U’s lose after a tale of two penalties

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

Colchester United 0-1 Rochdale 

It was a tale of two penalties in this relegation dogfight at the JobServe Community Stadium. Rochdale scored – Colchester didn’t!

Wayne Brown sacked – Steve Ball placed in temporary charge – The U’s up against a Rochdale side anchored to the bottom of the table without a win to their name all season. It has to be said, there was already an icy chill drifting around the JobServe.

Ball made a string of changes to the side that had started Colchester’s single-goal defeat at the hands of Grimsby Town a week previous. Most notably, West Ham United loanee, Dan Chesters, was handed an opportunity along with Freddie Sears, Junior Tchamadeu, Cole Skuse and Noah Chilvers.

But it was a nervy start by the home side. Kieran O’Hara rebuffed efforts from Tyrese Sinclair and James Ball as the visitors started brightly.

Things got worse for the home side. O’Hara spilt then pulled down Sinclair trying to retrieve the situation. Devante Rodney sent the stricken keeper the wrong way from the resulting spot-kick. The home crowd was distinctly unimpressed. 

The U’s looked lost – Out of sorts – Short of ideas. They received a huge let-off when Scott Quigley arrived unmarked only to head over when it appeared easier to score. Rochdale was in complete control of proceedings. The Colchester supporters made their feelings clear as the teams trudged off at the break.

Ryan Clampin and Chilvers made way for Al-Amin Kazeem and Kwesi Appiah. Colchester huffed and puffed. Rochdale remained resolute. Sam Graham blocked Beryly Labala’s attempt, while O’Hara clung on to Graham’s looping header as Dale responded.

Quigley was denied by a combination of O’Hara and the foot of an upright as Rochdale looked to end their winless sequence. Sears broke clear but blazed over with the clock running down and Colchester becoming ever more desperate.

And in the final seconds, Colchester were provided with an opportunity to equalise. Liam Kelly was clumsy on substitute Luke Hannant. However, Rochdale stopper, Richard O’Donnell, a spectator for much of the contest, dived to his right to keep out Sears’ spot-kick.

Again the U’s support vented their anger at full-time. The result left the North Essex side hovering just a point above the dropzone. It’s already difficult to see how they will get out of this one. The incoming manager certainly has his work cut out.

Colchester United return to Sky Bet League Two action on Saturday, October 1 when they face AFC Wimbledon at Plough Lane (3pm).

Colchester United: Kieran O’Hara, Ryan Clampin (Al-Amin Kazeem 46′), Luke Chambers, Tom Dallison, Cole Skuse, Freddie Sears, Noah Chilvers (Kwesi Appiah 53′), Beryly Lubala (Frank Nouble 73′, Junior Tchamadeu, Dan Chesters (Luke Hannant 82′), Matty Longstaff (Alex Newby 73′) Subs not used: Sam Hornby (GK), Tom Eastman

Booked: Kieran O’Hara (foul), Tom Dallison (foul)

Goals: None

Rochdale: Richard O’Donnell, Oluwafemi Seriki, Jimmy McNulty, Liam Kelly, James Ball (Connor Malley 82′), Devante Rodney (Abraham Odoh 63′), Jimmy Keohane, Sam Graham, Tyrese Sinclair (Ian Henderson 82′), Scott Quigley, Toumani Diagouraga Subs not used: Bradley Kelly, Ethan Brierley, Tahvon Campbell, Jordan Scanlon

Booked: James Ball (foul), Abraham Odoh (time wasting)

Goals: Devante Rodney (penalty) 23′

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Assistants: Kevin Howick and Michael Chard

Fourth Official: David Rock

Attendance: 2,784

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk