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Match Report | Rochdale 1-1 Colchester United

U's pick up valuable point on the road at Crown Oil Arena

27 August 2021

Colchester United will travel back to North Essex with a point from their game with Rochdale snatching an equaliser in the second half of an entertaining game.

The U's took the lead late on in the first half through a comical own goal from the home side, with Max Taylor putting through his own net after a mis-communication with his 'keeper. 

But pressure from the home side paid off when Jimmy Keohane from close range to level the game and ensure that both sides came away from the game with a point. 

Hayden Mullins was forced to make one change from the starting eleven that defeated Oldham Athletic on the road last weekend, with Alan Judge missing from the matchday eighteen. Cole Skuse came in to replace him, with Tom Eastman returning to the matchday eighteen, on the bench for the U's. 

Also named on the bench was youngster Donell Thomas, who was making his first appearance in a matchday eighteen for Colchester United. 

The home side started brightly on their celebratory night of 100 years since their first game in the Football League. Corey O'Keeffe could have put them ahead in under five minutes, when he collected the ball in a crowded penalty area, only to fire the ball over George's goal from close range. 

The U's could have had a chance on goal when Freddie Sears delivered the ball into Frank Nouble. Sears raced down the right wing to deliver a cross to Nouble who was let down by his first touch in a good area, allowing the home side to regain possession and counter. 

Colchester United were slowly growing into the game and getting a little more time on the ball to settle themselves down. Brendan Wireud, Cole Skuse and Noah Chilvers were all able to get on the ball and keep the pace of the game at a tempo suiting Hayden Mullins' side. 

Sylvester Jasper was looking sharp, confidently taking players on, but sometimes not getting the rewards his skills deserved with the home back line of Taylor, O'Connell and Dorsett strong in their tackling. Nevertheless, Jasper went close to finding the opener for the U's half an hour in with a curling effort from just outside the area. His left footed shot flashed across the face of goal and just wide of Coleman's right post. 

Coleman, who was a late change to the starting eleven looked nervy when coming to collect a cross from Miles Welch-Hayes, getting mixed up with his own defenders. The ball eventually fell out to Wiredu, but the midfielder was unable to capitalise on the defensive confusion. 

It didn't matter though, as the home side gifted Colchester United the lead with five minutes of the half to go. Max Taylor and Joel Coleman had their wires crossed as the centre-half played the ball into the back of the net with the 'keeper coming to collect on the other side of his area. 

The score remained at 1-0 to the U's until half time, but there was still time for Miles Welch-Hayes to collect a harsh booking for a foul on Abraham Odoh. 

Colchester United started brightly in the second half, but were unabel to make their pressure in front of goal count, with Nouble firing an effort wide from close range after Smith had headed the ball back across goal to him. 

And the U's were made to pay on the hour mark, with Rochdale getting the equaliser. The ball was squared to Keohane after Beesley's good hold up play, allowing him to tap in from close range making it 1-1. 

The home side kept applying the pressure, looking to get ahead in the game, but the U's defence were holding strong as Nouble and Sears tried to keep the ball at the other end of the pitch. Luke Hannant was brought on for Sylvester Jasper to try and provide an outlet for the U's in the last twenty-five minutes. 

It worked to a degree, with Hannant able to carry the U's up the pitch and hold the ball up, as well as create a couple of opporunities for the U's further up the field. 

In the dying moments of the game, Gene Kennedy had a great chance to grab his first goal, and what surely would have been a match-winning strike. Charlie Daniels showed a burst of pace down the left wing, delivering a low cross to Kennedy who couldn't quite get the ball out from under his feet, seeing his effort blocked on the line for a corner kick. 

The home side were being urged to get the winner in four minutes of injury time, but the U's defence wouldn't allow it, meaning that Hayden Mullins' side picked up a valuable point on the road at the Crown Oil Arena. 

The U's move up to tenth in the table, now sitting on six points from five games, with the remaining games in Sky Bet League Two to be played tomorrow afternoon. 

Up next for Colchester United is the latest League game at home, with Sutton United making their first ever trip to the JobServe Community Stadium on the 4th September. 

Rochdale starting XI: Coleman, O'Keeffe, Taylor, O'Connell, Dooley, Morley, Beesley, Newby (Grant 76'), Dorsett, Keohane, Odoh (Cashman 65'). 

Unused subs: Wade, White, McNulty, Broadbent, Andrews. 

Colchester United starting XI: George, Welch-Hayes, Chambers, Smith, Wiredu, Skuse (Kennedy 89'), Nouble, Sears, Chilvers (Coxe 90'), Jasper (Hannant 69'), Daniels. 

Unused subs: Turner, Eastman, Thomas, Tovide. 

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