Full Time Report: Colchester United 0 Rotherham United 0

Kieran Agard battles to hold off Ryan Dickson
Kieran Agard battles to hold off Ryan Dickson
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Rotherham United appeared to use up all their goals at the weekend as Steve Evans’ side were held to a 0-0 draw with struggling Colchester United at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Colchester belied their league position with an impressive first half display which saw Rotherham United lucky to still be tied.

Millers improved in the second half, perhaps given a talking to by the manager, after a fairly lacklustre opening period.

The returning Sanchez Watt caused Millers concern right from the first minute, continued to be a threat throughout and indeed had the ball in the net towards the end of the first half only to see his tap in ruled out for a foul on Millers keeper Adam Collin.

Unsurprisingly there was just one, forced, change to Rotherham’s starting line-up from that which beat Notts County 6-0 on Saturday - Kari Arneson, on international duty with Iceland, being replaced by Miles Addison.

Colchester, who are just out of the League One relegation zone on goal difference, lost 2-1 away to second placed Leyton Orient at the weekend. Jabo Ibehre, Dominic Vose, Craig Eastmond were out of the XI from that Saturday defeat, with Watt, Clinton Morrison and Marcus Bean all drafted in.

It was Colchester who raced out of the traps with two of the recalled players, Morrison and Watt combining to force a corner after Addison cleared, though it came to nothing.

Millers had the first opportunity on goal, though, after five minutes when in-form Lee Frecklington sent in a dangerous cross which eluded Kieran Agard and Ben Pringle’s shot was blocked.

Watt, who has missed the last three games through suspension, was certainly making up for lost time and another cross this time found Freddie Sears whose looping effort landed on the roof of the Rotherham goal.

On 15 minutes Watt was almost at the other end of a goal chance as Freddie Sears took advantage of some Rotherham deliberation from a quick throw in and crossed into the box, but Watt just couldn’t get on the end of it.

There were a couple of half chances for either team before a break in play for treatment to referee Brendan Malone and then Rotherham went closest yet when Addison fired just wide with a volley.

Then came the first half’s moment of controversy, on 33 minutes, when the Us thought they had gone in front. Sears’ cross saw Morrison challenge with Collin who spilled the ball and Watt was there to knock it in. However referee Malone ruled it out, with Marcus Bean picking up a booking for his protestations.

That also proved to be the last major piece of action for referee Malone as he had to be replaced by Fred Graham.

After the break Rotherham appeared to up their game - Haris Vuckic made space for himself in the box and fired at goal which the keeper saved at the second attempt.

Vuckic then fed Pringle in the 56th minute, with Pringle then passing to Kieran Agard whose shot was well saved by Sam Walker as it headed for the top corner.

Then came the chance of the match when on 58 minutes, Alex Revell played a one-two with Vuckic whose effort was again stopped by Walker who tipped away the shot.

Colchester began to come into the game more though and on 67 minutes Watt, again, was at the heart of the attacking play as he took a pass on the left and let fly with a shot from an angle which hit the top of the crossbar.

Nicky Adams, on for Vuckic, volleyed just over the bar on 79 minutes and with five minutes remaining Millers were dealt a blow when Frecklington had to be helped off, looking dazed and was replaced by Mark Bradley.

Pringle curled an effort just wide in injury time but the game was destined for a scoreless draw.

Colchester: Walker, Wilson, Okuonghae, Eastman, Dickson, David Wright, Bean, Massey, Watt, Sears, Morrison. Subs: Cousins, Sesay, Eastmond, Sanderson, Olufemi, Vose, Bonne

Rotherham: Collin, Tavernier, Morgan, Addison, Skarz, Agard, Frecklington, Smallwood, Pringle, Vuckic, Revell. Subs: Shearer, Brindley, O’Connor, Milsom, Bradley, Hitchcock, Adams.

Referee: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire)