We take a look at Tom's performance and that of George Moncur.
Saturday saw a meeting of two young sides who play football the right way, but it was Doncaster who emerged as 1-0 winners against a resilient Colchester side, who slipped to their first home defeat of the season.
It was a game that had very little clear cut goalmouth action but both teams saw plenty of the ball as they looked to break each other down. Colchester’s defence was resilient throughout but they failed to keep out a late Bennett strike which claimed Doncaster’s third win of the season.
Player Watch: Tom Eastman
Eastman led by example and was very calm both defensively and offensively as the U’s back four remained solid and unbeaten in the first half.
He found Sears with a few great cross-field balls early on which stretched Doncaster back line as Freddie looked to work the channels early on to create space for Ibehre in the centre to try and force a break through.
Eastman showed a great piece of individual defending to end the first half strong as Doncaster’s Bennette skinned the ball brilliant past Clohessy which enabled him a clear run on Colchester’s back four but Eastman showed great awareness as he stood strong and kept on his feet to tackle Bennette brilliant to regain possession of the ball.
Doncaster took the lead on the 65th minute as Colchester had a defensive nightmare trying to clear the ball as they scrambled for it in the box, only for the ball to fall to Bennette who cut the ball back brilliantly to create space and struck a superb strike past Walker.
Eastman continued to knock balls forward and did so throughout the second half and only 1 out of his 5 balls failed to reach a player – a stat the centre back will be pleased with.
Holman was introduced in the second half and also looked to run the channels as Eastman again picked him out with a fantastic ball but unfortunately nothing could come from it as Holman couldn’t find support ahead of him for a decisive pass.
It is clearly an area the manager and his team have been working on in training to try and get the ball forward from the back for their smaller faster strikers (Sears and Holman) to take advantage of.
Player Watch: George Moncur
Ben Gordon had a very challenging few minutes at left back as Doncaster pressured down the right hand side looking for a break-through but he was covered extremely well by George Moncur.
George Moncur intercepted a dangerous cross inside the six yard box in the first three minutes which he managed to scramble clear and take the pressure off Colchester as Doncaster saw plenty of the ball in the opening stages.
Moncur was something of a bright spark in a half of little to savour as he continued to try and get on the ball and demanded it at every turn. His work rate was impressive and overall his touch of the ball and positional awareness was giving Doncaster something to think about.
Colchester could have maybe tested the keeper more but Moncur certainly wasn’t afraid to have a shot as he dragged a few shots wide in both halves but the manager will be pleased with the way the young midfielder was working himself into good positions for the ball.
All though it was a performance that did not bear fruit for Colchester, positives can be taken from two of their players who played relatively well.
Eastman is now one of the more senior members of the side and is beginning to grow in confidence as he makes the Colchester defence his own and that is something which will give Joe Dunne plenty of reassurance as he looks for his young team to grow in experience.
Moncur was bright throughout but his relentless performance level meant he was substituted late on in the second half as the manager looked to change the shape of the game as he made three substitutes to try and turn the game in the home sides favour.