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Swindon Town 0-1 Colchester United

Town suffered their first defeat in three games on Tuesday evening as Robins old boy Michael Rose fired Colchester United to a 1-0 win at the County Ground.

Both sides were wasteful in front of goal throughout the clash, and it took a 70th minute free-kick from left-back Rose to break the deadlock and seal the points for the U's.

Paolo Di Canio made four changes from the side that beat Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, with Simon Ferry, Darren Ward, James Collins and Gary Roberts making way for Tommy Miller, Troy Archibald-Henville, Paul Benson and Alan Navarro.

Chances were few and far between in what was a scrappy opening to the match, and though the visitors probably just edged it, neither goalkeeper was seriously tested.

It took until the 43rd minute for either side to muster a shot in anger, and it was Town who might have taken the lead as Raffa De Vita nearly put the finishing touch to a swift counter-attack, but he shot into the ground and over the bar when well placed.

It was then the visitors' turn to go close on the stroke of half time as striker Jabo Ibehre reacted quickest to a loose ball from Jay McEvely, but the on-loan MK Dons frontman saw his shot well blocked.

The second half began in a similar fashion to the first, with both sides struggling to string a meaningful series of passes together.

Town did go close on the hour mark as substitute James Collins did well to reach a De Vita cross, but he could only steer the ball straight into the arms of U's 'keeper Mark Cousins.

With the home fans becoming increasingly restless, former Town man Rose was handed the chance to put his new side ahead when Federico Bessone handled on the edge of the box after 70 minutes.

The left-back lined the ball up and promptly slotted it through a flimsy wall and into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.

The hosts rallied after going behind, but despite forcing a series of corners, were unable to seriously test Cousins.

Andy Williams almost found himself with the chance to do that on 84 minutes as he raced on to substitute Simon Ferry's through ball, but U's defender Brian Wilson just beat him to it and was able to clear.

This was to prove Town's last sight of goal and as the boos rang round the County Ground at the final whistle, Paolo Di Canio was left to ponder a deflating home defeat.

 

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