League One
ColchesterColchester United1PrestonPreston North End0

Colchester United 1-0 Preston North End

George Moncur
George Moncur scored his second goal in three matches

Preston missed out on automatic promotion after they suffered a narrow loss to Colchester, who clinched League One survival with their victory.

George Moncur slotted home from 12 yards after good work from Chris Porter, who had missed a penalty earlier in the half.

MK Dons' win over Yeovil means North End must settle for the play-offs, where they will face Chesterfield.

Preston have never gone up via the play-offs in nine previous attempts.

Simon Grayson's side had been in the top two since the start of March and had not lost in the league since 31 January.

But their 18-match unbeaten run in League One came to an end against a Colchester side that stayed up at the expense of Crawley, Notts County and Leyton Orient on the final day.

In a nervy first-half, both sides lacked an attacking edge and Preston centre-back Paul Huntington carved out the away side's best chance but failed to put enough power behind his header.

The hosts, knowing only a victory and other results going their way could help them stay in League One, were unlucky not to lead at the break as Jacob Murphy's attempted lob over keeper Sam Johnstone drifted wide.

However, 11 minutes into the second half, Colchester were gifted a lifeline as Johnstone brought down midfielder Moncur in the box, but Porter blazed his spot-kick over the bar.

Top scorer Joe Garner missed two great chances, first his header from Paul Gallagher's inch-perfect free-kick being deflected over before the 27-year-old nodded wide from just a couple of yards out.

And Preston were made to pay for their missed chances as Moncur and Porter combined to give Colchester the goal they required to secure their unlikely survival in the third tier for another season.

Colchester manager Tony Humes told BBC Essex:

"Credit to the players, they were brilliant against a really good team and it's just amazing. We just kept going and going, stuck to what we believed in and ultimately got the reward.

"I was surprised when the referee gave the penalty but the miss didn't prove important in the end. George Moncur has lots of quality and has that ability to stroke the ball into the net.

"We didn't get any notice of what was going on elsewhere until we scored and these players will only grow from this."

Jermaine Beckford
Jermaine Beckford celebrates after Colchester miss a penalty early in the second half...
David Fox
...but it was the Colchester players who were celebrating survival at full-time



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Walker
  • 31Brindley
  • 6Khumalo
  • 18EastmanBooked at 75mins
  • 15Briggs
  • 38Fox
  • 8GilbeySubstituted forSzmodicsat 80'minutes
  • 21MasseySubstituted forWynterat 90+1'minutes
  • 24Moncur
  • 25MurphySubstituted forSembie-Ferrisat 81'minutes
  • 42Porter


  • 2Wynter
  • 12Lewington
  • 19Healey
  • 27Bonne
  • 28Szmodics
  • 32Lapslie
  • 37Sembie-Ferris


Formation 4-4-2

  • 34JohnstoneBooked at 57mins
  • 5Clarke
  • 23Huntington
  • 6WrightBooked at 50mins
  • 3LairdSubstituted forDaviesat 86'minutes
  • 7HumphreySubstituted forRobinsonat 58'minutes
  • 24Johnson
  • 19Welsh
  • 12Gallagher
  • 10BeckfordSubstituted forEbanks-Blakeat 89'minutes
  • 14Garner


  • 4Wiseman
  • 8Kilkenny
  • 9Davies
  • 15Woods
  • 21Stuckmann
  • 27Robinson
  • 40Ebanks-Blake
Keith Stroud

Match Stats

Home TeamColchesterAway TeamPreston
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Colchester United 1, Preston North End 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Colchester United 1, Preston North End 0.

  3. Post update

    George Moncur (Colchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by John Welsh (Preston North End).

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Colchester United. Alex Wynter replaces Gavin Massey.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Dion Sembie-Ferris (Colchester United) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Preston North End. Sylvain Ebanks-Blake replaces Jermaine Beckford.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by Tom Clarke.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by Sam Johnstone.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sammie Szmodics (Colchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Preston North End. Kevin Davies replaces Scott Laird.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Chris Porter (Colchester United).

  13. Post update

    John Welsh (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Richard Brindley.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Tom Eastman (Colchester United).

  16. Post update

    Joe Garner (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Colchester United 1, Preston North End 0. George Moncur (Colchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Chris Porter.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Colchester United. Conceded by John Welsh.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Colchester United. Dion Sembie-Ferris replaces Jacob Murphy.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Colchester United. Sammie Szmodics replaces Alex Gilbey.

As It Stood

1Bristol City462912596385899
2MK Dons4627109101445791
5Sheff Utd4619141366531371
18Port Vale46159225565-1054
21Notts County461214204563-1850
23Leyton Orient461213215969-1049
View full League One table

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