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Colchester United slump to first league defeat of the season
4:50pm Saturday 1st September 2012 in News
Colchester United slumped to their first defeat of the season losing four nil to Tranmere Rovers.
The U's had put four past Tranmere at home last season and were given a taste of their own medicine at Prenton Park this time.
The game started brightly with Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro blasting over in the first minute for Tranmere having been played in with a nice ball between centre back Matt Heath and full back Michael Rose.
Colchester United then went up the other end and, after shots from Sears and Bond, a decent cross gave Anthony Wordsworth a shot at goal but he headed just wide.
The game settled with both teams looking good going forward.
Okuonghae picked up a needless but deserved booking on 15 minutes,
Wordsworth then had his second good chance within the first 20 minutes after being put through.
He tried to round the keeper but Owain Williams narrowed the angle well and the shot was saved and went out for a corner.
Akpa Akpro then missed a great chance heading over from six yards before also hitting a volley over the bar.
Tranmere were starting to get on top and hit the post from their first corner after half-an-hour with captain James Wallace going close.
The deadlock was broken with five minutes to go in the first half.
A little cross was dinked in and striker Jake Cassidy nipped in front of keeper Cousins to nod in from just a few yards out.
Just seconds later Morrison nearly repeated the trick for the U's but the ball was cleared and Tranmere went into the half-time break one up.
In the second half Tranmere were able to get on top using their pace to get beyond the U's defence.
Cassidy got his second five minutes into the second half.
The ball was played through and a lucky deflection laid it perfectly into his path and he slotted past Cousins from the edge of the box.
At two nil Colchester United were on the back foot relying on occasional breaks and the skills of Freddie Sears to try and get back into the game.
After 60 minutes Tranmere were three up.
Zoumana Bakayogo made a good run into the box.
The ball was passed back to him and he put a clean strike into the side of the net past Cousins' outstretched hand.
Minutes later they almost made it four when Akpa-Akpro got through with a mazy run before hitting the post.
Manager John Ward brought off Duguid and Wordsworth for Ian Henderson and Gavin Massey to try and shake things up and Henderson went close to scoring for the U's ten minutes later but shot straight at keeper Williams who looked solid throughout.
But it was Tranmere who got the fourth.
The ball played across the box for Cassidy to tap in completing his hat-trick.
Tranmere fans waited more than five years for a hat-trick and now have two already this season.
Robinson and Cassidy were substituted late in the game with Cassidy getting the ovation you would expect and the man of the match accolade for his three goals.
The U's put everything into the game and cannot be faulted for effort but were undone by some great play by Tranmere using pace and guile to get around the back of the Colchester defence.
Ward will now be looking to pick the players up after this their first league defeat of the season.