back nine matches.
The visitors’ late arrival saw the kick-off pushed back fifteen minutes, but they wasted little time taking the lead.
Alfie Beestin ran at the U’s backline before unleashing a stunning strike which left Dean Gerkin rooted to the spot as it fizzed high into the top corner of the net.
The U’s problems continued to mount, with goalkeeper Gerken and midfielder Ben Stevenson both replaced injured, shortly after the quarter of an hour mark.
Colchester’s toil was cumbersome, scrappy and without purpose. Scunthorpe stopper, Mark Howard, comfortably dealt with efforts from Tommy Smith and Callum Harriott. Meanwhile, Ryan Loft was a whisker away from doubling the visitors lead – glancing the wrong side of the far post following a swift and incisive move down the right.
Noah Chilvers dragged a speculative attempt wide of an upright, then was horribly off-target immediately after the restart. Harriott warmed the palms of Howard, then snatched at another glorious opportunity, sending an angled attempt too high.
Colchester offered little idea in the final third. Courtney Senior was wasteful after finding a decent position, while Cohen Bramall, easily the U’s best player on the night, sent a dead-ball effort spinning over. Their lack of punch is a worrying trait which needs addressing if they are to avoid becoming embroiled in a relegation battle over the coming weeks of the season.
Colchester United return to Sky Bet League Two action on Tuesday, February 2 when they take on Salford City at the Peninsula Stadium 7pm.
Colchester United: Dean Gerken (Shamal George 16’), Miles Welsh-Hayes, Cohen Bramall, Tommy Smith, Courtney Senior, Jevani Brown (Michael Folivi 78’), Callum Harriott, Noah Chilvers, Tom Eastman, Kwame Poku (Aramide Oteh 60’), Ben Stevenson (Tom Lapslie 16’) Subs not used: Omar Sowunmi, Ryan Clampin, Marley Marshall Miranda
Booked: Tom Eastman (foul), Callum Harriott (foul), Tommy Smith (foul)
Scunthorpe United: Mark Howard, George Taft, Manny Onariase, Alex Gilliead, Ryan Loft (Myles Hippolyte 82’), Abo Eisa, Junior Brown, Devarn Green ( John McAtee 69’), Alfie Beestin, Jem Karacan (Lewis Spence 17’), Jai Rowe Subs not used: Rory Watson (GK), Jacob Bedeau, Jordan Hallam, Mason O’Malley
Booked: Junior Brown (foul)
Goals: Alfie Beestin 5’, Abo Eisa (dissent)
Assistants: G.Maskell and D.Blunden
Fourth Official: L.Crowhurst