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U's Exit Leasing.com Trophy

Second half fightback in vain against Stevenage

3 December 2019

Colchester United have been beaten 2-1 by Stevenage

In the Second Round clash, the U's were second best in the first half as the visitors got a two goal lead through a penalty and a deflected shot from Jason Cowley.

An own goal, after good work from Frank Nouble, gave the U's a second half lifeline but they couldn't find an equaliser and go out of the competition.

Stevenage were out of the blocks quickest, and their start belied their joint bottom position in the League Two table.

They opened the scoring in the fourth minute, after Tom Eastman committed a foul just inside the U’s box to give away a penalty.

Eastman was booked for the challenge, and Cowley stepped up to send Ethan Ross the wrong way to give the visitors an early lead.

Ross comfortably saved from Emmanuel Sanupe on eight minutes, and then had to face another penalty five minutes later.

This time, it was fellow centre half Luke Prosser conceding the spot kick, fouling Sanupe as he broke into the box.

Cowley stepped up, but Ross guessed right and pushed the ball away and the U’s cleared.

Things didn’t get any better on seventeen minutes for the U’s, as Ryan Jackson limped off to be replaced at right back by Tom Lapslie.

Things quietened down for the next phase of the game, but it was still the away side that were creating chances as the game reached the half hour mark.

A wide free kick evaded everyone and went just wide, before Ross saved at the near post.

Unsurprisingly, it was Stevenage that scored the second of the game, coming on thirty one minutes.

Cowley attacked down the centre, took the ball to the side of Eastman, who manged to get a touch to the shot but could only deflect it into the top corner of Ross’ net.

As the game headed towards half time, the U’s did start to get back into the game, and youngster Kwame Poku had a couple of efforts to reduce the deficit.

His first was saved by Paul Farman, and the second flew well over the crossbar.

Half time came, and an improvement was needed for the U’s to rescue the game in the second forty five minutes.

That improvement came, and Callum Harriott had the first effort as he showed great skill to free himself for a shot that was saved.

An equally good run by Nouble created the U’s goal on the hour, as he weaved past a couple of defenders and had his low cross turned in for an own goal from Chris Stokes.

Luke Gambin replaced Harry Pell, and the U’s continued to put pressure on the visiting defence.

Senior and Nouble had shots saved, then Gambin curled a powerful shot wide of the target.

The best save came on seventy minutes, as Farman stuck out a right foot to deny Senior – swiftly followed by the second best save when he dived full length to keep out a Poku effort.

A short corner resulted in Harriott having a near post shot saved, then Nouble was denied by a last ditch block ten yards out.

There were a couple of strong handball appeals for the U’s, as well as another when Senior looked to have be fouled, but no penalty was given.

The final whistle went after six minutes of injury time, which saw Ethan Ross hitting a shot over after going up for a corner, and the U’s couldn’t prevent an exit from the competition.


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