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The Brentford promotion party rolled into Essex on Saturday afternoon, but instead of another performance to celebrate, the 3,000-plus red and white contingent were left divided after a miserable 4-1 defeat.

Colchester United needed a win to help secure their League One status next season, and with Championship football already in the bag, I guess there could be some excuses for this way bellow par showing – but to concede four sloppy goals was hard to take – even for those still in full conga mode.

Ex Bee Marcus Bean was the first to net for United, heading home from close range after David Button was exposed from a free kick – in fact the Bees defence struggled in the air all afternoon. The second came from the head of Alex Wynter after a poorly cleared corner, while the third came courtesy of Freddie Sears from the penalty spot after Alan McCormack fouled Sanchez Watt in the area.

The only bright moment of the afternoon came when Stuart Dallas unleashed an unstoppable thunderbolt from 25 yards before the break…

Any thoughts of a comeback, which shouldn’t have been beyond the Bees in all honesty, were snubbed out when Sears made the most of a mess-up at the back, which allowed the U’s striker to run the ball home into an empty net. Button’s kicking almost lead to a ‘comedy’ fifth too, whilst Alan Judge missed another penalty to rub salt into the wounds.

As I said earlier, Bees’ support seems mixed over this match – obviously nobody can be happy at spending hard earned cash on watching a half-hearted performance – but let’s not forget what this side has achieved this season and please, let’s not end the season on a negative tone. We’ve waited soooo very long for something remarkable to celebrate, I’m not prepared for it to be ruined quite so easily. There is simply too much to look forward to next season and in the coming years – so let’s get things in perspective.

Perhaps the Essex Police could take the same advice – quite what prompted such a massive turnout of riot-ready plod, God only knows. “What a waste of money…” was the verdict of the away end… We couldn’t agree more.

Dave Lane