Colchester United have been beaten at home by Stevenage, as the relegation-threatened side snatched all three points with goals either side of half time.
The U's conceded a scrappy goal for Stevenage to open the scoring on half time as Jake Taylor's deflected effort was helped over the line by Jamie Reid.
And Luke Norris added a second just after the break to allow the visitors to sit back and defend their advantage. The U's hit the woodwork twice, and Norris was dismissed, but Wayne Brown's side couldn't find a way through the strong back line.
Wayne Brown named a team with two changes to the starting eleven from Harrogate, seven days ago. Luke Hannant and Junior Tchamadeu were out, with Alan Judge and Tyreik Wright coming into the starting eleven.
Early chances came and went for both sides, with Noah Chilvers and Alan Judge having shots on goal from the edge of the penalty area. And former U's man, Luke Norris had his volley saved by Shamal George in the opening ten minutes of the game.
The contest soon settled down into a natural ebb and flow, with both ‘keepers remaining mostly untroubled, although George was probably slightly the busier of the two.
And in a half where Stevenage had probably edged the better of the chances, the visitors headed to the changing rooms happier than their opponents with a slender advantage.
Jake Taylor’s effort took a big deflection off a U’s defender, looping over Shamal George before settling in the bottom corner of the net, meaning Wayne Brown would have to change his half time team talk with his players.
But whatever was said in the home dressing room at the break was quickly undone as Stevenage doubled their lead with former U’s man Luke Norris on target for the visitors. On his return to the JobServe Community Stadium Norris beat George to the ball, heading into the unguarded net, making the uphill challenge, even more difficult for the home side.
The U’s thought they had a route back into the game with just under an hour played when Freddie Sears slotted the ball home. But the top scorer at the JobServe Community Stadium this season was offside from Noah Chilvers’ effort that struck the foot of the post, and the visitors maintained their two-goal advantage.
In the final ten minutes of the game, the U’s saw a lot more of the ball as Luke Norris was dismissed for a second bookable offence. And Cameron Coxe went close to getting one back, firing in a near-post effort that almost caught Pym out, before Chilvers shot over from outside the area.
The best chance was still to come though, as Wayne Brown’s team hit the woodwork for the second time in the game. Corie Andrews rose highest in the penalty area to nod the ball against the upright, with Freddie Sears unable to poke the ball home from inside the six-yard box.
But the seven minutes of injury time came to an end and the U’s were defeated.
It means the U’s fall to twentieth in the table with forty-five points. Next up is a trip to Exeter City on Good Friday where the U’s will look to get back to winning ways against the high-flying Grecians.
Colchester United starting XI: George, Chambers, Wiredu, Skuse (Andrews 79’), Judge, Sears, Chilvers, Kenlock, Eastman, Coxe, Wright (Akinde 50’).
Unused subs: Hornby, Welch-Hayes, Smith, Tchamadeu, Huws.
Stevenage starting XI: Pym, Wildin, Coker, Cuthbert, List (Andrade 70’), Taylor (Lines 63’), Norris, Vancooten, Read (Carter 85’), Reid, Bostwick.