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U23s Draw 4-4 With Coventry City

Colchester United leave it late to grab a point in the Professional Development League

17 February 2020

An entertaining game with eight goals shared earns the young U's a deserved point.

Luke Norris and Michael Fernandes, (pictured in U23s action earlier this season), scored twice each as the points were shared at the JobServe Community Stadium.

The U’s named a strong line up including eight players who have been in action with the first team recently, plus the experienced Jamal Campbell-Ryce also involved.

The home side stormed into an early lead with just ninety seconds on the clock.

Luke Norris collected the ball and blasted a shot past Tom Billson in the Coventry goal to give Colchester United the lead in the second minute.

Jordy Hiwula went close for the visitors in the opening ten minutes when he sprung the offside trap between Sowunmi and Moore, but couldn’t curl his effort into the near post.

Coventry went closer two minutes later when Gervane Kastaneer crashed a shot against the foot of the post, before it went behind for a goal kick.

It was an entertaining opening period with Norris shooting narrowly wide of the target, unable to double the lead for the home side.

Courtney Senior managed to get right behind a drive towards goal from the edge of the area. Luke Norris laid the ball back to the winger but he could only shoot straight at Billson.

Coventry managed to get themselves back on level terms with twenty-five minutes played.

The U’s struggled to clear and Hiwula unselfishly slid the ball sideways to Jones who could slot the ball under Ross and equalise for his side.

It was the away side who went in front ten minutes later when Kastaneer’s well placed shot dipped over the head of Ethan Ross and in off the underside of the crossbar.

The lead for Coventry would only last two minutes though, as Courtney Senior was fouled in the area as he ran through.

Luke Norris stepped up to smash the penalty home and get his second of the night to level the scores with just over five minutes remaining of the first half.

After the break, Luke Norris went inches away from completing his hat-trick with a driven effort from outside the area. He was unlucky to see his shot ping off the outside of the post and out for a goal kick.

With fifty-seven minutes played, the visitors retook the lead thanks to a good effort from Jodi Jones who drilled the ball into the top corner from outside the area.

The visitors then doubled their lead with seventeen minutes left to play, as Hiwula sprinted away from the U’s defence and rounded Ethan Ross before tapping into the empty net.

With just over ten minutes left to play, substitute Michael Fernandes, gave the home side hope. He benefitted from a mix up at the back and was able to tap into an empty net with the away ‘keeper scrambling back to his line.

It was Fernandes who levelled the scores with five minutes left to play. He didn’t give up on a long ball forwards and pinched the ball from Billson before beating the remaining defender and slotting home.

The U’s thoroughly deserved to be back level owing to their never-say-die spirit that would earn them a point in a brilliantly entertaining game under the lights in north Essex.

The 4-4 result earns the U’s a point in the Professional Development League, with the final game of the Premier League Cup coming up next week, when Colchester United will host Swansea City at the JobServe Community Stadium on Monday.  

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