Colchester United have lost 3-0 at Swindon Town.
After having the better of things for thirty five minutes, the U's conceded twice in two minutes towards the end of the first half, with Canice Carroll and Luke Woolfenden getting the goals.
Despite changes in formation and personnel, getting back in the game in the second half proved impossible, and Kyle Bennett added to the woes with a third for the hosts.
Jak McCourt tried to catch Rene Gilmartin off his line, but his shot wasn’t high enough and the U’s keeper took it above his head.
That came on five minutes, and seconds later the U’s had a chance of their own.
Frank Nouble and Mandron combined to put Brennan Dickenson in on the left, but his left foot effort flew narrowly wide of the far post.
James Dunne for the hosts was next to try his luck, but he was stretching as he met a far post cross, and the header went over the crossbar.
On eleven minutes, the U’s almost opened the scoring but Lawrence Vigouroux clawed away Mikael Mandron’s effort from a left wing corner.
The game had started at a hectic pace, but during the middle part of the first half the play became disjointed from both sides, and there wasn’t too much in the way of goalmouth action.
That changed massively as the clock ticked over to thirty nine minutes, as the hosts scored twice in the space of two minutes.
First, Carroll controlled turned and struck his shot into the top corner after a cross had caused problems in the U’s box following Gilmartin’s kick going straight to Theo Robinson.
The quick fire second goal came when Dunne spotted a great run from right back Woolfendon and he looped his effort back across Gilmartin and into the same corner as the first.
Looking for a way back into the game early in the second half, the U’s found it hard to break down a home side with their tails up.
Dickenson had an angled shot high and wide, before being replaced by Luke Norris on fifty four minutes.
Tom Eastman also came on, replacing Diaz Wright, and the U’s went to a three at the back.
It was the hosts that had the next chance, and Gilmartin dived full length to his right to push away a McCourt free kick.
That came on the hour, and five minutes later, Swindon scored the all important third goal of the game to give themselves an even bigger cushion.
Mandron lost possession in midfield and Bennett stepped forward to hit a long range effort that Gilmartin could only help into the net.
The U’s did push forward in the last quarter of the game but Mandron could only head straight at Vigouroux, and Norris shot wide of the target.
The U’s sub did look sharp but his next effort was blocked and tehn Courtney Senior’s free kick flew over in the final minutes.
It was a disappointing result for the U’s, but credit must go to the hosts for punishing the mistakes that led to the goals.
Results elsewhere saw the U’s drop to eighth place in the table, but they have now got two home games to bounce back into the Play-Off places in the next ten days.