U's Can Feel Hard Done By Defeat
The U's suffered a second defeat in a row last night as they played host to Karl Robinson's MK Dons, but other results in the division meant that the U's edged every closer to ensuring survival.
The Dons have been touted in numerous places as a side that the U's are looking to mould their style of football around under Joe Dunne, but it was the U's who were playing the better stuff throughout the opening forty-five minutes.
Magnus Okuonghae went close when the ball fell to him inside the area, before John White also went close with a header than would go just beyond the bar in his attempts at scoring.
The U's were fluent and full of life, harrying their opponents whilst carving open chances with alarming frequency, but it was the all-too-common story of being unable to put those opportunities into the back of the net.
And they were punished for that mid-way through the half, when Daniel Powell found himself in acres of space down the right hand side after Luke Chadwick's ball made it's way through to him.
Powell took a touch to steady himself before tucking the ball home across to Walker's right, nestling it into the bottom corner to open the scoring for the Dons.
Gavin Massey went close with an effort shortly afterwards that was deflected on the edge of the box by Mathias Doumbe, with the deflection bending it into the side netting and out for a U's corner.
And the U's continued to take the impetus towards their visitors, with Billy Clifford making his way into the box and beyond his man with sublime skill to nutmeg his marker and lash a strike to the far post that was tipped over by McLoughlin in the Dons' goal.
Despite going in at the break a goal behind, it was harsh on the hosts who had been well-worthy of being at least level, if not ahead.
After an all-action display for the opening forty-five, the second half would see the energy begin to slowly dissipate from the U's players' legs and again, mid-way through the half, it would prove costly for their hopes.
With the Dons pressing into the U's half, the run of Patrick Bamford appeared to go unnoticed and, just as he curved between the two defenders, a through ball was perfectly placed into his path to latch onto, and he made no mistake in firing beyond Walker to double their advantage.
It was a hammer blow for Dunne's side, but two balls through the middle and all-but-ended their chances of securing anything from the game.
With the clock ticking down it was looking perilous for the U's, until Bury bagged two quick goals to turn their game on its head and take a 2-1 lead over Scunthorpe.
That result elsewhere would prove monumental for Colchester, and receive the biggest roar of the night at full-time. Defeat for Scunthorpe means that the Iron remain five points adrift of the U's with just six to play for, as well as a far inferior goal difference.
Safety still appears just around the corner for Joe Dunne and his side, but they will want it done and dusted by five o'clock on Saturday to avoid having to go to Carlisle to get something.
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