Colchester United's U18s have lost 5-4 at Cardiff City
In their first league match of the year, the U’s Youth Team made the long trip to South Wales to take on Cardiff City on Saturday.
Having lost the home match 7-3 in early November, they must have feared the worst when they found themselves 3-0 down with less than twenty minutes gone.
However in a remarkable turnaround, the U’s amazingly led 4-3 by half time. It was to be an advantage that they held until the last fifteen minutes when City scored twice late on to take the three points.
In the game at the CDF Sports Campus, the home team were soon in the lead with a goal by Kieron Evans.
He tried his luck from out in a wide position on the left and was rewarded as his shot beat keeper Chandler Hallett to make it 1-0 on ten minutes.
The U’s tried to strike back, but home keeper Bradley Stewart saved from Andre Hasanally and Tom Stagg, pictured in U's action last season, before the hosts doubled their lead.
On fourteen minutes, Rubin Colwill got onto a through ball by Frazer Thomas and converted from close range
Things got even worse for the U’s when the Bluebirds scored a third goal through Frazer Thomas, who curled a shot from just outside the left corner of the penalty area.
The third goal came on seventeen minutes, but the U’s were back in the match when Lewis Reed headed home from close range seven minutes later.
Reed went close again, as Stewart saved his curling effort, but Tom Stagg did get on the scoresheet with a shot on the turn from six yards out just after the half hour mark.
As the goals continued to flow in an eventful first half, the away side then made it 3-3 as Donell Thomas found the net with a shot from the edge of the box on thirty six minutes.
To cap a remarkable first half change around, the U’s were ahead a minute later with a goal by Kamari Parris.
There was still time for the hosts to have two more chances in the first half, a free-kick was well taken by Hallett and Evans shot just wide.
The half ended with the U's holding a narrow advantage but rather than just sit on their lead, the U’s continued to be a threat after the interval as Reed was denied by keeper Stewart in a 1v1 situation.
Cardiff then started pushing to get back in the game, and the U’s resistance was finally on seventy seven minutes as Thomas scored his second goal of the match as he chipped his shot over Hallett.
The scores were level but there was late heartbreak for the U’s as City won the match late on with a goal by Ntazana Mayembe.
He scored with a powerful shot home from a tight angle, giving the hosts the 5-4 victory.