Colchester United's U23s have lost 1-0 to Millwall
The U’s U23s played their first competitive match for over three weeks when they travelled to South London to play Millwall at their Calmont Road training ground.
The match kicked off with a blustery wind blowing and early on both teams struggled to keep control of the ball in testing conditions.
The match saw several fringe first team players involved, including Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe (pictured in first team action), and others returning from long term injuries.
On eleven minutes, Diaz Wright was booked for preventing the Lions from taking a quick free kick, but when it was, Callum Coulter made the save from George Alexander.
Two minutes later, the U’s had to make a change, with Tariq Issa replacing the injured Callum Anderson.
The home team then had another chance but once more Coulter then made a comfortable save from Reuben Duncan who shot from a fair way out.
Just before the half hour mark, there were strong U’s appeals for a penalty as Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe was sent tumbling in the box but the ref waved play on.
Next, in a lively minute or so, there was to be action at both ends. First, Duncan’s effort seemed to be crawling into the corner of the net, but Coulter saved before Michael Fernandes was denied by a superb tackle as he was about to shoot.
Right on half time, there was a major escape for the U’s as the ball hit the bar and then appeared to cross the line, but no goal was given and the interval arrived with the scores level.
Two minutes after half time, the U’s missed a glorious chance as skipper Matt Weaire shot over the bar from about six yards out.
Three minutes later, Paris Cowan-Hall in his comeback match was replaced by Miguel Scarlett. It was a good start to the second half by the U’s as Fernandes worked his way into the box, but he then fired wide of the target.
However the misses proved costly as just after the hour mark, the Lions took the lead. Isaac Olaofe cut the ball back for Sam Skeffington to smash his shot into the U’s net.
After the goal, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe was replaced by Sammie McLeod, another player returning from a long term injury.
The hosts went down to ten men after Harvey Bradbury was sent off for his foul on Ollie Sims.
Pushing for an equaliser, the U’s went close with seven minutes of normal time remaining, but a header by Issa was blocked by the legs of keeper Fielding.
The U’s continued to have the better of things late on but the hosts clung to secure the three points.