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Match Reports

Bowman Breaks U's Hearts

Extra time winner sees Exeter through

22 June 2020

Colchester United have been denied a place at Wembley by an late goal at Exeter City.

The U's missed out on a place in the Sky Bet League Two Play Off Final, when Ryan Bowman netted with seven minutes left in extra time.

Exeter took an early lead in the second leg, and levelled things up on aggregate, when Aaron Martin smashed the ball into the unguarded net at the third Exter attempt, after a fine save from Gerken and a great block from Luke Prosser.

The Grecians doubled their lead and looked to be heading through after the ninety minutes had been played, with Jayden Richardson doubling their lead with just under sixty minutes played.

The U's fought back valiantly though, with substitute Courtney Senior making the most of a poor Maxted palm out to level the tie up with ten minutes left to play.

Ryan Bowman sealed the game when he sprinted through and coolly slotted under Gerken to seal the tie and ensure the U’s will spend another season in the fourth tier of English football.

The U's lined up with one change from the victory at home on Thursday evening, with Courtney Senior being replaced by Luke Gambin in the starting eleven.

The home side were looking to get an early goal in the game, which they did when Aaron Martin found the net with ten minutes on the clock.

Dean Gerken made a good initial save, Prosser blocked a second attempt at goal but it was third time lucky as home defender Martin took full advantage and levelling up the tie on aggregate with his finish.

The U’s keeper was in fine form to ensure that the tie wasn’t beyond doubt in the first half, when he denied Randell Williams from a curling free kick.

Luke Gambin seemed to spark the travelling side into life when his shot fizzed over the bar from just outside the area.

The Essex side followed up with ten minutes of intense pressure on the home goal, including Luke Norris’ effort that Maxted had to parry away quickly.

Colchester United were much better in the second half and really took the game to the Grecians.

Courtney Senior came on for Luke Gambin and kept up the good work the winger had been doing, but there was a setback for the U’s with fifteen minutes played.

Exeter hit the post with a glancing header, before Jayden Richardson’s low drive eluded Gerken and nestled in the net.

With ten minutes to go, Courtney Senior forced the game into extra time, when he was quickest to react.

Cohen Bramall sprinted down the left wing and delivered a devious cross which home ‘keeper Maxted struggled with and pushed into the path of the onrushing U’s winger. He tapped into an empty net to level the tie.

With just seconds left on the clock, the U’s could have won the match – Theo Robinson set Kwame Poku clean through with just the ‘keeper to beat but Maxted made a good save to deny the youngster, with full time being blown just moments after.

The first half of extra time seemed to be taken as time for both sides to have a bit of a breather, with both sides cancelling each other out.

Brennan Dickenson delivered the best chance of the first fifteen minutes when his curling cross was just missed by two attacking players for the home side.

Ryan Bowman sealed the tie with seven minutes left to play when he sprinted through the U’s defence before sliding the ball beyond Gerken and into the back of the net sending the home bench wild with celebration.

The U’s tried desperately to get another equalising goal but couldn’t force through a tight home defence.

The result means that the U’s are consigned to play in Sky Bet League Two in the 2020/21 season, while Exeter advance to the Play-Off Final next week.

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