Cambridge United were dealt a late hammer blow as a 95th minute strike from Kane Vincent-Young inflicted a 0-1 defeat against Colchester United at the Abbey Stadium.
Harrison Dunk was United’s only change, as he stepped for the injured Rushian Hepburn-Murphy and took up a place in the left side of United’s midfield.
Both side’s playmakers fired off early shots at either end inside five minutes, with Jevani Brown looping a shot wide from long range after spotting Dillon Barnes off his goal line before Sammie Szmodics had Dimi Mitov scrambling across his line but the Colchester man pulled it off target.
However, as the game progressed it was the visiting side who continued to look the morelikely to register. Akobaker Eisa got in behind Brad Halliday on 18 minutes but the winger’s attempt bobbled wide of Mitov’s far post, and Szmodics failed to make the Bulgarian work as well when the danger man directed a diving header away from goal moments later.
When called on though the U’s keeper produced a magnificent point blank save to deny Frankie Kent the opener when the Colchester centre back headed Eisa’s free kick on target, before Luke Norris shot the rebound over the top.
With the U’s having to defend with even greater frequency after the break, Colin Calderwood introduced Jake Doyle-Hayes to attempt to get a foot on the ball in midfield on the hour mark. Gary Deegan was also forced off the field with a back problem and replaced by Paul Lewis. It was a brief appearance for Lewis however, as he went down moments later clutching his hamstring and was replaced by David Amoo.
George Maris was caught in two with 15 minutes to play when David Amoo pulled a pass back on the edge of the Colchester area but the midfielder curled the ball beyond target.
But in reality the U’s created very little to spark excitement of a winner, although they looked to have done enough to have ground out a point which would have extended their unbeaten run in League Two to five games.
It was not to be though, as Kane-Vincent Young popped up with virtually the last kick of the game to hammer an unstoppable right footed effort beyond Mitov from 20 yards in the game deciding moment.
Cambridge United: Mitov, Halliday, Taylor, Taft, Carroll (Doyle-Hayes, 64 min), Coulson, Deegan (Lewis, 64 mins, replaced by Amoo 69 mins), Maris, Dunk, Brown, Ibehre
Colchester United: Barnes, Jackson, Lapslie, Prosser, Kent, Senior, Norris (Mandron, 78 mins), Szmodics, Vincent-Young, Stevenson, Eisa (Dickenson, 85 mins)
Attendance: 5,515 (1,119)
Man of the Match: George Taft