Report: Colchester United 1-0 Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield Town story posted by Sean Makin on 05/10/2009
Luck was not on their side as Town battled but went down to a late goal from Colchester's on-loan striker Kayode Odejayi.Report: Colchester United 1-0 Huddersfield Town
They held out bravely against Colchester's first half pressure but the U's are in-form and had their best moments with improvement after the break. It's now Town's forth defeat of the season and no win in their last five.
To compound Town's miserable run, captain Peter Clarke was sent off for a second yellow card which means he will miss the clash against Exeter at the Galpharm.

After the dismal 2-1 defeat at Walsall on Tuesday night, Lee Clark rang the changes. In came the 5-3-2 formation, which James Berrett making his first start of the season in a sweeper role. Nathan Clarke was given a chance in place of Andy Butler, Gary Roberts and Anthony Pilkington were on the bench in favour for Antony Kay, Jim Goodwin and Danny Drinkwater. Striker Robbie Simpson was given the nod over Jordon Rhodes after Simpson has scored twice in midweek in a game behind closed doors.

It was a one-sided first half with Town showing their defensive qualities. Colchester, who beat Charlton Athletic in midweek with an impressive 3-0 defeat over the Addicks, bossed proceedings in the tricky, swirling wind.

Colchester's strike force Odejayi and Clive Platt were a handful for the Town defenders with their towering aerial ability, but the Town defenders stifled much of what the U's threw at them.

Berrett came up with a timely clearance when the ball bounced awkwardly in the six-yard box with Platt poised to pounce. Tony Wordsworth's corner that swung viciously in the wind missed by inches, then Town keeper Alex Smithies pulled off a brave save at the feet of Platt after Odejayi muscled his way in from the right.

Berrett responded with an outstanding performance which was praised by manager Lee Clark. Berrett had played a similar role against Leeds United at Elland Road last season under Gerry Murphy and got the plaudits.

Town strived to get the ball down and play their way through but Colchester's giant defenders Danny Batth and Magnus Okuonghae dominated whatever came into the Colchester box.

Town's best effort came when Antony Kay's great cross field ball enabled Lee Peltier to deliver a right wing cross for Simpson but time and time again the U's defenders came up with the answer.

Simpson and Theo Robinson had been allowed little scope by the U's defence but both were prominent as Town raided with more energy after the break, left-back Joe Skarz even joining the attack to fire across goal and wide, though it should have produced Town's first corner of the game.

Manager Lee Clark sent on Lee Novak after the hour in favour for Robinson in what was a surprise as Robinson's pace was troubling the U's defence as the game went on. Novak promptly worked his way to delivering a ball that Kay just failed to reach on the back post as Town turned the tables and had the U's on the back foot.

But on 75 minutes it all went suddenly downhill for Town, skipper Peter Clarke was shown a second yellow following a clash with John White as they challenged for Jim Goodwin's cross into the box.

Andy Butler was then introduced to maintain three at the back with Danny Drinkwater being sacrificed, but on 79 minutes Town cracked as Skarz lost possession on the left wing allowing Kevin Lisbie to cross low and powerfully for Odejayi to fire home from close range.

With Pilkington replacing Goodwin and Berrett moving forward into midfield to provide more attacking options, Town went searching for an equalizer and keeper Ben Williams was forced to turn a shot by Novak over the top.

With Clark waving his men forward, Simpson seemed to have hit a 90th minute saver but Williams somehow clawed the ball away.

Three defeats in the last five now for Town, two points out of a possible 15. Not exactly promotion form but every side has a blip. Pressure is on Town now to get a result at home to Exeter City on Saturday (10th of October).

Sean's Star Man - James Berrett
Showed what a young talent he is, played outstanding as sweeper as he did against Leeds last season. Has surely now forced his way into Lee Clark's plans after being over-looked for so long.


Colchester: Williams, White, Okuonghae, Batth, Tierney, Lisbie (Ifil 82), O'Toole, Izzet, Wordsworth, Platt (Gillespie 71), Odejayi.

Town: Smithies, Peltier, P Clarke, Berrett, N Clarke, Skarz, Kay Goodwin (Pilkington 83), Drinkwater (Butler 77), Robinson (Novak 63), Simpson.
Subs not used: Glennon, Collins, Roberts, Rhodes

Referee: G Ward (Surrey)
Attendance: 5,145


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