Lee Nets Winner for U21s Against Colchester Tuesday, 30th Jul 2013 16:41
Alan Lee scored the only goal of the game as a Town U21 side beat Colchester United 1-0 at Playford Road this afternoon. The former Blues striker, who is back at the club to coach in the academy but has recently been training with Mick McCarthy’s first team squad, netted in the fifth minute.
The 34-year-old, released by Huddersfield at the end of last season and who Mick McCarthy is considering registering for the season ahead, seized on a loose ball after a shot had struck a defender before slipping the ball past the U’s keeper at a drizzly Playford Road.
The visitors came close to getting on terms in the 21st minute when Jonny Leddy was forced to clear off the line, then at the other end Joe Ward, who has been on trial from Chelmsford for the last three weeks, did well to cut in from the left but the Colchester keeper blocked.
Three minutes before the break, Jack Marriott saw a corner from Byron Lawrence late and the ball struck him and flew straight to the keeper. Just before the break, the U’s hit Blues keeper Michael Crowe’s right post from distance.
Goalscorer Lee made way at the break, having won a lot in the air, but looking short of fitness. Teddy Bishop took over, allowing trialist Ward to move into his favoured role up front from midfield.
Lawrence shot well over early on, then Colchester first struck an effort wide of Crowe’s post, then straight at the Town keeper.
As a well-contested game reached its final 10 minutes, Marriott twice had opportunities to increase his side’s lead. First, after a strong run down the right he struck a shot across the face of goal, then moments later another effort was saved by the visiting keeper.
Overall, what was a Town side largely made up of academy players deserved their victory against a Colchester team mainly consisting of professionals.
Amongst the more senior players in the Blues line-up was centre-half Christophe Berra, who said recently that he is around four games behind everyone else. The Scottish international was comfortable throughout.
Manager Mick McCarthy and his assistant Terry Connor were amongst those braving the weather to watch the game.
Just a note, I am pretty sure "U21" no longer means Under 21s in the way we used to understand it. This is just a rebranding of the "Reserves". It really means nothing, which makes it pretty pointless although most of the players are younger x amount can be over 21.
So has Alan Lee signed a contract here as a coach and does that include provision for him playing matches too? If so, it seems totally sensible to register him as a player and consider him for selection based on merit along with the other players.
I would like the management to wait until they're ready before making a statement regarding the Alan Lee situation, based on their evaluation of his potential to add something worthwhile to the squad and the availability of funds to procure his services.