Professional Development League southern division

PLAYER-COACH Jamal Campbell-Ryce featured for Colchester United's under-23s as they faced Cardiff City in the Professional Development League.

However, he wasn't able to help his team to a win as it was Welsh joy for Cardiff on their second visit to the area in seven days.

Having lost 3-1 at Ipswich Town last week, they had greater success this time with what looked a much stronger City team, with Sol Bamba in their defence and the former Rotherham United player Will Vaulks in midfield and captaining the side.

On a rainy afternoon at Florence Park, the home team began promisingly.

After Louis Dunne and Michael Fernandes linked on the right, Dunne lifted a shot over the bar and an effort by Fernandes was just wide of the post.

However, Cardiff were also threatening and the U’s defence had to scramble the ball clear from a Tom Sang free-kick, while a shot on the turn by Will Vaulks went just wide on 34 minutes.

The U’s then had their best chance of the half when Matt Weaire won the ball and found Fernandes, who turned and ran at the defence, but was then fouled 30 yards out.

The free kick was then touched by Cameron James to Fernandes but Bluebirds keeper Joe Day did well to tip his well-struck shot over the bar.

The resulting corner to the near post by Ollie Sims found the run of Campbell-Ryce but his attempt was high and wide.

It was then Cardiff's turn to have their best opening of the half as Sang played the ball inside to Vaulks but U's keeper Bailey Vose was equal to his shot in making a smart save, low down to his right.

From the resulting corner by Sang, the ball appeared to hit the top of the bar and with that the half-time whistle went.

Cardiff had the first sight of goal after the break as Cameron Coxe forced Vose into a good save at his near post, but a fine home move then almost created a very good home goal.

James started the move as he found Diogo Freitas-Gouveia down the right, and from his cross in, James arrived but sent his diving header just over the bar.

Ollie Sims then broke strongly forward for the U's and seemed clear away but took the wrong option with a shot which was saved by Day, with Dunne in space on his right calling for the pass.

This was to prove costly as minutes later, City took the lead on 65 minutes.

A ball into the home box by Sang bounced up and after shouts for a penalty, players seemed to hesitate, but when the ball ran loose and out to the edge of the box, Vaulks struck a firm shot to the left of Vose to but City 1-0 ahead.

Colchester tried to respond and Jake Hutchinson saw a shot well blocked and from the resulting corner, a header by Weaire hit the post.

The breakthrough wouldn't come, though, and in time added on at the end, the hosts conceded again when Shamar Moore planted a low shot past Vose to wrap up a 2-0 win for Cardiff.

It was defeat for the U’s in a game where they deserved more, but the result has put them bottom of the southern division.

Colchester United: Bailey Vose, Luke Ige, Danny Collinge, Matt Weaire, Miguel Scarlet, Louis Dunne, Michael Fernandes, Dean Ager, Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Cameron James, Ollie Sims. Subs: Diogo Freitas-Gouveia, Jake Hutchinson. Unused subs: Callum Coulter, Callum Anderson, Marley Marshall-Miranda.