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Salford City 1-2 Colchester United-Match Report

U's pick up valuable three points on the road

22 February 2020

Two first half goals ensure Colchester United complete the league double over Salford City with a first win at the Peninsula Stadium.

The three points mean that the travelling side move up to sixth in the league, after Port vale dropped points away at Walsall.

The U’s opened the scoring when Kwame Poku picked up the ball on the halfway line and drove towards goal, before cutting in and curling his effort beyond Letheren.

It was 2-0 to the away side when Callum Harriott smashed the ball into the far corner from outside the area, but the Ammies got a goal back before half time.

Ash Hunter was in the right place at the right time as he was able to tap from an O’Connor cross from just two yards out.

Colchester United soaked up everything the home side could throw at them in the second half with a gutsy away win.

The U’s named a lineup with four changes from the side that was defeated 3-0 at Port Vale last week.

Omar Sowunmi, Luke Norris, Callum Harriott and Kwame Poku were all brought into the starting eleven, with Courtney Senior, Brandon Comley, Tom Eastman and Frank Nouble all dropping to the bench.

Conditions were far from perfect with the pitch twice inspected by the referee ahead of the game thanks to the amount of rain that had fallen on the playing surface.

The opening quarter of an hour saw both sides learning the conditions of the sodden pitch at the Peninsula Stadium, with Salford shooting well over Gerken’s bar.

Callum Harriott made a good run down the left wing before trying to pick out Luke Norris in the penalty area with his cross, but just the U’s forward was slightly in front of the cross.

In the twenty-seventh minute the U’s opened the scoring with Kwame Poku scoring his third goal of the season.

He picked the ball up just on the half way line and drove towards the away fans behind the Salford goal. Under pressure from Touray, he cut inside and bent his effort inside the post to top off a great run, and celebrating in front of the U’s fans.

Two minutes later, Poku nearly did it again. He cut inside and went for the top corner this time, but his shot whistled just beyond the far post.

Colchester United were two goals up through Callum Harriott with four minutes of the first half left to play.

Callum Harriott struck from thirty yards out, with his effort deceiving Letheren and nestling in the bottom corner. His left footed effort would only put the U’s two goals in front for a matter of minutes though, when Salford grabbed a goal before the break.

Michael O’Connor put in a hopeful cross from the goal line with Thomas-Asante helping the ball on. Ash Hunter couldn’t miss from two yards out as he scored for the home side with two minutes of the half left to play.

Salford could have gone into the break level had they taken their final chance of the half. Thomas-Asante crossed the ball into Conway, who couldn’t quite get enough on the ball before it rolled out for goal kick.

Although the home side put a lot of pressure on the U’s defence, there were only a couple of real chances for them in the second half.

Sowunmi and Prosser were commanding at the back to ensure that nothing got through, and even when it did, Gerken was able to collect.

The scorer of the second goal for the U’s, Callum Harriott, was taken off with twenty minutes to go, after a bad challenge from Ibou Touray.

Colchester United were looking to break when the left back ran his studs down Harriott’s calf, forcing him off.

The home side put on the experience Adam Rooney and Darren Gibson to try and change things around, but still there was no way through in the second half as conditions deteriorated.

The best chance for the home side to get an equaliser came in the tenth minute of injury time, just before the referee blew his whistle, when Thomas-Asante was left unmarked with just Gerken to beat but could only direct his header over the bar.

It was a magnificent ground-out victory for the U’s who pick up three points on the road for the first time since boxing day.

Colchester United moved up to sixth with the three points, ahead of Port Vale who drop to eighth after drawing away at Walsall.

Next up for the U’s is a home tie against the team directly above them in the league. Cheltenham Town come to the JobServe Community Stadium next Saturday on the back of a 1-0 home win against Mansfield.

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