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Match Reports

U's Begin With Draw

Points shared at Notts County

4 August 2018

Colchester United have drawn 0-0 on the opening day of the season, to get the campaign off to a solid start.

The best chance in the first half came when Frankie Kent's header was cleared off the line by Shaun Brisley, with a few U's appeals for handball waved away.

Both sides had chances after the break, but Dillon Barnes tipped over Thomas' lob and the crossbar denied Tom Eastman getting a winner.

The game started with the hosts knocking the ball around confidently, but they didn’t threaten a U’s defence disciplined in their positioning.

And the visitors very quickly got on top of the game, and got forward on numerous occasions in the middle twenty minutes of the half.

A Brennan Dickenson break ended with Frank Nouble having a cross cleared behind, and Frankie Kent’s header was cleared from a yard out by Shaun Brisley.

That came on twelve minutes, and seven later, it was crosses that caused some discomfort in the home box.

Dickenson’s was flicked partially away, then Ryan Jackson’s ball was also cleared under pressure.

Nouble was next to trouble the hosts – first, he chested down a ball into him, but was tackled before he could shoot.

The ball fell to the U’s and when the cross came in from Jackson, Nouble’s flick header flew just wide of the far post.

A great ball forward on the right from Aaron Collins on twenty eight minutes allowed Jackson to stride onto it and cross first time, just evading Sammie Szmodics at the near post and Nouble at the back.

Notts County started to put the ball forward into Stead and Hemmings quicker towards the end of the half, and it was the hosts with the two remaining chances of the half.

A Thomas shot was blocked by Luke Prosser, before Boldewijn whipped a shot just wide in the forty-fourth minute.

The second period started with the home side on the attack, Prosser having to block a Thomas shot seconds in.

At the other end, Nouble headed wide from a good position and Prosser’s header looped over from a corner.

The game had a great flow to it and both sides were getting chances at goal.

Thomas, who looked to be the dangerman for the hosts, ghosted inside Jackson before chesting the ball down and lobbing it goalwards over Barnes.

Barnes backtracked superbly though, and tipped the effort over the crossbar and out for a corner.

Nouble helped create the U’s next chance, closing down keeper Fitzsimons and the clearance only went to Szmodics.

The U’s youngster raced goalwards, but his touch took him a bit wide and he elected to cross for Collins instead of shooting.

Collins took a touch of his own to steady himself, but lost his footing and the chance was gone.

The U’s best chance of the game came on seventy five minutes, through the unlucky source of Tom Eastman.

He broke inside, played a great one-two with Collins and curled a delightful effort past Fitzsimons and up towards the top corner of the Notts County goal.

Unfortunately, it didn’t dip enough and came back off the crossbar.

That was Collins’ last involvement, he was replaced by Mikael Mandron seconds later as McGreal looked to get a late winner.

The U’s were fortunate that a home substitute didn’t make an immediate impression though, with Dennis putting a chance over the bar from six yards out, a chance he probably should have scored.

Jackson, who travelled up to Nottingham on his own on Saturday morning having witnessed the birth of a new daughter, made a lung bursting run to get on the end of a Szmodics pass, but a tired shot was easily saved by Fitzsimons.

The final effort of the game also came for the U’s, with Prosser’s header clipping the outside of the post.

The final whistle went with both teams feeling that they had chances to win the game, but it was a solid opening day’s work for the visiting U’s.

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