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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

22 July 2017 Venue Ironmongery Direct Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

Braintree Town
0 - 3
Colchester United
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Match Reports

U's Come Through Braintree Test

New boys both involved in U's win

22 July 2017

The U’s have continued their winning pre-season, with a 3-0 victory at Braintree Town.

Two goals from Sammie Szmodics and one from Louis Dunne saw off the Iron to make it five wins from five games.

As has been the case throughout pre-season, John McGreal shuffled his starting eleven for this latest build-up fixture.

New signing Cole Kpekawa came in, playing on the left side of a defensive three and fellow new boy Mikael Mandron was named on the bench.

It was the U’s that started the game on the front foot, keeping good possession in the early stages, and getting the first shot in only the second minute.

Diaz Wright took a short corner, got the return but couldn’t control his curling effort from just outside the box.

Braintree midfielder Billy Crook hit a free kick over the bar at the other end on fourteen minutes, before Dernell Wynter also fired over from distance.

The U’s started to really take the game to the hosts, with Jackson providing chances in quick succession for Denny Johnston at close range and Sammie Szmodics.

Johnstone’s shot was saved, before Szmodics was denied by a last ditch tackle that went for a corner.

From the set piece, Johnstone couldn’t find the target with a far post header but the U’s were asking questions of the home defence.

And on twenty six minutes, it was that defence that gifted the U’s the lead.

Szmodics latched onto a misplaced pass, and cleverly dinked the ball over the diving keeper to put the U’s ahead.

Lewis Kinsella then had sight of goal after good play from Tariq Issa and Szmodics, but McDonald in the home goal smothered the shot at his near post.

The first save that Dillon Barnes had to make came in the thirty seventh minute, getting comfortably behind a Crook effort from outside the box.

Wright then shot wide from similar distance, before home defender Mark Okoye went on a run that ended with a weak shot straight at Barnes.

That was the final chance of the first half, with the U’s good value for their one goal advantage.

Drey Wright, Louis Dunne and Cameron James replaced Kinsella, Kpekawa and Johnstone at the break, but it was again the U’s that started the half better.

A Diaz Wright run on fifty minutes was halted on the edge of the box, and Tommy O’Sullivan’s free kick whistled just over the bar.

Two more subs were introduced on the hour mark, with new signing Mikael Mandron replacing Issa and Kane Vincent-Young coming on for Jackson.

And the new boy Mandron was involved in the U’s second goal two minutes later.

He was found by a flick from O’Sullivan, moved the ball onto Drey Wright and the final ball found Szmodics who finished smartly to score his and the U’s second.

And Mandron almost found Szmodics for his hat-trick, but a last ditch tackle prevented the ball finding its way across the box.

Another raft of substitutions came on seventy minutes, seconds after Drey Wright was denied by a smart save from McDonald.

Sean Murray, Tom Lappslie, Frankie Kent and Craig Slater entered the fray, coming on for Diaz Wright, Szmodics, O’Sullivan and Wynter.

Mandron was then denied when his shot was deflected over the bar, with Eastman’s header then flying wide from the corner.

On seventy six minutes, Kane Vincent-Young powered forward, but his angled shot was pushed over the bar.

The U’s were denied a third by the offside flag nine minutes from time, when Drey Wright just ahead of the home defence when he got to a cross from Dunne.

A third came less than a minute later though, with Slater providing a great reverse pass for Dunne to finish.

Sean Murray found himself a bit of space on eighty six minutes, but Mandron couldn’t capitalise and was denied by a decent save from the home keeper.

The final whistle went bang on ninety minutes, with the U's making it five wins in five pre-season games, without conceding a goal.

Ipswich Town are next, coming to the WHCS on Tuesday night.

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