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Match Reports

U's Thwarted By Crawley

New Year starts with 1-1 draw

1 January 2020

Colchester United have drawn 1-1 against Crawley Town

The U’s are now unbeaten in ten games and remain in sixth position after the full time results elsewhere in the league.

Frank Nouble scored for Colchester to put the U’s in front in the sixty fourth minute, a lead that the home side would only hold for eight minutes.

Luke Prosser scored an own goal after challenging with Ollie Palmer at the back post to level the scores meaning it would be a point for each side.

The game began in lively fashion with both sides having decent goal scoring chances in the opening five minutes.

Ollie Palmer could have put Crawley in front with three minutes on the clock when Josh Dacres-Cogley found him on the penalty spot. Luckily for the U’s he was unable to divert the low cross goalwards and it fizzed out for a goal kick.

In the fifth minute, Harry Pell could have given the home side the lead when he jumped highest between two Crawley defenders, but couldn’t quite direct his header at the goal from a looping Ryan Jackson cross.

After the initial rush of chances, they were few and far between for either side in the first half.

Luke Gambin struck towards goal in the twenty third minute. His strike from thirty yards out bounced just in front of the away ‘keeper Glenn Morris, who spilled the shot but was able to pounce on the rebound before any U’s player.

Morris had to be quick off his line after a weaving Callum Harriott run. The U’s winger wriggled between the challenges of two Crawley players before slightly losing control of the ball and giving Morris the opportunity to bravely collect the ball in the six-yard box.

Crawley had a chance to get their noses in front with less than a minute left of the first half through Ashley Nadesan. Ollie Palmer was breaking down the left-hand side and shot towards Dean Gerken’s goal. The U’s ‘keeper was equal to the shot, but thankful that an awful strike from Nadesan sliced high and wide over his goal.

The two sides went into the goalless in an even first forty-five minutes of football.

Frank Nouble had appeals for a penalty waved away as he was shoved to ground by McNerney. He was being closed down by Morris, and received a heavy push from behind from Joe McNerney, but all appeals were waved away by the referee.

It was Frank Nouble who did break the deadlock between the two sides with a fine drive from the edge of the area.

Harriott worked well to get the space down the left flank before spotting Nouble who was free on the edge of the area. His right-footed drive nestled in the bottom left corner to give Colchester the lead in the sixty fourth minute.

The U’s would only hold on to this lead for a matter of minutes though.

Nadesan, who looked to be slightly offside, was played in behind the Colchester defence and fired the ball hard and low across the six-yard box. Prosser and Palmer were both at the back post, and it seemed to come off the U’s captain last before desperately trickling over the line with Ollie Palmer wheeling away in celebration of the Crawley equaliser.

The U’s were only able to create one more real chance against a stubborn Crawley defence, with substitute Luke Norris. The Colchester front man leapt highest to head Frank Nouble’s cross at the goal but couldn’t keep his effort down and it rippled the top of the net on its way out for a goal kick.

The 1-1 draw means that the U’s remain in sixth position in Sky Bet League Two, where they were at the start of the day, and are now five points behind Crewe Alexandra who occupy the final automatic promotion spot.

Next up for Colchester United is a trip to Stevenage who currently sit at the bottom of the league table, and are without a win in their last eight games.

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