U’s beaten but Stags are left deflated

Brian Jeeves

Colchester United v Mansfield Town – Sky Bet League Two – JobServe Community Stadium – Report

Colchester United 0-2 Mansfield Town 

Colchester United slipped to a last-day-of-the-season defeat, however, visitors Mansfield Town were the ones left disappointed after missing out on a Sky Bet League Two play-off place by just one goal. 

While Mansfield still harboured outside hopes, Colchester, who have shown a great improvement over the second half of the season, were playing for pride. Indeed, the U’s form since Christmas hasn’t been too far off top seven stuff. A sizable turnout from the locals suggested they are buying into manager Ben Garner’s ambitious ethics.

Alex Newby was off-target following a move involving John Akinde and Noah Chilvers, while Jayden Fevrier wasn’t far away as the hosts searched for an early breakthrough. Davis Keillior-Dunn shaped up to shoot for the Stags, however, his weak attempt was comfortably fielded by U’s stopper Tom Smith.

Smith superbly blocked shots from Riley Harbottle and James Perch as the visitors began to exert some pressure. 

Connor Hall and Hiram Boateng exchanged opportunities. But it was the visitors who snatched the lead on the stroke of half-time when Riley Harbottle nodded home following a Keillior-Dunn free-kick.

Colchester were entitled to feel slightly aggrieved having competed well during the opening period. However, it was Mansfield who enjoyed the better of proceedings after the restart.

Hiram Boateng was a whisker away from adding a second, while Keillior-Dunn went even closer, hitting the bar with a curling effort that left Smith clutching thin air.

John Akinde became the second player frustrated by the woodwork. But that was as close as the U’s came. In stoppage time, Mansfield substitute, James Gale supplied a crisp, right-footed finish. But Mansfield’s quest for a decisive third goal never materialised, leaving their player and 1,350 travelling supporters shattered at the final whistle. 

Colchester United: Smith, Greenidge, Chambers, Dallison, Chilvers, Read (Kelleher 83’), Newby (Jay 66’), Akinde (Hopper 65’), Hall (Kazeem 65’), Marshall Miranda (Skuse 74’), Fevrier (Sears 83’) Subs not used: Collins (GK)

Booked: Dallison (foul), Marshall Miranda (foul)

Goals: None

Mansfield Town: Pym, Harbottle, Akins, Johnson, Perch (Bowery 83’), Quinn (Clarke 83’), Reed (Hartigan 90’), Kilgour, Swan (Gale 90’), Keillor-Dunn (Maris 66’), Boateng (Oates 66’) Subs not used: Flinders (GK), Gale

Booked: Perch (foul)

Goals: Harbottle 45+2′, Gale 90+7′

Referee: Benjamin Speedie

Assistants: Justin Amey and Marc Wilson

Fourth Official: Alan Cresswell

Attendance: 6,910 (1,350 from Mansfield Town)

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk