Sanchez Watt received a card he did not want on his birthday after he was sent off in Colchester United’s 0-0 draw at Swindon Town.
The U’s forward, who had already been booked earlier in the match, received his marching orders on his 23rd birthday following an altercation with the Robins’ Nathan Thompson, just past the midway point in the second half.
It left Colchester to play the remaining 21 minutes of the game with only ten men at the County Ground, as the U’s claimed a good away point.
The game survived two pitch inspections, after strong winds and heavy rain swept into the Wiltshire area in the hours before the match.
Referee Darren Sheldrake passed the surface fit for play but in truth the severe conditions made it highly difficult for both sets of players to produce any kind of spectacle, as showed in the first half.
Although Colchester had their moments in attack, it was Swindon who looked the most dangerous side in the opening 45 minutes.
Midway through the first half, Alex Pritchard’s rasping shot forced goalkeeper Sam Walker to push the ball away for a corner after a breakdown in communication in the U’s midfield.
U’s skipper Brian Wilson almost put through his own net soon after as Swindon looked for an opener but the sides went in level at the break.
A similar pattern ensued in the second half, with the U’s struggling to get out of their own half in the minutes that immediately followed half-time.
But Colchester were left up against it when Watt was sent off, leaving the U’s to play the rest of the game with ten men.
They were forced to defend for long periods and Nathan Byrne came close to winning it for Swindon in the closing stages.
But the U's battled gamely and came away with a well-earned point.
For a full match report, pictures and reaction to Colchester’s game at Swindon, see Monday’s Daily Gazette.