SUPER SAMMIE DOWNS LATICS
COLCHESTER manager Tony Humes is hoping Sammie Szmodics can fire his side to safety after the midfielder’s early strike was enough to see off Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park.
Szmodics was quick off the mark to bag his fourth of the campaign inside two minutes as the U’s recorded a first win in three matches.
And Humes could not speak highly enough of his match winner following the victory and lauded the 19-year-old’s goalscoring prowess.
“Sammy has always had a knack of scoring goals during his time at the club from a very young age,” said Humes.“And let’s hope he can go on a run of scoring.
“He gambled and it really came off. Even though we scored early, I don’t think Oldham gave us too many problems.
“I thought it was a patient display from the team and a confident one.”
Despite suffering a 4-1 defeat to Sheffield United in their previous outing Humes’ men got off to a flying start after just two minutes when Gavin Massey headed a lofted ball across the face of goal to the unmarked Szmodics who swept the ball past stranded Latics goalkeeper Jake Kean from closerange.
Boosted by their early goal the visitors sat deep and frustrated Lee Johnson’s side for the remainder of the first half, with Szmodics continuing to threaten on the break, the midfielder flashing a dangerous shot across goal in the 32nd minute.
Oldham toiled in the first half and manager Lee Johnson admitted afterwards that they never recovered from their sluggish start.
“What killed us was the first 20 minutes,” Johnson said.
“The fact that we’ve conceded a poor goal, look at the mistakes we’ve made.
“We’ve made individual mistakes due to what looked like a classic case of after the Lord Mayor’s show.
“The start, I don’t know what it was, I wish I did.
“I don’t know if it was because we couldn’t handle the pressure of a better crowd, whether we couldn’t handle the fact that we had to break down a side that was in the bottom four.”
The Latics did improve after the break and Mike Jones missed a golden opportunity to level within two minutes of the restart, screwing his half-volley from inside the box wide after U’s goalkeeper Sam Walker could only punch a Jonathan Forte cross from the left.
Skipper Liam Kelly, Forte and Daniel Philliskirk all fluffed their lines in the closing stages as the hosts chased an equaliser in vain.
Kelly thought he had levelled at the death for Oldham after stabbing in a Rhys Turner knockdown from close range, but his effort was ruled out for offside.
And Colchester hung on much to Johnson’s frustration, who knows his side must improve against the league’s struggling teams at the bottom of the table if they are to have an impact at the other end.
“Lets not mask over it, we’ve lost to every one of the bottom five now and it is poor,” Johnson added.
JOY: Colchester United midfielder Sammie Szmodics opens the scoring STAR MAN MATTH
EW BRIGGS Colche