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Stevenage 0-0 Colchester United

U's held to a point at Lamex Stadium

26 January 2021

Colchester United were held to a goalless draw against Stevenage, with both teams having opportunities to win the game.

The U's were forced to settle for a point, despite chances from Tommy Smith and Courtney Senior going begging in either half. Stevenage did have the ball in the net through Stevens, although his goal was quickly ruled out for offside, after List's strike had bounced off the foot of the post. 

Steve Ball elected to make one change alongside the one that was enforced with Harry Pell missing through suspension. 

Omar Sowunmi dropped to the bench, with Miles Welch-Hayes coming in for the defender, with Harry Pell replaced by Courtney Senior. 

The hosts were employing a high pressure tactic to try and prevent the U's from having time on the ball, and it was working with great effect for the opening fifteen minutes. 

A frustrated U's side saw stray passes go to their opponents who failed to capitalise on the mistakes of Colchester United, with the visitors growing into the game after this point. 

In fact, the U's twice went close to taking the lead with just over fifteen minutes on the clock. 

Kwame Poku was first to try his luck, and he had Cumming worried with his driven effort. It lifted just over the bar luckily for the home 'keeper who would have been happy to see it in the stands after. 

Tommy Smith was next with his downwards header bouncing just wide of the post from Cohen Bramall's free kick. The U's won the set piece in a dangerous position through Courtney Senior who had the beating of Read who was subsequently booked, before Smith headed wide. 

The hosts were not without their bursts forwards though, with List proving to be a tough man to handle with runs down the left flank. Cleverly running into the channels, he looked to get the  ball across with the U's defending well. 

Time ran out in the first half, in what was a cagey affair between the two sides. Both Stevenage and Colchester United had chances to go ahead in the first forty-five, but neither side was quite clinical enough to take them. 

Colchester United looked to start the second half quickly, trying to get their noses in front. Brown and Poku were linking up well down both wings, but it was Smith who once again had a chance to put his side in front. 

He attacked the ball from a Cohen Bramall corner, with his effort coming off a Stevenage head before bouncing just wide of Cumming's post. 

But it was the hosts who did have the ball in the net first. Elliott List fired the ball against the post from just outside the area, with Matty Stevens following up and tapping into the empty net, only to find the flag up - a big let off for the U's with the goal disallowed. 

Stevenage were having a good spell and the U's were having to get men behind the ball to prevent the home side taking the lead. A good set of blocks allowed the visitors time to clear, only for List to be played in. A brilliant challenge from Stevenson denied him a shooting chance, before the U's were able to attack once again. 

Possibly the best chance of the game for Steve Ball's side fell to Courtney Senior. Jevani Brown blocked a pass and collected the ball, driving towards Cumming's goal, spotting the run of Senior to his right. He laid the ball into his path, but Senior pulled the effort wide when one-on-one, spurning the chance. 

Luke Norris slid the ball over to Osborne who would have been in a great position to either shoot or cross, but a fantastic spot from Courtney Senior meant that he was able to get back and block away with just five minutes remaining. 

The U's had their chances with the game entering injury time, with Noah Chilvers pulling a shot just wide, as well as Oteh cutting the ball back across, only for James-Wildin to get a foot to it, deflecting it away from the path of Folivi. 

And the game would end the way it started, with both teams taking a point from the game, in a match when either side could have won it on another night. 

The point lifts Colchester United up one place to fourteenth, ahead of Oldham, while the hosts remain precariously closeo the drop zone in twenty-second with twenty-two points. 

Next up for the U's is another evening game, this time back on their home turf as they take on Scunthorpe United on Friday evening at the JobServe Community Stadium. 

Stevenage starting XI: Cumming, James-Wildin, Coker, Vincelot (Smith 87'), Carter (Osborne 88'), Vancooten, List (Marsh 72'), Read, Marshall, Stevens (Newton 78'), Norris.

Unused subs: Johnson, Prosser, Hutton.  

Colchester United starting XI: Gerken, Welch-Hayes, Bramall, Smith, Senior, Brown (Oteh 76'), Harriott, Chilvers, Eastman, Poku (Folivi 72'), Stevenson. 

Unused subs: George, Sowunmi, Marshall Miranda, Sayer, Tchamadeu.  

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