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Rovers Edge Close Encounter

23 August 2014

Single goal separates the two teams.

Both teams had spells of possession without really testing the opposition keeper, and it was one carefully measured finish from Kyle Bennett that made the difference.

The U's search for a first win of the season goes on, as Doncaster Rovers edged a closely fought encounter at the Weston Homes Community Stadium. Following on from a quiet first half of football from both sides, a livelier second ensued. 

Bennett did however manage a breakthrough goal for Rovers early in the second, which proved to be decisive in a game that didn't have a multitude of clear cut chances.

Doncaster took the initiative early on with bright wing play through Theo Robinson and the majority of possession, limiting Colchester to play towards Jabo Ibehre and Freddie Sears.

The counter attacking style however did suit the U’s strikers as Ibehre was able to hold up the ball and set Sears loose as he played on the shoulder.

Loanee George Moncur looks to have taken a real grip on the U’s midfield early on in the season and all attacking play early on involved him directly.

Colchester made good use of a counter attack midway through the half as Sears played a quick one-two with Sean Clohessy and swung a shot from inside the box.

The shot deflected into the path of Ibehre but on the turn and under pressure from Luke McCullough, it was comfortable enough for Jed Steer in the Rovers goal.

Whilst the U's attempted to prompt and probe, they were caught in possession on a couple of occasions, giving Doncaster opportunities to punish them.

Late in the half Robinson really should have done just that when he latched onto James Coppinger’s floated cross, the free header however somehow crept over Sam Walker’s bar.

Despite less possession U’s were lively and Dom Vose particularly stood out as he took on and beat defenders, in the final third though he lacked composure with a shot and cross having no impact.

Time ran out for both either side to make a first half impact, so it would be the second half that would separate the two teams.

Colchester learned from the first half for an early period at least, keeping hold of the ball better.

Tom Eastman was a rock in defence, twice denying Robinson through on goal as Rovers pressured the backline. Dean Furman did manage to pull a shot away but the low drive was simple for Walker.

Hectic scenes unravelled in the U’s box on 65 minutes as Eastman and Magnus Okuonghae blocked three shots between them with the ball falling back to a Rovers player each time and no effective clearance.

The attack looked to be subdued and finally cleared, but when Bennett picked up the ball inside the box he made no mistake an avoiding the bodies and curled a shot low and past Walker to put Rovers ahead.

Only minutes later the lead really should’ve been doubled. Coppinger beat the offside and laid a ball across the goal line for Furman to tap in, fortunately for U’s Ben Gordon was somehow able to block.

That spell spell prompted a triple change by Joe Dunne, with Craig Eastmond, Gavin Massey and Dan Holman replacing Moncur, Vose and Marcus Bean who was on a booking.

The U’s late additions provided flare in attack but Rovers had the next chance.

With the ball worked across the box Robinson had a chance to finish the game off but stalled and saw his shot blocked.

Unfortunately, from there for Colchester, the clock quickly ran down, leaving U’s still searching for that first win of the season.

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