The Bantams were sent crashing to a defeat at the hands of the league's basement club on Tuesday evening. City went ahead through Wes Thomas' first goal for the club but after United equalised through Darren Ambrose, the visitors went on to produce an admirable performance. Ambrose doubled his tally after the break with a low shot from inside the area and Kevin Keen's side registered a deserved win to halt City's surge towards the play-offs.
George Moncur is a key player for Colchester United, and he could be vital as The Us look to escape the League One relegation mire; the former West Ham United youngster saw an audacious volley from the best part of 25 yards go comfortably over the bar.
From then onwards City began to dominate the general play, creating a hatful of chances; the first one of note came through Josh Cullen, his purposeful run forward was ended with a pass into the feet of Thomas, his low shot was saved by the feet of Elliott Parish in Colchester’s goal before James Hanson saw a header held onto by the recovering Parish.
United’s young full back Kane Vincent-Young was having a tough time against Kyel Reid and after the latter had robbed him of possession, his low cross into the area towards Thomas was eventually turned marginally wide of the near post by Hanson who went in search of his 11th goal of the season.
Vincent-Young was to later be withdrawn in place of Alex Gilbey and he was at fault for the opening goal; he was muscled off the ball by an enthusiastic Cullen and the West Ham loanee delivered a low cross into the area which took the slightest glance off the foot of Thomas and into the far corner to give City a thoroughly deserved lead.
Colchester created their best chance of the opening stages on the counter attack; they came forward with pace through former Premier League midfielder Ambrose and the 32 year old midfielder placed a shot inches wide of the far corner with Ben Williams at full stretch.
The visitors did get the equalising goal though shortly afterwards against the run of play; Chris Porter proved his aerial threat by heading a cross into the path of Ambrose who beat the offside flag to steer a volley past Williams and into the bottom corner from 12 yards out.
Tony McMahon then almost went from provider to goal scorer all in the same move; his corner was headed into the air by a Colchester player before Nathan Clarke headed the ball back into the mix. The loose ball came out as far as McMahon arriving in the penalty but his angled drive went comfortably over the bar.
It was Colchester that came closest to going ahead before the break; Gavin Massey saw a shot go marginally wide of the far corner before Williams had to be alert to hold onto Tom Eastman’s headed attempt after he’d connected with Ambrose’s corner.
It was certainly Colchester who started the second half on the front foot and after Moncur was denied by a superb last ditch challenge by Cullen, he saw his next attempt denied by the post after he had come forward from midfield with intent before letting fly from 20 yards out.
Moncur had an outstanding second half display for the visitors and after this time leading counter attack, he ran at last defender Stephen Darby before seeing a shot hit the bar; the United number 10 so unfortunate not to have got himself on the scoresheet.
The resulting Colchester corner indirectly produced the next goal as the visitors went ahead, the goal again coming from Ambrose. The corner found Massey who saw a cross fall to the former Birmingham City man and he had the time and space to fire a low drive past Williams from 15 yards out.
Minutes after going behind, City made a double substitution as Mark Marshall and Billy Clarke were brought into the mix and the latter almost equalised with a spectacular over head kick which went just wide of the target after he’d connected with Kyel Reid’s cross.
Moncur was without doubt the best player on the pitch and after going close on a few occasions himself, he almost turned provider this time round when he picked out Gilbey who saw a low shot from 20 yards pushed round the post by Williams.
The visitors did a great job of denying City many more in the way of scoring chances as they went on to secure a victory, their first in 20 games and a subsequent double of the Bantams. The focus now turns to the weekend, as City travel to Bury for the second time this season, having gone there in the FA Cup back in January.