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Cracking Game Ends Level

21 August 2012

U's and Pompey share the spoils.

The U's drew their first home game of the season 2-2 on Tuesday night as a pulsating game finished all square.

The U’s were on the front foot early on, with Bean getting on the end of a Morrison flick on within the first couple of minutes. However, it came onto him too quickly and it was a difficult opportunity.

With Gavin Massey waiting in the wings, things are looking bright for the U's.

Portsmouth fans will be pleased to see a side that will fight for the cause, but Colchester supporters will also take heart from a side that played some vibrant football during the game.

John Ward's men fought back from behind to lead 2-1, but were immediately pegged back themselves as the game flipped from end to end.

Those early stages were played at a frenetic tempo, but neither of the two goalkeepers were seriously tested in that first ten minutes.

The first real sight of goal came for Wordsworth on the quarter hour mark. With a free kick from a central position 25 yards out, he whipped in a shot destined for the top corner, which Andersen tipped away with a fine stop.

Pompey looked dangerous on the break away, with the pace of their wide men and McLeod keeping the home defence occupied.

Having ridden a spell of visitors’ pressure, the U’s then had opportunities of their own with three corners in quick succession.

The new look Pompey back line held firm, though, as the U’s tested their mettle.

And that proved vital when they took the lead on the half hour mark. A fine through ball by Walker set Rodgers in on goal and he made no mistake with a clinical finish into the bottom corner.

The U’s almost drew level straight away as, from a free kick, the ball broke to Sears and his fierce shot was blocked and away for a corner.

Wilson was the first to go into the book for a foul on McLeod who was escaping towards goal, but the free kick was well defended by the U’s.

The U’s had a chance just as injury time in the first half was announced – a free kick was swung in from the right and O’Toole’s bursting run saw him lift his header over the bar.

The U’s did draw level on the stroke of half time though with an absolute wonder strike. The ball dropped to Rose thirty yards out and he belted one on the half volley into the top corner.

The home side went into half time on a high but were almost immediately behind after the restart.

First McLeod forced a good stop out of Cousins, before a follow up shot cannoned back off the post with the keeper beaten.

The visitors were well on top after the restart with the interval having come at the wrong time for the U’s.

McLeod then went down in the box under pressure from Wilson, but the referee had little interest in giving the spot kick despite the claims from – mainly – the visiting support.

U’s midfielder O’Toole went into the book just after the hour as, after a series of fouls were given against him, he made his feelings known by the ref and was shown the yellow.

The U’s then went up the other end and had two chances of their own as first Wordsworth drifted across goal and shot straight at Andersen, before he later had an effort in the box blocked.

A rare Rose mistake set up Dumbuya midway through the second half and his driven cross only just eluded the far post.

Walker then tested Cousins, who pulled off a fine stop from his long range shot. From the corner, it looked like McLeod was destined to score at the far post but nodded wide from close range.

Wordsworth had a similar – but more difficult – chance at the far post with fifteen left to go. O’Toole did well with the cross but his fellow midfielder was just under too much pressure to get a clean header on it.

Wright replaced Morrison with twelve minutes to go, before O’Toole was replaced by Bond two minutes later.

The U’s took the lead with eight to go as a Wordsworth corner was smashed home by Okuonghae, giving Andersen no chance.

But the lead lasted no time at all as Rodgers hit the post for a second time for the visitors, but this time Obita was on hand to tuck home.

It was all square come the final whistle though and both teams will feel they could have taken all three points.

The chances kept coming and next to have an effort was Sears, but the ball was taken from his toes by a brilliant tackle from Long just in time.

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