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U18s Draw With Leeds

All square in latest game

19 August 2019

Paul Chandler/Groundtastic

Despite an encouraging performance, but an eventual defeat, in their first match of the season, seven days before against Crystal Palace, the signs were good again for the squad as they took on Leeds United on Saturday.

They were so close to victory on a bright sunny morning, which was a pleasant change from a lot of the recent rain at Florence Park in recent weeks.

When the sides met at the end of last season, the home team from Yorkshire won 6-0 as they achieved a spot in the end of the year play offs, but a heavy loss did not look on the cards this time as there seemed a new determination in the U’s team.

Early on, Donnell Thomas was robbed in midfield by Jack Jenkins but when the cross came in from the right by Henri Kumwenda, there was a good cut out at the near post by home captain Billy Cracknell.

On 12 minutes, a ball was fed up to Tom Stagg who, on the turn, got the ball onto his left foot but the Leeds defender took the sting out of the shot with a block on it and it was an easy ball to collect by the visiting keeper Matthew Turner who was returning after a long injury lay off.

Nine minutes, Kazeem linked well with Stagg down the left and, after a one-two, the cross in at the near post by Kazeem was blocked by the keeper, and the follow up effort by the U’s left back was fired onto the top netting.

Three minutes later and Colchester went very close again as, after a very good run down the right by Freitas-Gouveia, Stagg stabed his shot just wide at the near post.
Leeds immediately responded as Jenkins brought the ball forward, but after getting past Namory Kane, and then getting into the box, he was well blocked off by Cracknell.

Sayer then conceded a free kick out on the left edge of the box on Haugland. After he ran over it, the delivery in by Dane Burlace, saw Charlie Cresswell stretching on the back post but unable to get a good control on his header which was off target.

A long kick forward by Hallett was helped on by Freitas-Gouveia to his striker Hutchinson, but the keeper was there to make the save.

However, the next home attack did amount to a goal as with the game in first half stoppage time, the U’s took the lead.

Freitas-Gouveia was caught by a challenge by Jenkins as he came back inside on the right angle of the box and was fouled and this saw the Leeds player booked and a home penalty won.

This was duly despatched low to the keeper’s left by Hutchinson.

At the interval, the visitors made a double change with Thornton and Haugland replaced by Jimiel Chikukwa and Cole Gibbon.

There were good early home signs after the interval. A great corner in from the right by Sayer, saw Marshall-Miranda just unable to reach it on the back post and a good pass forward saw Thomas help into the path of Stagg, who managed to get a touch on it goalwards, but he was then flagged offside.

As the visitors started to come into the match more, Jenkins and Kumwenda linked down the left, but the intended ball across to Gibbon was well cut out by Kazeem.

Again Leeds were a threat as Burlace broke well down the right and it was Sayer who hooked the ball clear from the goalmouth.

The home team then had to block and scramble another attack clear as the away team were a threat down the left wing.

A pull on the shirt by Sam Cornish saw him booked before a ball from the midfield found Hutchinson who nearly found the run of Stagg as the home team went searching for that vital second goal.

After some good link up play by Freitas-Gouveia and Hutchinson on the right, they set up Sayer, who curled his left footer just over the bar.

A Kane ball forward found Freitas-Gouveia who sent his left footer over the bar and Stagg was twice caught by challenges from behind by Leeds centre back Charlie Cresswell, who was spoken to by the referee.

The game was reaching the last few minutes and with 80 gone, some good work on the left by Stanley and Leak-Blunt set up Kumwenda but his fierce left footer was beaten away by home keeper Hallett.

Leeds were starting to exert pressure and it needed an excellently timed tackle by Marshall-Miranda on Chikukwa in the box to slide the ball away for a corner.

With 84 minutes gone, Kacy Parish replaced Freitas-Gouveia and from a corner on the right, this was headed away by Cracknell.

However this resulted in another delivered in from the left, and this was sent towards goal by a strong header and the ball from there was turned home in a crowded goalmouth from close range by substitute Gibbon.

Colchester United: Chandler Hallett, Harvey Sayer, Billy Cracknell, Namory Kane, Al-Amin Kazeem, Diogo Freitas-Gouveia, Sam Cornish, Marley Marshall-Miranda, Donnell Thomas, Tom Stagg and Jake Hutchinson

Used sub: Kacy Parish and unused subs: Ted Collins, Trialist, Joe Redfearn and Gene Kennedy

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