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U23s Draw At Barnsley

Young U's side denied by late leveller

21 October 2020

Colchester United's U23s have drawn 2-2 at Barnsley.

And only a  sensational overhead kick deep into stoppage time denied the U's all three points in South Yorkshire on tuesday afternoon.

Bramall opened the scoring for the Tykes just before the half hour mark, but goals from Alfie Cerulli and Tom Stagg, (pictured in Academy action), put the U's ahead.

Barnsley rallied though, and deserved their last minute leveller that made the final score 2-2.

After surviving an early scare when U’s striker Jake Hutchinson saw his effort ruled out for offside just two minutes in, the hosts were awarded a penalty for a foul on Dan Bramall.

The Barnsley wide man took responsibility himself, but his attempt was tipped wide of his left-hand post by Ted Collins, much to the delight of the travelling side.

But the Reds continued to forage forward and came close on a couple of occasions through the diminutive Will Calligan and on trial Victor Sodeinde before Bramall atoned for his penalty miss by opening the scoring midway through the first half.

He picked up the ball on the right hand side of the box, cut in on his left foot and drilled a lovely strike into the far bottom corner to bag his second goal of the Professional Development League campaign.

The hosts looked to build on that momentum, with Bramall – a menace all afternoon – the focal point of the attacks with his blistering pace causing Colchester all kinds of problems.

However, on the stroke of half time, the U’s hit back with a sucker punch as Alfie Cerulli found the bottom corner from 20-yards to level the scores.

The visitors showed renewed vigour after the restart and came close to taking the lead when Sam Cornish crashed a long range drive off the upright.

Barnsley probed in wide areas to utilise the pace and industry of Bramall, Calligan and Charlie Winfield in a bid to make the breakthrough, which looked likely to come from a set-piece.

First, Jasper Moon saw a glancing header drift narrowly wide of the far post before Bramall tried his luck from a deal ball situation only to be denied by a flying Collins save.

At the other end, Addai had to be at his best to keep out Donnell Thomas’ thunderous strike, while Lordan Akolbire had an effort ruled out for offside as the pendulum began to swing in the visitors’ favour.

It looked as though the young U's had done enough to snatch all three points with little over ten minutes remaining when Tom Stagg reacted quickest to slot home the rebound after Addai had thwarted Hutchinson.

But, with time almost up, the Barnsley youngsters found a way to salvage something from the contest.

Addai floated a free-kick to the edge of the U’s box and Collins came racing out to claim.

Amid the confusion and flailing limbs, the ball bounced up perfectly for Simpson who showed tremendous agility and initiative to acrobatically fire home the equaliser into an empty net.

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