Attitude and hard work pay off for Latics
Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 10 December 2012
Colchester 0, Athletic 2
SMILES stuck on Athletic faces as the team limbered up for the crunch Christmas run-up with this resounding victory.
A fourth win in five matches is some turn-round for the club and its manager Paul Dicko.
There’s no getting away from the fact that Colchester were rubbish here. Athletic could have scored more.
Jean-Yves Mvoto’s superb header set the ball rolling for the visitors on what is usually an unprofitable visit to this part of Essex.
But as home goalkeeper Mark Cousins single-handedly kept his side in the game, it wasn’t until a moment of pantomime farce in the 61st minute that the latest three points for a happy Dickov were secure.
Colchester’s Brian Wilson got around a ball travelling wide of goal and managed to contrive to back-heel it in, all the while performing a triple salko on his own goal line.
The story beneath the slapstick surface is one that illustrates why Athletic are playing so well at the moment.
The ball was reclaimed deep inside Athletic territory, but instead of slowly passing it back and forth, allowing the opposition to regroup and defend, the visitors sprung forward quickly.
Lee Croft had an outstanding game: it was his ball through a gaping Colchester back-line that sent Matt Derbyshire racing in on goal.
Derbyshire’s effort was halted by a good block by the outstanding Cousins, spun off towards the back post, only to be turned in by Wilson.
Athletic could have had added plenty more: James Wesolowski shot wastefully wide in the first half; Baxter was unlucky to see his well-struck effort deflected, and Jonathan Grounds hit a low, first-time angled shot which Cousins clung to. Dickov’s men could easily have been four up at the interval.
As it was, they registered only once. Nobody was stopping Mvoto from getting on the end of Croft’s cross and he could not have headed the ball with any more conviction. It bounced down off the bar and back up into the roof of the net.
Colchester started the second period brightly, but Athletic were still the side more likely to score.
Derbyshire was initially credited with the second goal - and how Athletic will miss the Notts Forest striker when he goes back to his parent club.
There are three home games out of a total of four before the turn of the year.
Wouldn’t it be nice to make the most of Derbyshire this weekend, and bells-and-whistles man Baxter after that, to maximise the return from those games?
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