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Changes tell for injury-hit Shakers
KEVIN Blackwell highlighted the challenge that still faces Bury as his patched-up team came unstuck at the Community Stadium.
Injuries to Adam Lockwood, David Healy and Andy Bishop forced the Shakers boss to dismantle a side that went into the game on a three-match winning run.
He handed teenage Wolves defender Ethan Ebanks-Landell his league debut in place of Lockwood at centre-back, ahead of Efe Sodje, and gave triallist Tom Soares a chance in a new-look three-man midfield.
The changes pushed Bury past the allotted limit of five loan players, forcing Blackwell to leave out QPR striker Troy Hewitt from his squad and play with just one up front.
While the changes were forced upon Blackwell by injuries, they were also partly tactical, allowing Bury to match Colchester’s 4-5-1 formation, but despite the home side going into the match on the back of three defeats, they looked the more comfortable.
Bury weathered the early storm before a quick-fire double 10 minutes into the second-half sealed the game for Colchester, with an Anthony Wordsworth header on 56 minutes quickly followed up by a Freddie Sears strike five minutes later.
“This is what I’ve alluded to from the beginning – that I will have to keep building new teams, which is very difficult,” said Blackwell. “All the time you keep bringing new personnel in, you have to bed them in. “That coincides with a lack of understanding at times and I thought that just showed once or twice.
“I thought Ethan had a terrific game, but I think we had six or seven under the age of 19 in the squad and that has its own problems.”
While Colchester started brightly and created decent chances for Sears and Henderson early on, Bury came back into the game near the end of the first half and Dominic Poleon had a 25-yard shot tipped around the post.
Lone front man Tom Hopper also went close just before the break and Bury controlled possession at the start of the second half before a misplaced clearance by Mark Hughes allowed Colchester to get behind their defence and Wordsworth duly dispatched his chance.
Man-of-the-match Henderson then capitalised before Bury could regain their composure, putting in Sears for the second with a low ball across the box from the right.
And while Colchester defender Tom Eastman headed a Steven Schumacher corner on to his own bar 20 minutes from time, Bury did not have enough on the bench to launch a comeback, although Blackwell was at least pleased that they did not fall to heavier defeat.
“We would have come here five weeks ago and got battered, but we didn’t, that’s for sure,” said Blackwell.
“Colchester knew it was a tough game. Straight after half time we were bang at it but we’ve given them a stupid goal and given them a lift and that was all the lift they needed.”