Colchester United have won 3-0 against promotion rivals Plymouth Argyle
The U’s have emphatically bounced back to beat promotion rivals Plymouth Argyle 3-0 at the JobServe Community stadium this afternoon.
Ben Stevenson set the Colchester United on their way with a neat finish from inside the box after Harriott picked him out.
Theo Robinson netted a brace including his 100th goal in the Football League. Robinson’s first was a well taken header after he was left unmarked in the six-yard box, before a cool side-footed finish added a third goal for the home side.
Colchester United have moved up one place to fifth after results elsewhere in the league, four points ahead of seventh and eighth.
The U’s named a line-up that included three changes from the side that was defeated late on at Cambridge last week, with Robinson, Stevenson and Harriott all coming into the starting eleven, with Norris, Senior and Poku left on the bench.
Both sides were happy just to ease themselves into the game for the first ten minutes, with the home side seeing more of the ball. The U’s were happy just to pass the ball around themselves, with the Pilgrims seemingly content not having possession.
Colchester United switched on after the initial period of possession and took the lead with a neat finish from ten yards out by Ben Stevenson.
Callum Harriott got the better of his man and picked out the U’s midfielder who placed the ball into the corner of the net to give the home side a deserved lead.
After the first goal, Colchester United didn’t look back and attacked Plymouth at every opportunity.
Robinson was unlucky not to double the lead six minutes later when Harriott released the front-man with a defence-splitting through ball, but Palmer saved well to keep the score at 1-0.
From the resulting corner, the ball was cleared out to Brandon Comley who crashed a shot against the bar.
He looked a little off balance and was being challenged by the in-form Jephcott, but was inches away from doubling the U’s lead as the ball flicked off the top of the bar on its way over.
Dean Gerken was as important as ever in the twenty-fourth minute when he made an incredible save to deny Tyreeq Bakinson from point-blank range.
The Pilgrims’ midfielder connected with a header but Gerken was able to react quickly to punch the ball away and out of danger.
It looked like the U’s might never double their lead when the woodwork was rattled for the second time of the afternoon.
This time it was Callum Harriott who shot towards the near post before Alex Palmer pushed his effort onto the frame of the goal and out for a corner.
Just a few moments after this, the U’s would be celebrating a second as Theo Robinson scored his 100th goal in the Football League.
Frank Nouble collected the ball at the far post and stood it up to an unmarked Robinson who was on the six-yard line.
It was an easy finish for the U’s front man who beat Palmer and headed the ball into the back of the net.
Theo didn’t have to wait too long before goal number 101 came around, as just four minutes later he doubled his tally for the afternoon.
Harry Pell stepped in to challenge Niall Canavan on the edge of the area freeing up Robinson for a one-on-one chance.
He coolly slotted the ball to the left of Palmer and gave the U’s a 3-0 lead in the thirty-sixth minute.
It could have easily been four or five goals for Colchester United in the first half, with chances from Eastman and Nouble going begging, but the U’s lead by three goals at the break against a side who have won their last four games on the road.
Theo Robinson was close to getting his hat-trick ten minutes into the second half when he again just had the ‘keeper to beat, but couldn’t find a way through Palmer as the Pilgrims’ defence was able to clear.
Two minutes later and he had another chance to complete his hat-trick, when he was again clean through on goal. Palmer was yet again up to the test and able to beat the ball away.
The U’s had to be on their guard throughout the remainder of the second half, ensuring that the three-goal cushion didn’t slip as Prosser and Gerken made important blocks.
Colchester United were able to hold off any late pressure from Plymouth and keep a clean sheet – his tenth of the season in all competitions.
It is a result that lifts the U’s up one place in the league, to fifth. They stay four points ahead of Bradford who are eighth, but remain five points behind Exeter who occupy the last automatic promotion spot.
Attentions will now be focussed to the next game, at home to eighteenth placed Grimsby Town who snatched a late goal to salvage a point away at Bradford.