Colchester United's U23s final game of the season ended with defeat on Thursday, as Watford ran out 1-0 winners.
In the battle for fourth place it was the visitors who had the advantage at half time with a goal by Reece Miller after 40 minutes and indeed it was they who held on for the win to secure that spot.
In the first half, there was an early shout for a U’s penalty after just a minute as Callum Jones appeared to be impeded outside the box and held as he went down in the area, but nothing was given.The away side then went close as from an Ashley Charles cross from the right, Miller on the stretch failed to reach the ball.
The home side then were unlucky not to have taken the lead when the ball from Tariq Issa found Ollie Sims in the box, who did well to get the ball out from under his feet but then struck the keeper’s right hand post.
Seven minutes before half time, an Issa shot on the turn from distance was held by keeper Howes and two minutes later the U’s were behind. A pass to Miller saw him on the turn cleverly lift his shot over Kurasik’s head.
Watford began the second half well as, in the opening minute, Dion Perriera’s low free kick from the right evaded everyone, but at the last minute Kurasik was forced to dive to his right to push the shot around the post for a corner.
Then when Dennon Lewis got in down the left, Kurasik had to back track, but saved well at his near post.
A Clampin cross from the left was flicked clear with the home strikers awaiting to head in and then, on the hour mark, U’s trialist Noel Leighton was denied as keeper Howes saved with his legs with sub Max Ryan doing well to clear the follow up effort.
Despite a lot of late pressure of corners and free kicks the U’s could not find an equaliser, with the closest being from one of the free kick as Sheriff on the turn saw his shot blocked.