Match Report

 

Tue 23 Oct 12

Another superb performance from Joe Dunne's ever improving Colchester United saw them soar into the top half of the table and move to within sight of the play-off spots.

The juggernaut created by the U's Irish management duo shows no sign of abating, as a fine attacking display was supplemented with a third consecutive clean sheet, as they worked hard at both ends of the pitch. 

Confidence is a wonderful thing and it is clearly flowing through the U's at the moment, as a fifth win in six has catapulted them away from the trouble zone and into the contenders at the right end of the table. 

The U’s made the first change to a league starting eleven in six games under Joe Dunne, with Sanchez Watt failing to recover from his weekend injury – Ian Henderson getting the nod in the front three of the U’s team.

Meanwhile, Brian Wilson was able to recover from the groin problem that saw his game against Carlisle truncated to ensure it was a settled back four for Dunne’s team.

The U’s had the first half sight of goal as a fine switch ball from Massey set Henderson away. He helped it back to Wilson, whose cross was just about collected at his near post by Allsop.

The U’s then got Massey away down the left and he attempted a 1-2 with Bean, whose flick around the corner didn’t quite reach his team-mate in what would have been a great chance for the winger.

Wilson then returned to being provider, getting in on the right and sending over a cross that found Okuonghae in the middle, but his header was straight at Allsop.

It was a strong start from the visitors, who stung the hands of Allsop with a fierce free kick that the keeper palmed away from danger.

It wasn’t all the U’s, though, as the home side had two chances in quick succession.

They both fell to Brunt. The first came from a scooped Rowlands cross, which he could only help over the bar, before he then cut  inside to curl in a shot that Cousins tipped around the post with a good save.

The O’s were growing into the game, but the U’s cleared a dangerous set piece to get Massey away down the right and he ended up outside the home box to fizz in a shot that Allsop collected.

It was an open encounter, with both defences having to be on their toes against tricky wingers.

After another spell of Colchester pressure, Wagstaff struck a shot into Cousins’ arms, but the U’s got the lead their efforts deserved.

Another good move saw Massey help the ball into Wordsworth’s path and, in confident fashion, he swept it home past Allsop first time.

The U’s were a goal to the good at half time and they doubled their advantage six minutes after the restart.

Some great work by Ibehre saw him pass to Massey, who in turn laid it to Eastmond.

His stabbed shot was spilt by the keeper, and Henderson was quickest to react as he bundled the ball home past Allsop at the second time of asking.

The U’s were in control at this point and frustrations were starting to rise amongst the home supporters.

Orient boss Russell Slade introduced ex-Col U man David Mooney and winger Lee Cook, as he sought a way back into the game.

Chances were at a premium for the home team, but they were being presented with a series of set pieces by the U’s around the edge of the penalty area.

Mooney dragged one shot wide of Cousins’ far post, before Wagstaff tucked home the rebound from Odubajo’s shot. However, home celebrations were cut short as the linesman’s flag quickly went up.

Orient were growing into the match, but the U's made a change to shore things up into the last ten minutes with John-Joe O'Toole coming on for Craig Eastmond, and Karl Duguid came on for Marcus Bean. 

The U's were keeping the home side at bay and almost got a third as Ibehre used his undoubted strength to hold off his man and shoot just wide of goal. 

Boss Joe Dunne did not want his side to relax, though, as they sought to see out the game and retain their clean sheet. 

Mooney flashed a header over as injury time began, but it was as close as the home side had come in a commanding display by the U's.

They saw it out for a third clean sheet and a big victory. Great times!

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