Colchester United fell to a narrow defeat at the County Ground, as Swindon Town’s second half strike earned them all three points.
The U’s were under the cosh early on in the first half, but neither side was able to break the deadlock as they headed into the changing rooms at half time.
But it was a second-half substitute that won it for Scott Lindsey’s Robins, as Tyrese Shade rolled the ball home with sixty-five minutes on the clock. The U’s rallied to try and net an equaliser, but came up short against a robust Swindon defence.
Matt Bloomfield named a starting eleven with just one change from last weekend’s league action at home to Harrogate Town. Kwesi Appiah was out of the matchday eighteen with a hamstring injury, as Noah Chilvers returned to the team to take his place.
Also missing from the matchday squad was Newcastle United loanee Matty Longstaff, who was also suffering from a hamstring injury. It mean Alan Judge returned to the bench in the league, along with Dan Chesters who has taken Beryly Lubala’s place among the substitutes.
The hosts had the better start in the game, with Scott Lindsey’s side quickly applying the pressure to the U’s back line. And they thought they had broken the deadlock with eight minutes on the clock when Frazer Blake-Tracey nodded in from a corner, but the goal was chalked off for a foul on a Colchester man in the area.
Two further chances fell for the hosts shortly after, both to Luke Jephcott. He’d managed to work some space just inside the penalty area, before unleashing a shot that cannoned off Tom Dallison’s leg. And moments later, Jephcott had sprung the offside trap, with Sam Hornby called into action for the first time in the match as the U’s defence were left wanting help from the officials.
The remaining period of the first half brought little action at either end, although it was the hosts who were the more attacking of the two. Notching up eleven corners in the first forty-five minutes, they rarely threatened Sam Hornby as the two teams headed to the dressing rooms level. The only other talking points were two U’s players being shown yellow cards, with Junior Tchamadeu and Marley Marshall Miranda having to watch themselves in the second half.
Neither Head Coach saw it fit to make any changes at half time, but the home team didn’t wait long into the second half before their first substitutes. Darcy and Wakerling were withdrawn for Aguiar and Shade with just over ten minutes gone in the second half.
And it was one of the changes for Lindsey’s side that broke the deadlock at the County Ground. Jonny Williams managed to deliver a low cross along the six-yard line for Tyrese Shade to arrive at the back post and roll home for the opener.
The goal brought immediate changes from Matt Bloomfield, with John Akinde and Alex Newby introduced to the action, replacing Freddie Sears and Luke Hannant.
The changes sparked a bit more creativity from the U’s as Frank Nouble raced through the Swindon defence before lifting a shot over the crossbar. And further attacking passages saw Al-Amin Kazeem combine well with Alex Newby, and John Akinde with Noah Chilvers before Bloomfield opted for more substitutions.
With fifteen to play, Frank Nouble and Cole Skuse made way for Alan Judge and Dan Chester, both returning to league action for the first time under the new Head Coach.
There was more and more forward play from the U’s as the game entered its final stages, with Ryan Clampin introduced in place of Noah Chilvers for the final five minutes of action.
But the away side were unable to muster up a stoppage-time equaliser as Swindon Town claimed all three points courtesy of Tyrese Shade’s second-half strike.
The defeat means Matt Bloomfield’s side fall to twenty-second in the Sky Bet League Two table, with nine points from thirteen matches. Up next for the U’s is another away trip, this time taking on Newport County next weekend at Rodney Parade.
Swindon Town starting XI: Brynn, Hutton (Brennan 86’), Clayton, Baudry, Gladwin, Williams (Iandolo 79’), Darcy (Aguiar 57’), Jephcott (Roberts 86’), Blake-Tracey, Khan, Wakeling (Shade 57’).
Subs: Brann, Iandolo, Reed, Aguiar, Shade, Roberts, Brennan.
Colchester United starting XI: Hornby, Chambers, Dallison, Hannant (Newby 65’), Skuse (Judge 76’), Sears (Akinde 65’), Chilvers (Clampin 85’), Tchamadeu, Kazeem, Marshall Miranda, Nouble (Chesters 76’).
Subs: O’Hara, Clampin, Judge, Eastman, Newby, Chesters, Akinde.
Attendance: 8,632 (257)