Colchester United's U23s have won 1-0 at Swansea City
The youngsters' long trip to South Wales at the weekend to take on the Swans in their third group game in this season’s Premier League Cup ended with a 1-0 victory.
Completely against the run of play, Michael Fernandes, (pictured earlier this season), got the solitary goal, and the young U’s held on for the victory that took them up to second in the group.
It was a busy time for two of their scholars Al-Amin Kazeem and Billy Cracknell, who had been in the squad for Maldon and Tiptree in their FA Cup match on Friday night against Newport County.
The hosts started on the front foot, and Callum Coulter had to make a good save after only three minutes, as he denied Ali Al-Hamadi, after he was set up by a pass from Will Rickard.
Thirty six year old Jamal Campbell-Ryce was using all his experience to keep his side going but the home pressure increased.
Chances continued to come and go for Swansea, with the best being put wide by the head of Brandon Cooper.
That chance came just before the U’s took the lead on twenty four minutes, completely against the run of play.
Clearing a free kick, the U’s took the lead when a fine solo burst down the right by Michael Fernandes ended with a cool, clinical finish to the keeper’s left.
The goal spurred the home team on to create even more chances, but the U’s goal was leading a charmed life.
Coulter blocked at his near post before Campbell-Ryce cleared a shot off the line, and then a diving header was saved by the U’s keeper.
He beat away another effort, before holding onto a shot by home defender Evans. From a Kees de Boer corner, Cooper’s volley was blocked and when Cameron Evans tried to get onto the rebound, but he was denied too.
The U’s held onto their lead, and went in at half-time rather fortunate to be ahead.
Swansea created more chances as the second half got underway, with Coulter denying Hamadi on two occasions a few minutes in.
In a rare U’s attack, Freitas-Gouveia went close, and then they almost scored a second when a defender mishit a clearance onto his own post, with the rebound effort saved.
The young U’s created one more chance to give themselves a bit of cushion going into the final stages, but Dean Ager’s shot went just over.
They held on to their one goal lead though, and secured the win that moved them to second place in the group table.