Colchester United have won 5-4 on penalties to progress in the Carabao Cup on a remarkable evening for John McGreal's men.
Against a strong Crystal Palace side, Dean Gerken and Noah Chilvers made themselves heroes on the night.
The Colchester United goalkeeper made an amazing save to deny England international Andros Townsend on the very first penalty of the shoot out. Colchester scored all of their penalties with Noah Chilvers stepping up to take the final penalty and send Colchester into the third round.
The game started in a lively fashion with Gerken providing a flying save to stop Crystal Palace from taking an early lead. The Palace midfielder, Victor Camarasa had a good shot from the edge of the box, but the U’s keeper managed to beat the shot away.
Colchester then took the game to the hosts, with a couple of good chances. Norris and Gambin worked well together to get the winger in down the left before his shot was blocked away for a corner. Clampin was the next to break, again down the left hand side.
The young defender’s shot was well saved by Wayne Hennessey, but Frank Nouble was unable to sort his feet out and tap it into the empty net.
Dean Gerken was again called into action in the first 15 minutes, saving well from Benteke who tried to dink the ball over him.
Colchester United were having a lot of joy down the left hand side against Palace debutant Sam Woods, with Gambin drilling a cross along the floor and it reached Nouble, but he was just ahead of the ball and couldn’t direct his shot goalwards.
Christian Benteke went closest in the first half after he was played through. He tried to lift the ball over Gerken, but couldn’t keep his shot down.
It hit the underside of the bar, bounced down on the line and was cleared by a gaggle of U’s players on the line.
The U’s were the last team to have an effort in the first half with a crossed free kick lifted over to Eastman, who managed to head the ball back to Luke Prosser.
He controlled the ball well but couldn’t direct it away from Wayne Hennessey who saved the shot with ease.
In the second half chances were few and far between initially. Norris tested Hennessey first with a shot that was easy for the Palace keeper to save.
Wilfried Zaha was then brought on to try and break the U’s defence, but he was unable to do so, with Ryan Jackson keeping the Premier League star at bay.
Jackson was next to go close after Nouble worked the ball well down the left hand side. His shot was deflected out for a corner after confusion in the box.
Crystal Palace tried to put the pressure on late in the game bringing on another striker in the form of Jordan Ayew, but he could not get through Eastmand and Prosser.
Waves and waves of pressure had to be soaked up by Colchester United with Norris clearing the ball off the line, and Gerken punching away, but the defence held strong and the game went to penalties.
Andros Townsend went first, and Gerken made a fantastic save. Both teams then scored all their remaining penalties. Norris, Nouble, Cowan-Hall and finally Noah Chilvers rolled home the final strike to put Colchester United into the Third Round.
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