Sky Bet League Two, Tuesday 17th August | Colchester Utd 1-1 Mansfield Town (Hewitt)
Getting back at gone midnight, getting stuck in traffic and freezing your bits off – all things we’ve not missed about midweek away games! Those things are balanced out by winning, so when you concede in the last minute – it’s a huge downer and makes the journey home even longer.
What makes it worse is when you’ve played well and fully deserve to win, but that said – could Mansfield have done more to see the game out, as Colchester were awarded a soft last minute spot kick, to tie the game 1-1 and take a share of the spoils.
For me we have to take some of the blame, questions over if it was a penalty or not are irrelevant, as Colchester should have got nowhere near our area!
A minute or so before the incident, the Stags are awarded a free kick on the half way line, but rather than ping it into the corner flag with both Hawkins and Bowery on at this point, we play it short and give the ball away. Fair enough, it then goes out for a throw – a Colchester throw which they take quickly, we don’t respond too quickly enough to stop a deep ball being pinged into our area, from which – the penalty is awarded.
Yes, we can question if it was a foul or not, they didn’t really appeal and it did seem soft – BUT, we have TWO opportunities to stop the ball being pumped into our box and FAIL to take them both – we left ourselves open to that possibility and really need to address that.
I’m sure will be as frustrated at that as he will the questionable call from the referee, but also pleased, as I am, with the rest of our play – we struggled to be consistently fluid, but when we got the openings, we looked dangerous – only the Colchester keeper prevented us from doing real damage, especially in the first half with a fantastic save from Johnson’s header.
Our goal typified the way we play, good quick build-up followed by a delivery from the left – credit to Hewitt for getting forward from right back to turn a simple header home, I thought he played very well and deserved the goal.
Colchester are a good side with a way of playing which works for them and Clough mentioned he was worried we wouldn’t have the height to match, with Hawkins benched due to illness – but that may play in our favour on Saturday against Bradford, where we need to be dominant in the air.
Other than the mentioned focus issues, the only concern I have is Perch who had to be bandaged up in the second half, we only have Hewitt as cover as a natural central defender – we really need another body in there!
Back at home on Saturday, let’s make some noise and send Bradford home empty handed – seven points from nine so far – I’m happy at that!
STAGS: Nathan Bishop | Elliott Hewitt, Farrend Rawson, James Perch, Stephen McLaughlin | George Maris, Ollie Clarke ©, Stephen Quinn, George Lapslie (Ryan Stirk 79) | Danny Johnson (Oli Hawkins 82), Rhys Oates (Jordan Bowery 87) UNUSED SUBS: George Shelvy [GK], Ryan Burke, Kellan Gordon, Tyrese Sinclair
Attendance: 2,354 (224)
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