Match Report


Sat 12 Oct 13

The points were shared following a tightly fought contest in which the U’s lead for 84 minutes, only to see Freddie Sears sixth minute goal cancelled out by an injury time leveller from an Andy Taylor free kick. 

Colchester’s Alex Gilbey, Jabo Ibehre and Luke Garbutt were the stand out players for the home side with the latter awarded man of the match.

Walsall started the game brightly with efforts from Craig Westcarr on and off target but Colchester’s lively midfield soon settled down to control the game.

Sears got his fourth goal of the season with a wonderful effort from just outside of the box after Gavin Massey picked him out from a wide position following a decent bit of play between Marcus Bean and Alex Gilbey down the left flank.

Luke Garbutt had a penalty shout when Ibehre took the ball down in penalty area and passed to Garbutt out wide who weaved between two defenders to get into the box and then go down under Chambers’s challenge, the referee waved away claims for a penalty.

Colchester created another great chance as Jabo Ibehre broke away from his marker and raced into the box from the left, a skewered shot ended up nearly setting Sears for his second but he couldn’t quite reach the ball.

The home side were nearly made to pay instantly as James Baxendale found himself in shooting range and saw his shot rattle the cross bar. Following this attack Walsall claimed a handball in the box after a corner set piece but referee Simpson again gave no penalty.

The U’s were soon back in control and came close to getting a second when Marcus Bean slipped the ball into the box for Sears but an unaware and offside Ibehre took on the shot which went over the bar. 

An impressive Alex Gilbey then created another great chance squaring the ball across goal as he raced into the box following a good bit of play between himself and Ibehre but the pass found no one.

Again the away side struck the woodwork when Sam Manton’s injury time shot rebounded off of the near post, leaving the U’s deservedly ahead at half time after standout performances from Gilbey and Ibehre for the home side. 

The second half started slowly with U’s keeper Walker making routine saves from tame Walsall efforts. Up the other end Gilbey forced Richard O’Donnell into a save when he latched onto Garbutt’s low freekick.

Craig Eastmond’s excellent closing down nearly led to a chance for Ibehre as Eastmond won the ball and drove forward but his through ball to the striker was over hit and collected by O’Donnell.

Walsall upped the pressure but could only hit the ball into Magnus Okuonghae who blocked convincingly in the box. Soon after the referee was faced with a third penalty shout, this time for a Walsall handball but nothing given.

The returning Gavin Massey made way for Jeffery Monakana just after the hour mark as both teams made subs with Romaine Sawyers and Julian Grey coming on for Walsall with Nicky Featherstone and Baxendale coming off.

A resolute Colchester defence withstood attack after attack from a frustrated Walsall side who lacked any composure in the final third, a string of corners with ten minutes to go found no efforts on target for the Saddlers. 

Meanwhile U’s subs Monakana and Szmodics were lively in midfield with latter getting an important block on a shot from Westcarr.

Deep into the fifth minute of injury time Walsall got their equaliser from a direct free kick which was struck perfectly into the top left corner by Andy Taylor to earn the away side a point and leave U’s bitterly disappointed.

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