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Match Report | Birmingham City 1-0 Colchester United

U's knocked out in First Round after late goal

10 August 2021

Colchester United have been eliminated from the Carabao Cup in the First Round at Birmingham City after a late goal from the home side won the game, despite the U's playing well throughout the duration of the game.

A first half that saw no goals despite the U's having the better of the play came before an equally promising second half for Colchester United, although a goal in the last fifteen minutes of the game sank the travelling U's. 

Two late chances went begging, with Coxe striking the underside of the bar, and Eastman's effort cleared off the line, before the full time whistle blew on the tie to end the U's cup journey for this season. 

The U's lined up with three changes to the starting eleven that began the season at Carlisle United on Saturday afternoon, with Miles Welch-Hayes, Noah Chilvers and Sylvester Jasper coming into the starting eleven for Luke Chambers, Alan Judge and Freddie Sears. 

Harry Beadle was named in the matchday eighteen for the first time since joining the U's, replacing Luke Chambers who picked up a knock late on in the opening game of the season. 

Colchester United made a bright start in the game, attacking the end opposite the travelling Essex fans in the first half. Ryan Clampin was having joy down the left hand side, getting inside Marcel Oakley in the first exchanges of the game, before Sylvester Jasper exploited an opening to take the first shot of the game. Driving towards Trueman in goal, the Fulham loanee fired just wide of the target after some brilliant control. 

The U's were doing much of the attacking in the first half, really limiting the home side to a spell of just about five minutes where Shamal's goal was really under pressure. But without really testing the 'keeper, the pressure had passed from Birmingham City, and Hayden Mullins' side resumed their positions attacking the home goal and looking for the opener in the cup tie. 

Frank Nouble was a presence within the home defence, occupying Friend and Gordon with his size and aerial prowess, but was unable to create an opening for his side, and the referee blew the whistle for half time with the scores goalless.

At the start of the second half, it was a much more even affair to restart the game. The home side seemed to find a little more joy and freedom within their play, although they were yet to fire an effort that would test George in goal. And despite the home side's greater possession, the U's were looking to get back on top and were playing effective counter attacking football. 

The pair of Frank Nouble and Ryan Clampin were combining well down the left wing to earn a corner right in front of the away fans, with Tommy Smith's header cleared away. Shortly after, the lively Sylvester Jasper fired an effort just wide of the home goal, before both sides decied to make changes. 

Gene Kennedy came on for his Colchester United joined on the pitch by Freddie Sears from the U's bench in place of Cole Skuse and Frank Nouble with twenty minutes of the game remaining. 

The Championship side showed their class to carve open an opportunity for the first goal of the game with fifteen minutes remaining, as Marcel Oakley netted for Birmingham City. Driving in from the right wing, Oakley's deflected effort was lofted over Shamal George who could do nothing about the shot, to give the hosts a one goal advantage in the closing stages of the game. 

Colchester United rallied in the last minutes of the game to try and find an equaliser that would force the game to continue to penalties, and went as close as they could to making it happen with Cameron Coxe's effort. Alan Judge's cross was cut back to Coxe, with an improvised strike smashing the underside of the bar before being cleared out for a corner. There was one final chance for Mullins' side with Eastman's header from the resulting corner needing to be cleared off the line, with the full time whistle ending the U's Carabao Cup in the First Round moments later. 

It's a result that means Birmingham City progress to the second stage of the competition, with the U's eliminated.

Next up for Colchester United is the first home game of the season, when Northampton Town make the journey to the JobServe Community Stadium on Saturday afternoon. 

Birmingham City starting XI: Trueman, Friend, Leko, Aneke (McGree 74'), Sanchez, Castillo, Graham, Lakin, Sunjic, Gordon (Campbell 73'), Oakley. 

Unused Subs: Sarkic, Bellingham, Walker, Chang, Roberts. 

Colchester United starting XI: George, Welch-Hayes, Clampin, Smith, Wiredu, Skuse (Kennedy 67'), Nouble (Sears 71'), Chilvers, Jasper (Judge 81'), Eastman, Coxe. 

Unused Subs: Turner, Judge, Tchamadeu, Tovide, Beadle. 

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