U’s suffer Trophy defeat at hands of Saints Under-21s

PUBLISHED: 21:41 04 September 2018

U's keeper, Dillon Barnes, who was beaten by his namesake Marcus Barnes during the first half against Southampton Under-21s. Picture: STEVE WALLER

U's keeper, Dillon Barnes, who was beaten by his namesake Marcus Barnes during the first half against Southampton Under-21s. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Colchester United 0 Southampton Under-21s 2

Young centre-half, Paul Rooney,21,  who made his Colchester United debut in the Checkatrade Trophy Against Southampton Under-21sYoung centre-half, Paul Rooney,21, who made his Colchester United debut in the Checkatrade Trophy Against Southampton Under-21s

Colchester United suffered a defeat to Southampton Under-21s in their first group match in the Checkatrade Trophy, at the Jobserve Community Stadium this evening.

The young Saints were in the ascendancy for much of the first half, and they took a deserved half-time lead through a 26th minute header by Marcus Barnes.

But the League Two U’s, riding high in fourth spot in their division, produced a far better display in the second period and were unlucky not to force an equaliser.

They were hit with a second goal in stoppage time, Michael Obafemi on target on 93 minutes.

U’s boss John McGreal made seven changes to the side that enjoyed their first away win of the season, 3-1 at Cheltenham last weekend.

Keeper Dillon Barnes, defenders Tom Eastman and Kane Vincent-Young, and Sammie Szmodics were the only survivors from the starting line-up at Whaddon Road, while centre-half Paul Rooney (21) and full-back Aaron Barnes (also 21) were handed U’s debuts from the start. Ryan Clampin made his senior debut as a 63rd minute substitute.

The Saints hit the woodwork just two minutes before they broke the deadlock when keeper Dillon Barnes appeared to get a touch to a free-kick from Will Smallbone as it struck the post.

But Barnes was powerless to prevent his namesake, Marcus Barnes, from heading the young Saints into a 26th minute lead.

The U’s were rocked onto the back foot, and Dillon Barnes did well to keep out a shot by Nathan Tella, just before the half-hour mark, while Obafemi had a 40th minute shot diverted onto the bar by Barnes.

The home side struggled to create any real clear-cut chances before the break.

Sammie Szmodics had a half-chance but he failed to get any power behind a low-range shot, which was easy fodder for the under-worked Harry Lewis in the Saints’ goal.

Early in the second half, midfielder Diaz Wright scooped a volley over the bar from a corner, as the U’s stepped up a gear.

Rooney had a shot blocked, from a corner routine, while substitute Clampin was also denied by a block. But Obafemi made the game safe for the Saimts at the death.

COLCHESTER: D Barnes, Vincent-Young, Eastman, Rooney, A Barnes, Wright, Senior, Szmodics (sub Gondoh, 46), Dickenson (sub Clampin, 61), Collins (sub Nouble, 78), Mandron. Unused subs: Ross, Prosser, Pell, Norris.

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