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Match Report | Colchester United 3-0 Arsenal

Brilliant U's defeat Gunners in FA Youth Cup

10 December 2021

Lowe, Tovide and Bennett seal the FA Youth Cup tie win for the U's over Premier League Arsenal in the FA Youth Cup Third Round at the JobServe Community Stadium.

The U's made a good start in the game, getting at their counterparts in the opening five minutes of the game, but it was the Premier League youngsters that would soon find themselves on the front foot. 

They looked to prove their quality with a quick break in the seventh minute, when Endurance Johnson was forced into the first save of the match, denying the Gunners the opener. His acrobatic effort was enough to keep out Henry-Francis' deflected effort, pushing the shot over the bar to safety. 

But the U's weren't without their chances at the other end in the first period of the game. Samson Tovide showed his strength to hold on to the ball under a couple of strong challenges, before cutting in and firing an effort over Mitchell's bar. 

And the man with a handful of first team appearances could have netted the first goal in the game with twenty-six minutes played when he wrestled the ball off Foran to run through one-on-one, but he curled his effort wide of the post, letting off the visitors. 

Remy Mitchell in goal for the visitors was having more work to do than he may have expected in the first half, with the U's testing him yet again on the half hour mark. Freddie Price drove in a clever cross that deflected off an Arsenal player with Mitchell having to put the ball over with his fingertips. 

And Mitchell was called into action yet again with five minutes of the first half to go, when Redgrave broke quickly to drive the U's forward. His cross was too pacy for Tovide to control, but the rebound fell kindly for Parish who fired his effort straight at the 'keeper. 

But the U's would lead at the break after getting a golden chance to beat Mitchell. Samson Tovide was clumsily fouled in the penalty area, allowing Ryan Lowe to convert from the spot and give the home side the lead against the Premier League giants at the break. 

After half time, the U's continued to push forward and went close to doubling their lead five minutes into the second period. Remy Mitchell was called upon again to prevent a goal, when Kaan Bennett drove along the eighteen-yard line and shot back across goal, with the 'keeper clawing away the effort. 

As expected the U's had to soak up vast amounts of pressure from the visitors, who were looking to get back into the game, but Liam Bailey's side dealt with it very well. 

And they were able to capitalise on their excellent defence, but doubling their lead with a second goal, ten minutes before time, with Samson Tovide on target for his side. 

An inch-perfect cross from Lowe was met right in front of the 'keeper by Tovide, a clever goal made to look simple by the U's who looked like they were in control of the tie with time running out for the Gunners. 

The Premier League youngsters kept pressing forwards, creating space for the U's at the other end, and they gratefully obliged by adding a third in stoppage time. Kaan Bennett was the man on target, with a splendid finish into the bottom right corner of the net. 

It could have been four, but for an unfortunate offside flag, but nevertheless, it was an evening the young U's will never forget. 

They have set themselves up with a tie in the Fourth Round away to Newcastle United, with full details of the game to be released in due course. 

Colchester United starting XI: Johnson, Sullivan, Price, Lowe, Chakawa, Terry, Redgrave, Drakes-Thomas, Tovide, Bennett, Parish. 

Subs: Tedaldi, Kane, Yates, Aman, Marcel-Dilaver, Asare-Williams, Brown. 

Arsenal starting XI: Mitchell, Awe, Walters, Henry-Francis, Foran, Bandera, Norton-Cuffy, Patino, Edwards, Hutchinson, Cozier-Duberry. 

Subs: Jeffcott, Kovacevic, Robinson, Ibrahim, Sagoe Jr, Gaspar, Richards. 

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