Early strike from Alan Lee enough for strong Development Squad in entertaining game at Playford Road
Town’s U21 side ran out 1-0 winners at Playford Road, with Alan Lee’s early strike enough to beat Colchester.
The big striker pounced after just four minutes to open the scoring, driving the ball beyond the legs of the Colchester ‘keeper and into the back of the net.
The Blues started the brighter of the two sides and Lee had given Mark Kennedy’s side an early lead, Town went close again soon after through recent addition Christophe Berra.
However the defender could only hook the ball just wide of the target after meeting Byron Lawrence’s corner at the back-post after 12 minutes.
The visitors did hit back though 10 minutes later, with a neat flowing move allowing Craig Eastmond space in the box but he failed to hit the target.
Midway through the first-half Town created another good opportunity, with Lee finding strike partner Marriott who saw his effort well saved before Lawrence then flashed an effort just wide seconds later.
Berra, wearing the captain’s armband, was impressing at the back and some brave defending from the former Wolves man snuffed out a Colchester attack ten minutes before the break, drawing applause from Mick McCarthy who was in attendance.
Marriott went close to doubling Town’s lead moments before half-time but he failed to bundle the ball home from close range, after Jonny Leddy had flicked on Lawrence’s inswinging corner.
However Town breathed a sigh of relief on the stroke of half-time, as a stinging drive from a U’s forward looked to have found the bottom corner but the ball cannoned back off the post and out to safety.
The U’s started the second-half strongly too and some interchanging passing looked to have unlocked the Town defence, before Berra did just another to put off his marker who fired inches wide of Crowe’s goal.
The game became a real midfield scrap in the second-half, with the driving rain playing a factor, although Marriott did go close to wrapping up the win for Town late on.
The striker ghosted past a couple of Colchester defenders before dragging his shot just wide of the target from just inside the area.
But it wasn’t to matter as the Blues saw the game out and ensured it was an unhappy journey back down the A12 for the U’s.
Town: Crowe, Hammond, Leddy (Clarke 56), Berra, October, Ward (Winter 56), Berkane, Lawrence, Timlin, Marriott, Lee (Bishop 46). Subs not used: Marsden, Robinson.