Colchester beat champions Lincoln but narrowly miss out on play-offs

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A brace from Sammie Szmodics, right, proved in vain for Colchester who narrowly missed out on a play-off place. (Simon Cooper/PA)

Colchester ran riot in the first half at Sky Bet League Two champions Lincoln to secure a thumping 3-0 win only to agonisingly miss out on the play-offs.

Sammie Szmodics’ brace and Brennan Dickenson’s opener at Sincil Bank proved in vain as John McGreal’s men fell a point short of seventh spot after Newport County grabbed a late equaliser at Morecambe

After surviving early Lincoln pressure the visitors took the lead in the 21st minute when Dickenson met Sam Saunders’ corner from the right and clipped the ball through a crowded six-yard box, which went in off the post.

Six minutes later the U’s doubled their lead through Szmodics who stooped to head home Ryan Jackson’s low cross with Lincoln’s defence napping.

Lincoln’s afternoon went from bad to worse in the 44thminute when Szmodics blocked goalkeeper Josh Vickers’ clearance from a short Cian Bolger backpass before smashing the ball into an empty net.

Danny Cowley’s men had the chance to reduce the arrears when Ethan Ross picked up a backpass early in the second half, but Shay McCartan’s effort was blocked.

With Colchester counting down the minutes they were denied a play-off spot when Newport’s Jamille Matt scored in the 87th minute of his side’s game at Morecambe to lift County above the U’s into seventh place.