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Match Reports

Late Drama Seals All Three Points

U's close the gap on the play-offs with midweek win

13 February 2018

A dramatic late winner from Mikael Mandron secured all three points for Colchester United and closed the gap on the play-off spots.

John McGreal made the call to include Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe from the start of the game and it paid dividends as the former Maldon man scored one and set up the other on his first start for the U's.

And Mandron's late header was enough to ensure a vital home win as the season enters the business end.

It was a lively start to the game, with both sides seeking a path to goal in the early stages of the match.

Chances were at a premium, however, before Comley decided on 16 minutes to strike from distance, forcing a good save out of Burge in the Coventry goal.

The U’s were putting together some lovely football and almost got Senior in on the 20 minute mark, but his touch was just too heavy as it opened up for him 25 yards from goal.

Their tenacity was impressive and Comley’s hard work set the ball out to Senior and, when his cross came back out to the edge of the box, Stevenson lifted his effort over the bar.

But the U’s did get their noses in front after 26 minutes.

Ogedi-Uzokwe tried to overhead kick the ball towards goal, with the referee adjudging he had been pulled back in the effort to do so.

The former Maldon man picked himself up to take the penalty and slotted it home, sending the keeper the wrong way.

The U’s continued to have the better of the half, and nearly got a second just before the break as Senior showed more fantastic footwork to force a good save out of Burge.

The home side took the lead into the half time break, and continued to play well after the interval.

However, they were pegged back ten minutes into the second half and it was a long distance shot from Bayliss which beat Walker as it went high into the net.

McNulty had come alive in the second half and he hit a shot that clipped the outside of the post as City pressed.

The U’s made their first change with twenty minutes to go, as Sammie Szmodics replaced Courtney Senior.

Walker then made a great save from Coventry substitute Jonson Clarke-Harris, as the striker darted to the near post from a corner for the visitors.

With thirteen minutes remaining, and the Sky Blues in the ascendancy, Brennan Dickenson returned to action in place of Kane Vincent-Young, with Sean Murray following six minutes later.

The Sky Blues had had the better of the second half, but the U’s got their noses in front with two minutes to go.

Dickenson sent over a cross to the far post where Ogedi-Uzokwe stood it back into the danger area, and Mandron diverted his header back past Burge to put the U’s 2-1 up.

It proved to be the difference, too, as the U's held on through five additional minutes to secure what could be a crucial victory in the race for promotion.

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