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U's 0-2 Gillingham

Gills take win in pre-season opener

15 August 2020

Colchester United have been beaten 2-0 by Gillingham in the first of their pre-season fixtures.

A goal in each half was enough for the League One side, but there were chances for the U's.

Kwame Poku was denied by a diving save in only the third minute, and Andre Hasanally also saw an effort saved by Bonham in the visitors' goal.

Both those chances came before Stuart O'Keefe drilled a cross-shot into the bottom corner of the U's net on twenty one minutes.

The Gills doubled the lead when Connor Ogilvie tapped in from close range with only seven minutes gone in the second period.

Michael Fernandes and Courtney Senior were denied and the former then hit a last minute effort over the bar.

First Half XI: Gerken, Scarlett, Clampin, McLeod, Eastman, Trialist, Poku, Stevenson, Brown, Hasanally, Harriott.

Both sides looked to ease into the game, with a steady rhythm of passes in the first half and chances were few and far between in the opening exchanges.

Kwame Poku was the first man to have a shot on target in the game, when he cut in from the right flank and curled a shot towards the far corner, with the visiting ‘keeper scrambling to palm the ball away.

But it was the travelling side who got their noses in front with just over twenty minutes played.

A cross from the right wing was taken down neatly before being fired back across goal and into the far corner beyond Dean Gerken to give the Gills a slender advantage.

Andre Hasanally proved to be a livewire behind the Jevani Brown who lead the U’s strikeforce when he danced through the defence before forcing the ‘keeper into a save low to his left.

It was all change at the break for Colchester United who lined up with eleven different players for the second forty-five.

Second Half XI: Trialist, Welch-Hayes, Bramall, Marshall-Miranda, Kensdale, Sowunmi, Senior, Chilvers, Hutchinson, Gambin, Fernandes.

The trialist between the sticks for the U’s in the second half had a big confidence boost four minutes into the half when he stopped well from Brandon Hanlon who had run through  one-on-one.

The Kent side did get a second two minutes later when a well worked cross meant that Ogilvie were able to tap in from inside the six-yard box.

It could have been three for Gillingham with fifteen minutes left to play when a Jordan Graham free kick rattled the crossbar, before the U’s defence was able to clear away from danger.

The home side were unlucky not to grab a late consolation goal through Courtney Senior when the ball was squared to him in the area.

His shot flew high over the bar as the final whistle blew, with the U’s falling to a 0-2 defeat.

The U's face another League One opponent on Tuesday night, with neighbours Ipswich Town heading over the border to the JobServe Community Stadium.

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