Match Report


Tue 25 Mar 14

The U's ended up defeated but with their spirit unbeaten as they went toe to toe with the league leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers in the second half.  

They endured a horrible first forty-five minutes and trailed by three at the break and the game looked lost at that point. 

And yet first Colchester goals for Alex Gilbey - his first senior goal - and David Wright - his first for four and a half years - gave the visitors hope. 

Wolves had only conceded nine all season at home prior to this, but the U’s had them rattled in the second half as they came so close to an amazing draw. 

Indeed, it was only the width of a post that had denied them an equaliser, as Sears crashed one off the woodwork with Ikeme beaten.  

No points, but bundles of credit to a side that is going to fight every step of the way this season. 

The U’s got off to a nightmare start as they fell behind after just 53 seconds. The ball was with Jacobs on the left and his cross eluded Okuonghae in the middle and beat the despairing dive of Walker as it found the far side netting.

They almost doubled their advantage on eleven minutes as Jacobs got in behind the U’s defence, but Walker stood strong to turn the ball away with his feet.

The game settled down somewhat after that, and the U’s had a great chance on 19 minutes. The referee got in the way of a clearance and Ibehre picked up the ball. He laid it back to Vose, who forced Ikeme into a fine save as he tipped it over the bar.

Next, Gilbey drove forward into the Wolves half and slid in Ibehre with a nice ball. His shot was blocked at source, when perhaps the return ball to Gilbey was the better option.

However, the U’s improvement came unstuck just before the half hour mark. Dickson undercooked his backpass to Walker and it allowed Edwards to nip in and round Walker to tuck home into the empty net.

Clarke was next to go close for the home side, rising highest to win a header at the far post to force Walker into a great stop low to his left.

The U’s were trying to stick to their passing game, but Clarke got in again eight minutes before half time. He ghosted off Okuonghae and headed his effort back across goal, but it dropped wide of the woodwork.

Clarke was instrumental in Wolves third just before half time. He got in on goal and although Walker pulled off a good save, it rolled straight to Henry, who tucked home.

The U’s trailed by three at the break, and it was ten minutes after the interval before their next good chance.

Jacobs showed his close control and electric pace to get past three U’s players and drill in a low shot that went just wide of the upright.

Next, Edwards looked offside but was allowed to run through by the linesman. However, his effort lacked composure and he shot over.

The U’s made their first changes on the hour mark, introducing Sears and Morrison for Ibehre and Eastmond.

They got a glimmer of hope not long after the substitutions as they grabbed their first goal of the game. Vose stood up a cross into the middle and Gilbey glanced home a fine header for his first professional goal.

They had another chance ten minutes later as substitute Sears got through the middle and laid it out wide to Gilbey. He opened up to use his right foot, but lifted his effort over the bar.

They did get a second with eighteen left on the clock. Again it was a cross from the left hand side of the box, as Sears lifted the ball into the box for David Wright to smash home his first goal in four and a half years.

The U’s kept seeking the equaliser, Szmodics rolled his man and had the ball nicked off his toes just in time by Stearman.

Then Dickson fired well over as the game entered its last ten minutes.

They went within inches of an equaliser as Szmodics lay it back into the path of Sears, who struck a fine effort against the base of the post.

Szmodics then hit his second low shot that forced Ikeme into a low save as the dying stages were all U’s. 

However, as they pressed and pressed and pressed, Wolves hit them on the counter and substitute Dicko kept calm to slot home a heart breaking fourth for the home side.

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