Colchester United have been beaten 2-1 by Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium
A first defeat in seventeen games for the U’s seemed unlikely when Luke Norris headed the travelling side in front with a powerful header midway through the second half.
The game was turned on its head in just seventy seconds when Cambridge scored two quickfire goals to grab the lead with four minutes to go.
The U’s pressed for a late equaliser but couldn’t find one and were handed defeat at Cambridge United.
Colchester made three changes from the side that ran out 3-1 winners against league leaders Swindon Town in the week, with Senior, Norris and Nouble coming into the side replacing Gambin, Robinson and Harriott.
Both sides struggled to get hold of the ball and make a real impact on the game in the first half at a blustery Abbey Stadium.
Cambridge had a couple of half chances to take the lead with Adeboyejo taking aim at the bottom corner from just outside the box. Dean Gerken was able to get down to the right and collect at the second attempt as the ball bobbled just in front of the U’s ‘keeper.
Colchester had the next chance coming with twenty minutes played. Norris headed the ball back towards the far post from a Ryan Jackson cross, aimed at Frank Nouble. The U’s attacker was unable to get hold of the ball and Burton was able to collect and clear.
The home side went closest to opening the scoring with five minutes left to play when the dangerous Victor Adeboyejo slid the ball over to Idris El Mizouni who blazed high and wide over the bar with just the ‘keeper to beat.
The two sides went into the break on level terms, after an even first half where the U’s had to soak up a lot of Cambridge pressure.
Colchester were out on the attack right from the first whistle of the second half with Senior and Nouble looking to get at their respective full backs. It was the home defence who had to soak up a lot of pressure, but they finally broke after sixty-eight minutes.
Cohen Bramall did well to win a corner as he was attacking down the left flank for the U’s. It was Bramall who took the corner himself and whipped it towards the near post. The towering centre back of Tom Eastman got a head to it to flick the ball on to Luke Norris who thundered a header beyond Burton to give Colchester the lead.
Colchester looked to quickly double their lead but were unable to pass their way through the solid back line of Cambridge who had been trying to hit the visitors on the break.
A couple of subs for the home side made all the difference. Just after Colchester had taken the lead Harvey Knibbs came on for Cambridge, with Andrew Dallas coming on ten minutes before the end.
Dallas was the first to score as he made an instant impact from the bench. The ball was played through to him at a tight angle in the penalty area, but he was able to beat Dean Gerken with a lucky shot that deflected off the back of Tom Eastman’s ankle.
Just seventy seconds after equalising, Cambridge were ahead, and it was Knibbs this time who was on the score sheet.
He rose highest at the back post to head the ball back towards the far post and into the corner of the net delighting the home fans with four minutes to go.
Colchester threw everything at the home defence with the remaining time they had but couldn’t find a way through the Cambridge back line, despite a couple of late goal mouth chances.
It was a first defeat in seventeen for Colchester who last lost a league game back in October at home to Morecambe.
The result means that the U’s fall one place in Sky Bet League Two, down to sixth place as Northampton Town climb above.
There is another massive game coming up for Colchester next week as third placed Plymouth come to the JobServe Community Stadium.