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Another Decent Test For U's

8 August 2012

Town edge victory in competitive game.

Town should have taken the lead early on, when Okuonghae was robbed on the edge of the box. Martin had loads of time to pick his shot, but took too long and it allowed Cousins to block and flick it over the bar.

Karl Duguid found himself in the thick of the goalmouth action after the interval, but it was Clinton Morrison who notched his first Colchester goal to mark their performance in that second period.

The visitors had moved themselves into a two goal lead by half-time but, like the game against Derby a few days earlier, the U's grew into the match and improved in the second half.

Ipswich ran out narrow winners in the U's final home pre-season friendly - but once again there would have been signs of encouragement for boss John Ward as he prepares for the new season.

The winger was in again three minutes later after good work by Emmanuel-Thomas, but he lifted his shot over the bar despite claims by the visiting players that Cousins had helped it on its way.

The U’s first chance came on seven minutes as Morrison and O’Toole combined to send Duguid in but, on his weaker left foot, he could only help his shot past the near post.

Next Morrison turned striker himself, holding off the attentions of Chambers to lift a shot past Loach, but over the crossbar too.

After that early flurry of chances, things settled down a bit going into the mid-point of the first half, but that all changed on 22 minutes. 

A good ball by Emmanuel-Thomas saw him slide in Edwards, whose fine cross to the far post was helped home by Chopra, who couldn’t miss.

The U’s almost repeated the goal at the other end, within minutes.

This time it was Wordsworth down the U’s right and his cross to the far post to the waiting Duguid was cut out in the nick of time by Edwards.

Emmanuel-Thomas’ quick feet were causing problems for the U’s and it was a fine block by O’Toole who stopped Chopra getting a second from close range.

The U’s found their own chances becoming limited as the half wore on, and found themselves two down just after the half hour mark.

Martin slid the ball through and it looked like White might have done enough to get his tackle in at the back, but Chopra retained his composure to roll the ball home past Cousins.

They almost got a third as Emmanuel-Thomas took time to bend one towards the top corner, but a superb save from Cousins saw him tip it past the post.

The U’s trailed by two at the break but found their way back into the game ten minutes into the second half.

Wordsworth was influential in the goal, bringing it out of midfield and playing off one or two U’s players on his path to the penalty area.

He set up Duguid, whose effort was blocked by Delaney, but Morrison finished calmly as he slid the ball home past two and in at the near post.

The U’s had their tails up at this point and nearly equalised eighteen minutes into the second half. The ball was nodded back across goal by Eastman and Duguid scuffed his effort, allowing Town to clear.

Duguid went close again straight after, as a free kick went right across goal and the U’s legend couldn’t get a touch on it at a tight angle.

The U’s made their first change with 20 minutes to go as young Alex Gilbey came on for Anthony Wordsworth.

Town had a chance to seal the deal shortly after that substitution, as a cross to the far post found Martin only five yards out but he somehow headed over the bar.

The U’s then went down the other end and had a chance of their own as a move saw Coker slide in a low cross that Morrison turned towards goal that Cresswell cleared.

As much as the U’s were having chances, Town came close to adding a third when Edwards let fly on the angle, but Cousins stood strong and helped it on its way with a good stop.

Those remaining minutes passed without too much incident and, whilst Paul Jewell will be happy with another win, U's boss John Ward will once again be encouraged by how his side grew into the game.

The U’s made their second change with nine minutes to go, introducing Drey Wright for Andy Bond.

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