Match Report


Sat 12 Mar 16

Colchester United went toe to toe with one of the best teams in the division as they shared the spoils against Wigan Athletic.

Having twice trailed, they went in front in the second half but couldn't hold on as the Latics got what could be a crucial point for their promotion quest. 

And yet the majority of U's fans walked away from WHCS enthused by what they had seen from their side showed real courage and endeavour against Gary Caldwell's men. 

Performances of that nature - and that's the second in three games now after the win against Bradford - give supporters and players alike something to enjoy. 

Wigan started very well in the opening stages of the game and had several chances to take the lead. 

Fortunately for the U's, Elliott Parish made several good saves to keep the scores level.

Firstly, the ball fell at the feet of Will Grigg in the area, but his hooked shot goalwards was saved by the feet of Parish and Grigg was unable to convert the rebound.

Wigan then began a spell of pressure with the ball without creating many openings but in the 26th minute, the game saw both keepers keeping their sides in it.

Max Power was denied by Parish as he latched onto the end of a David Perkins cut back inside the area and the U's quickly went down the other end and created an opening themselves.

Elliot Lee brought down a long ball superbly down the left hand side and cut inside onto his right. His good strike goalwards forced experienced goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen into a good save.

This set the tone for the rest of the half as the game and the U's created another goalscoring opportunity as George Moncur had a curling effort saved and Lee was unable to convert the rebound.

After both sides creating good chances to open the scoring it was Wigan that secured the opening goal of the game. 

Unfortunately for the U's, it came from a mistake as Grigg stole the ball from Tom Eastman. He then picked out Yanic Wildschut who kept his composure in the area to put Wigan in front.

The U's response came almost immediately and what a response it was. 

Alex Gilbey received the ball 25 yards out and decided to try his luck. His fantastic right footed strike found the top corner and the U's were level.

The U's looked to have done enough to make it to half time with the scores level but, just a minute from half time, Wigan regained the lead through Ryan Colclough. 

Wildschut was at the heart of the move once again as he tricked his way into the box before cutting the ball but for Colclough to slot the ball home.

The second half saw much of the same entertainment that happened in the first and probably even stepped up a level. 

The U's didn’t have to wait long to draw level once again as the U's produced another stunning goal. Elliot Lee created some space for himself in the centre of the pitch and then produced a superb left foot strike into the top corner to make it 2-2. 

The momentum then appeared to be with the U's as they looked to take the lead for the first time in the game and they didn't have to wait long for this opportunity. 

The U's were awarded a penalty as Moncur was tripped in the area when he appeared to be going nowhere. The midfielder picked himself up and calmly slotted the ball into the net to make it 3-2 to the U's.

After taking the lead, the U's did a very good job of stopping the visitors as they look to hold onto the lead and a precious three points but Wigan did have their chances. 

Firstly Wildschut toe poked an effort through everyone and wide and then Donervon Daniels had a header land on the roof of the net. Andy Kellett also had a looping cross hit the crossbar but it bounced to safety.

There was late heartbreak for Colchester however, as Wigan equalised in the first minute of injury time as a miss hit shot by Craig Davies deflected up off Chambers and fell perfectly in the area for Grigg to volley the ball past Parish.

The game then entered five minutes of injury time and with just moments left, Wigan substitute Haris Vuckic hit a curling effort just past the post and the U's ended up with a well deserved point. 

The U's will consider themselves unlucky not to pick up all three points as they look to move off the bottom and they now travel to Walsall next week looking for that win.

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