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Portsmouth 2-0 Colchester United

U's defeated in opening EFL Trophy match

8 September 2020

Colchester United have been beaten at Fratton Park 2-0 by League One Portsmouth.

Two first half goals from Marcus Harness sealed the three points for the home side as Shamal George and Martell Taylor-Crossdale make their debuts for Colchester United. 

Colchester United starting XI: George, Welch-Hayes, Sowunmi, Senior, Brown (Taylor-Crossdale 66'), Chilvers, Scarlett, Eastman, Poku (Cowan-Hall 66'), Stevenson, Gambin (Marshall-Miranda 77'). 

Unused: Coulter, Bramall, Smith, Harriott. 

The two teams were keen to settle into the game in the opening ten minutes with the home side just edging possession. 

Pompey had the first opening of the game when a low Ronan Curtis cross was met by John Marquis and Marcus Harness in the middle of the box. The two home players collided allowing Shamal George to collect with ease. 

From George, the U's went up the other end of the pitch and delivered a dangerous ball of their own into the area. Miles Welch-Hayes' first time cross was played slightly in front of the feet of Jevani Brown allowing MacGillivray to collect. 

Ronan Curtis was looking dangerous on the left flank for the home side and was ablel to slide the ball over to Gareth Evans in the area. Evans was unable to sort out his feet as he guided the ball well wide of the goal with twenty minutes played. 

It was the winger on the right hand side who made the breakthrough for Pompey when Marcus Harness put his side ahead. Curtis benefitted from a quick throw in and spotted Harness in space, with the latter driving the ball into the bottom corner. 

Only a minutes later both Harness and Portsmouth had a second. Again breaking down the right, Harness struck low across goal from a tight angle to double the lead.

In the second half the U's were looking to reduce the deficit. 

A couple of speculative shots from Gambin and Stevenson were first to test MacGillivray, before Martell Taylor-Crossdale came on for his Colchester United debut. 

The U's kept on pushing for a goal with neat runs from Taylor-Crossdale and Senior, but struggled to test the home 'keeper.

Shamal George was busy at the other end, saving from Marquis well with his feet before denying Cannon in a goal mouth scramble. Harrison followed up only for George to save again before Evans blasted the ball high into the stand behind. 

The full time whistle blew with the U's falling to a 2-0 defeat in the opening match of the EFL Trophy. 

Next up for United is the first league game of the season, as they travel to Bradford on Saturday. 

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