U’s knocked out of the FA Cup at Stanley and also pick up two injuries

PUBLISHED: 16:56 10 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:59 10 November 2018

Sammie Szmodics looks to get past Accrington defender Michael Ihiekwe during yesterday's FA Cup first round defeat at the Crown Ground. The U's lost 1-0. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL

Sammie Szmodics looks to get past Accrington defender Michael Ihiekwe during yesterday's FA Cup first round defeat at the Crown Ground. The U's lost 1-0. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL

2018 Colchester United Football Club

Accrington Stanley 1 Colchester United 0

Colchester United were knocked out of the FA Cup in the first round by League Two hosts Accrington Stanley this afternoon.

It was not a good day for the Essex visitors – because they also picked up injuries to defender Tom Eastman and keeper Rene Gilmartin.

The U’s had enjoyed the better of the first half-hour, but they found themselves trailing to Dan Barlaser’s deflected shot in the 35th minute.

Luke Prosser needlessly gave the ball away, and Barlaser made the most of it, making room for himself before lashing in a shot which reared up off Harry Pell and over substitute keeper Dillon Barnes, who had replaced an injured Gilmartin just five minutes before.

That proved to be the only goal of the game.

The U’s showed two changes to the side that beat Swindon 1-0 at home last weekend to rise to third in League Two.

Brennan Dickenson replaced the injured Luke Norris, with Frank Nouble playing up top and Dickenson operating on the left flank, while Eastman came in for Prosser in central defence.

However, Eastman lasted less than three minutes, following a clash of heads with striker Luke Charman. The U’s defender needed treatment on the pitch before getting rather unsteadily to his feet, almost certainly suffering from concussion. So Prosser appeared as an early substitute.

But the U’s registered the first goal attempt, with home keeper Connor Ripley palming away Harry Pell’s angled shot for a corner on six minutes. Ripley then struggled to keep out a 25-yarder from Sammie Szmodics, only getting the ball under control after a juggle.

Szmodics came close to breaking the deadlock in the 11th minute. Courtney Senior ran at the Stanley defence and swept over a cross which was only half-cleared. Szmodics’ goalbound shot was beaten away by Ripley.

It had been a bright start from the visitors, and Nouble spurned a good chance to score on 14 minutes when bursting through on goal, from Brennan Dickenson’s pass. Nouble had only Ripley to beat, but the keeper managed to divert the shot over his bar.

Stanley were within a whisker of taking the lead themselves, in the 24th minute, leading scorer Billy Kee heading only a foot over the bar from Sean McConville’s precision cross.

The U’s suffered another injury blow on the half-hour mark. Keeper Gilmartin appeared to hurt his leg while executing a kick upfield, and so was replaced by Dillon Barnes.

Just five minutes later and Barnes was picking the ball out of his net, as Barlaser’s shot took a wicked deflection to give Accrington a 1-0 lead.

It was so nearly 2-0 in the 44th minute, as skipper McCoville’s long-range shot ruffled the side-netting, while five minutes into the second half, Barnes did well to parry a stinging shot by Jordan Clark.

The U’s had a few half-chances, midway through the second half. Nouble flashed a header wide from Szmodics’ delivery, while Pell blasted over from distance.

Nouble was booked for diving, after he had skipped past keeper Ripley and then gone to ground, on 77 minutes, while at the other end Barnes pulled off a terrific save to keep out defender Ben Richards-Everton’s towering header.

Squads

ACCRINGTON: Ripley, Johnson, Ihiekwe, Hughes, Richards-Everton, Clark, Barlaser, Finley, McConville, Charman (sub Mingoia, 90), Kee. Unused subs: Maxted, Brown, Zanzala, Sykes, Platt, Conneely.

COLCHESTER: Gilmartin (sub Barnes, 29), Jackson, Eastman (sub Prosser, 3), Kent, Vincent-Young, Pell, Lapslie, Senior, Szmodics, Dickenson, Nouble (sub Mandron, 77). Unused subs: Comley, Wright, Gondoh, Collins.

Referee: Martin Coy (County Durham)

Attendance: 1,267 (131 away fans)

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