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Club News

Player Watch: Jabo Ibehre

10 August 2014

A look back at the Oldham game.

14:56 – This season’s skipper Magnus Okuonghae leads his troops into the arena as the countdown is finally over…the 2014/15 season is nearly a-go!

We took a look at the performances of captain Magnus Okuonghae and striker Jabo Ibehre, with Ben Manning assessing their performances.
The U's started the season with a 2-2 draw against Oldham Athletic on Saturday as they fought back in the second half to earn an important point.

14:58 – Jabo Ibehre receives his final instructions from manager Joe Dunne as Colchester’s season is just two minutes away.

PREMATCH HUDDLE
15:00 - Freddie Sears kicks off and the season is underway.

15:02 – Okuonghae hits a raking ball out towards Drey Wright but he can’t get it under control and it’s out for a throw.

15:04 – Ibehre receives the throw from Ben Gordon and uses his strength to wriggle away from two challenges and draw the foul. The referee plays advantage but the U’s can’t capitalise.

15:06 – GOAL! Ibehre has two shots blocked from a Craig Eastmond corner but the ball falls nicely to the feet of Magnus Okuonghae and he strokes home with his right foot.

15:11 – Ibehre v Brian Wilson is going to be a key battle this afternoon. Another header won by the Colchester #9. 

15:12 – The pitch opens up for Okuonghae to run at Oldham and despite the cries of ‘shoot’ from the fans behind him, the skipper elects to fake a shot and instead pass out wide.

15:14 – Ibehre isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty as he tracks back into his own half to dispossess the Oldham man.

15:16 – Once again the captain isn’t afraid to try a searching cross-field ball over the top as he connects with Wright in the left channel, and puts the visitors under pressure. 

15:18 – 1-1

15:19 – Important defensive header from Okuonghae snuffs out another Oldham attack.
15:23 – Ibehre flicks a ball to an onrushing Sears, but the return pass is too close to a defender in a 2-on-2 situation.

15:32 – Ibehre again uses his body to keep possession but Genseric Kusunga out-muscles him eventually an wins his side a throw.

15:34 – CLOSE! Ibehre gets his toe on the end of a lofted through ball but his delicate lob just creeps wide. Shadow on the post stuff.

15:40 – Freddie Sears has a crack from 25 yards but it’s easily saved by Rachubka, the U's fall behind shortly afterwards - 1-2.

15:44 – A chance for Ibehre to get United back on terms but he doesn’t anticipate Moncur’s corner reaching him and it bounces wide off his shin as he slides in.

HALF TIME 1-2

16:03 – Okuonghae again leads the team out, this time with a 1-goal deficit. Big half ahead.

16:06 – Okuonghae blocks a cross and issues a rallying cry to his teammates to try and spur a clearance.

16:08 –Ibehre stretches and just gets his head to a corner, and from nowhere Alex Gilbey pulls out a long-range overhead kick which is tipped over.

16:11 – The skipper and Tom Eastman combine to stop Jonson Clarke-Harris from getting a shot off in their own area.

16:14 – Ibehre wins a free kick 20 yards from goal. Real chance for the U’s to get back into this.

16:17 – GOAL! Ibehre shows good strength once again and gets into the box before squaring to Freddie Sears who cracks his shot against the base of the post. The rebound falls to Moncur who dispatches it into the top corner. 2-2

16:23 – It’s a pat on the back from the gaffer for Ibehre who does well to bring a high throw under control with two touches but pokes the ball straight out of play.

16:27 – Jabo Ibehre is unhappy as he feels he was pulled back in the box as he went for a cross but it’s only a corner, which does little more than hit him as he waited for it to come across and is easily cleared.

16:33 – Captain Okuonghae forces Clarke-Harris wide enough away from goal that he can only find the side netting.

16:34 – Ibehre does superbly to bring down the high ball ahead of the challenging James Wilson but his volley is high and wide.

16:40 – Oldham have brought on George Elokobi to deal with Ibehre’s physicality for the last 5 or so minutes.

16:43 – Okuonghae throws himself at a cross but it just evades his head and eventually goes out for a goal kick.

16:51 – Powerful run down the right as the clock runs down from Ibehre, but Clohessy’s cross can’t find Holman.

His goal was well taken and got the U’s season off to the best possible start. Whilst defending his own net, he proved strong in the tackle and strong in the air, one particular chance for Clarke-Harris was snuffed out as Colchester’s number four shepherded him too wide to have a meaningful effort and it ended up in the side netting.

Okuonghae was a calming presence throughout the encounter, marshalling his three fellow defenders and was constantly assured in possession.
SUMMARY
The tussles under the high ball in particular will be a source of hope for his manager as time and again the big man was easily able to muscle his defenders away from the ball and allowed him to bring others into play.

Constantly troubling defenders in the air, the frontman could have had a hat-trick on another day, as he had a sliding shot that sliced off his shin, a beautifully delicate lob that bounced agonisingly close to the outside of the post, and finally a corner that he hadn’t anticipated reaching him that bounced off his foot and back into the crowd of legs.

Meanwhile Jabo Ibehre looked up for this game from the off.

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