COLCHESTER United suffered penalty heartache after losing to Redbridge on spot-kicks in the BBC Essex Senior Cup Final tonight.

The U's lost 5-4 on penalties to their Pitching In Isthmian League division north opponents, after the game had finished goal-less after 90 minutes.

It was tough luck on Colchester, who had created more than enough chances to win the game, in 90 minutes.

But after both sides had had a penalty saved in the shoot-out, Owura Edwards' effort was then stopped by goalkeeper Connor Wheatley and Lewis Clark slotted home, to give the Motormen victory.

Colchester included striker Samson Tovide in their starting line-up for his first competitive start since early December, following his recovery from an ankle injury.

The likes of Riley Harbottle, Owura Edwards, Will Greenidge and Sam Hornby also featured in Dave Huzzey’s side, which also contained a number of the club’s under-21 players.

There was a late change in the U’s line-up, with the unfortunate T’aizo Marcel Dilaver injured in the warm-up and replaced by Kennedy Mupomba.

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It was a competitive but relatively quiet start to the match, with both sides easing their way into the contest.

The Motormen registered the first meaningful effort on goal when Solomon Ogumwomoju’s strike flew straight at Hornby, after the Redbridge player had done well to go past Frankie Terry and advance towards the U’s area.

Patience was the order of the day for Colchester in the first half, as they attempted to break down an organised and determined Redbridge side.


Indeed, the U’s almost fell behind just after the half hour mark when Ogunwomoju’s header looped onto the roof of the net after Colchester had failed to clear their lines from a set piece.

The U’s came close to scoring soon after though when Jack Chawner cleared off the line from under the nose of Tovide, after Harbottle’s header from Edwards’ corner had squirmed towards goal the Motormen’s goal.

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And soon after, some magnificent individual play by Tovide set Hakeem Sandah free and through on goal but the U’s player could only shoot over the bar, under pressure from a Redbridge defender.

But the first half finished goal-less and Colchester made a change at the break, taking Tovide off and bringing on Kaleel Green in his place.

Colchester started the second half well and almost broke the deadlock less than two minutes after the break.

Gazette: Samson Tovide

Sandah’s strike from just inside the area crashed against the underside of the crossbar and bounced the wrong side of the line for the U’s, with substitute Green unable to direct the rebound home.

Colchester went close again soon after when Edwards fired into the side netting at the near post, after Thorn's cross into the box had picked him out. 

Redbridge goalkeeper Connor Wheatley was forced to push away Sandah's side-footed effort from just inside the area in the 57th minute as the U's continued to press for a breakthrough.

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The lively Sandah was again denied by keeper Wheatley just after the hour after Thorn had done well to pick him out in the area but as the clock ticked down, Redbridge seemed to grow in confidence.

They almost broke the deadlock in the 81st minute when substitute James Barlow fired a half chance into the side netting after Colchester failed to properly clear Jack Chawner's free-kick into the box.

Colchester pressed in the final stages and Oliver's shot was pushed away for a corner by Wheatley in the 85th minute, after Harbottle had picked him out in the area with a quick free-kick.

But Redbridge almost snatched victory in the sixth minute of stoppage time when Hornby made a crucial save to deny Nandi from point-blank range and what would have been a certain winner for the Motormen.

It meant the game went straight to penalties and Redbridge prevailed, as the U's were beaten.

MATCH FACTS: COLCHESTER UNITED: Hornby, Thorn, Greenidge (sub Dyer, 62), Terry, Harbottle, Oliver, Kennedy, Lowe, Sandah, O Edwards, Tovide (sub Green, 46). Subs (not used): F Edwards, Collins.

Redbridge: Wheatley, Bennett, Shelvey-Negus (sub Williams, 75), Clark, Elliott, Ogunwomoju (sub Feeley, 86), Chawner, Nandi, Winn, Odukoya (sub Barlow, 71), Johnson. Subs (not used): Yeboah, Martin.

Goals: None.

Bookings: Colchester: Thorn (foul, 24), Tovide (unsporting behaviour, 45). Redbridge: Johnson (foul, 26), Shelvey-Negus (unsporting behaviour, 38), Clark (foul, 71).

Referee: Robert Claussen (Rochford).

Attendance: 607.