Date: 18th October 2006 at 10:28pm
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A four-star performance from newly-promoted Colchester United saw Wednesday fall to their biggest defeat of the season at Layer Road on a glum night for Paul Sturrock and his team on Wednesday.

The Owls looked to make the long trek to Colchester in a bid to kick-start their troublesome start to the season and carry on from Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Barnsley at Hillsborough – but it seemed Halloween came a fortnight too early for Sturrock’s men.

Sturrock made five changes to the side that beat rivals Barnsley at the weekend with Graham Coughlan passing a late fitness test to replace Tommy Spurr in the centre of defence while Burton O’Brien, Lee Bullen and Marcus Tudgay all came in to replace Glenn Whelen, Chris Brunt and Drew Talbot respectively.

The U’s meanwhile, named the same outfield ten for the eight game in a row – a luxury the Owls boss would crave for. And the hosts made the brighter start to the game as Richard Garcia was given a striking chance on goal from Kevin Watson only to waste his opportunity.

Steve Maclean had the Owls first chance on goal but his low effort was easily saved by Davison after Iwelumo and Cureton had both gone close at the other end.

And Wednesday were presented with an even better chance minutes later as Greg Halford’s attempted clearance landed at the feet of Yoann Folly but the Frenchman failed to keep his effort down and it went sailing over Davison’s goal.

Colchester broke the deadlock just before the half-hour mark as Halford launched a hopeful ball towards the penalty area and hitman Cureton nipped in behind Bougherra to lob Jones and net his 150th career goal to the delight of the home fans.

Half-time: Colchester United 1-0 Wednesday

Wednesday made the brighter start to the second half as they looked desperate to make an immediate impact after the break and level the scores – but it could have been the hosts who doubled their lead as Cureton again nipped in but Bougherra managed to scramble back and clear the ball off the line.

At the other end Marcus Tudgay almost took advantage of a rare mistake at the back for the U’s as Davison spilled a Burton O’Brien cross and followed it up by clearing the danger for a corner as the former Derby man was about to pounce.

Yoann Folly also had a chance with a volley before Steve Maclean missed the chance of the match after a low Tudgay cross found the former Rangers man unmarked four yards out but he snatched at his shot and someone sent it over the bar and in to the U’s fans.

The chance was to be the turning point of the match as the hosts went on to double their advantage and effectively secure the three points as Greg Halford fired an unstoppable long-range effort by Jones just before the hour mark.

And it got worse for Paul Sturrock’s men five minutes later when Iwelumo latched onto Garcia’s throughball and fired a low shot past Jones’ outstretched right glove to make it 3-0 on the night.

Duguid rubbed salt in the wounds with a fourth-late on to leave Sturrock with much to ponder ahead of the vital clash with QPR at the weekend – and a long, long journey back up to South Yorkshire ahead.

Colchester: Davison; Halford (White 88), Brown, Baldwin, Barker; Garcia (McLeod 73), Izzet, Watson, Duguid; Iwelumo, Cureton (Guy 81). Subs: Gerken, Jackson.

Wednesday: Jones; Simek, Bougherra, Coughlan, Hills; Bullen (Lunt 63), Folly, O’Brien, Small; Tudgay (Talbot 63), MacLean (Burton 63). Subs: Adamson, Spurr.
Paul Sturrock told the official site:
‘I feel let down and it’s time for a change as far as the players are concerned.

‘Several of them have come to the end of their tether at this football club. It’s time for players who have had their sell-by date to be moved on very quickly and it’s got to the stage where we’ve got to get some serious Championship players in.’

‘The players should be apologetic too. I would like them to look in the mirror and be honest with themselves.’