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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

08 September 2018 Venue Prenton Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

Pell Strike Earns U's Draw

Points shared at Tranmere

8 September 2018

Colchester United have drawn 1-1 at Prenton Park to maintain their unbeaten away record.

The U's went behind in the first half, when James Norwood drilled his shot into the bottom corner past Dillon Barnes' right hand.

The equaliser came on the hour, when Harry Pell capitalised on the Tranmere keeper's weak palm out and put his sidefoot volley into the corner.

The home side started the game on the front foot, and their vocal support thought they had scored an opener on seven minutes.

Norwood got on the end of a left wing cross, but the flag was up for offside and the effort was disallowed.

Three minutes later, the U’s had their first effort at goal, but Sammie Szmodcis’ shot well over after being found by Luke Norris.

Cole Stockton then miskicked completely from a rebound when Dillon Barnes had parried out a Smith shot.

A better rebound chance came the U’s way on twenty two minutes, but Szmodics lobbed wide after Norris was denied by a block from keeper Scott Davies.

That started a good spell for the U’s and Frank Nouble shot over after cutting inside from the right side of the pitch.

The hosts finished the half better, and top scorer Norwood put them ahead four minutes before the break.

Smith played him in on the right, and he drilled his shot across Barnes, who was disappointed he didn’t get down in time to prevent it going into the corner.

Whatever John McGreal and Steve Ball said to the U’s players during the half time break, it worked and the hosts were on the back foot from the moment the second half started.

And within seconds of the half, Frank Nouble shot narrowly wide after Norris had set up a chance for him on the edge of the box.

Two minutes later, the U’s were denied what looked like a blatant penalty, when he was pulled back by McNulty just inside the area.

The U’s continued to take the game to Tranmere, and almost got a leveller on fifty two minutes.

A Brennan Dickenson free-kick found its way to the far post and Tom Eastman, who was probably going for goal, lifted his effort back into the six yard box.

Frankie Kent was denied at the near post, then fantastic defending prevented Pell scoring at the far post.

Pell ended up in the back of the net, with a cut across the bridge of his nose and he had to go off temporarily to stem the blood.

He returned to the pitch with a big bandage on his face, with looked uncomfortable for the U’s midfielder.

The second he was able to remove it with the blood flow stopped, he popped up with the equaliser for the U’s.

A Dickenson cross on sixty six minutes went into the box, home keeper Davies didn’t get any distance with a weak palm away, and Pell calmly volleyed the ball home.

At this stage, it was the U’s who looked more likely to score a winner, but Barnes made the best saves in the final stages – both in the same incident.

First, he saved from Connor Jennings, then prevented sub Paul Mullins scoring when the ball came back into the six yard area.

Courtney Senior replaced Dickenson, and then Mikael Mandron came on for a frustrated Luke Norris, as the U’s looked for a late winner, but the scores remained level.

The final whistle went after five minutes of injury time, with the U’s earning a valuable point that continued their unbeaten away run.

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