Encouragement Despite Defeat
The U’s named a strong side for the match against the Hammers, although at a still early stage of pre-season, there was plenty for manager John Ward to consider ahead of the new season.
There was a goal for Anthony Wordsworth in an impressive display by the midfielder, as the U's stepped up their preparations for the new campaign.
The two teams both kept the ball well, but were generally kept at bay by some well organised defences during the course of the afternoon.
There was plenty to be encouraged by despite defeat on Saturday, as the U's ran Premiership side West Ham close.
It was a bright start from the home team, who saw plenty of the ball in those early stages and former Hammer Sears tested Jaaskelainen in the West Ham goal with a long range shot that stung his fingertips.
The Hammers day didn’t start well, with Nolan limping off early on to be replaced by youngster Danny Potts.
They did get to see a bit more of the ball as the first half took shape, but it was the U’s who again went close on thirteen minutes. Good work got Wilson in on the right and his cross was nodded over by Wordsworth.
The Hammers did get their noses in front on nineteen minutes though as a cross from O’Neil on the right fell to Maynard in the box and he made no mistake as he slotted home on the half volley.
They almost had a second as a cheeky finish from Kazim-Richards saw him backheel home past Cousins, but the Hammers fans cheers were cut short by the linesman’s flag.
And they were well into their stride now, as Kazim-Richards wrestled past Coker and struck in a low shot that Cousins got down well to save.
The referee pointed to the spot after Nicky Maynard was brought down in the box as he tried to slip through the U’s defence. Mark Noble sent Cousins the wrong way and finished the penalty kick smartly as he made it 2-0 to the Hammers.
Gary O’ Neil attempted a rather extravagant overhead kick near the corner flag, only for the ball to smack him in the face and go out for a goal kick.
West Ham looked dangerous on the counter attack towards the end of the first half, hitting the U’s with pace and power as soon as they had regained the ball.
However, Colchester made their possession count when they pulled back a goal, thanks to Anthony Wordsworth’s left foot strike across Jaaskelainen.
West Ham struggled against a razor-sharp Colchester united outfit but it didn’t matter much as the home side went into the changing room at half time a goal down to the Premier League outfit.
There was one change for Colchester at half time as Henderson replaced Duguid down the right hand side.
With no real chances in the first fifteen after the break, the U’s made a further four changes as Izzet, Bond, Heath and Wright came on for Bean, O’Toole, Eastman and Morrison.
The Hammers brought on Southend man Bilel Mohsni as his trial spell continued with the Premiership side.
Shortly afterwards, the U’s claimed a penalty as a good move ended with Sears going to ground in the box but the referee waved the appeals away.
That was one of Sears’ last involvements in the game as he was replaced in another flurry of substitutions – White, Rose and Gilbey on for Sears, Wilson and Wordsworth.
Cousins did well to smother at the feet of Maynard, but chances remained at a premium, and it needed Matt Heath to step out of the back line and strike a shot that was always going wide of goal.
Att: 7,985 (Away 2,960)
And that was the last real chance of note as the game ended with the visitors a goal ahead.
Youngster Drey Wright was next to go close, skipping along the Hammers back line to strike in a shot that beat Jaaskelainen but clipped the outside of the post.