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Colchester United 0-2 Gillingham

A goal in either half gives the visitors the win in pre-season

24 July 2021

Colchester United have been defeated by a goal in either half by League One Gillingham in the second home pre-season friendly.

The visitors announced their intentions early on the game, pressing the U's high and hard in the opening exchanges. 

It almost paid off within eight minutes, when Vadaine Oliver's strike had to be blocked by Chambers, but the high press from Evans' side left them exposed at the back with Trialist B almost capitalising on their lack of numbers in defence. 

But it was the visitors who struck first. Kyle Dempsey took a speculative shot from outside the area that was mis-handled by Dean Gerken, allowing Ben Reeves to pounce and tap into the empty net.

The U's had to be on guard with their defensive duties as Gillingham looked to keep the pressure on - but it wasn't long before Hayden Mullins' team were doing the attacking and trying to get themselves on level terms. 

Cameron Coxe was the first to go close, when his powerful volley was blocked away, before Freddie Sears saw a string of attempts saved by Chapman in the visiting goal. 

After the first forty-five minutes of the game, the U's were trailing at the break after Ben Reeves' opening strike in the first ten minutes of the game. 

Hayden Mullins' team talk at half time saw a U's side that came out with a high press and high tempo, looking to get back on level terms quickly.

Ten minutes into the half saw the best chance of the game for the U's as Trialist B and Sears combined to deliver a cross to Chilvers, who, under pressure from behind, mis-hit his effort wide of the goal.

Moments later, Sears was almost able to break through after Chilvers had played a ball across the penalty area, but his lofted effort was blocked by the Gillingham 'keeper before bouncing wide at the second attempt. 

The U's were pressing but unable to make any breakthroughs, and their efforts were undone ten minutes before the end when Jack Tucker's strike rifled into the top corner to give the visitors a two-goal lead. 

The game finished with Gillingham winning the friendly 0-2, with the U's to play Ipswich Town on Tuesday for the final home friendly ahead of the 2021/22 season. 

Colchester United starting XI: Gerken, Welch-Hayes, Clampin, Chambers, Smith, Wiredu, Skuse, Sears, Chilvers, Coxe, Trialist B. 

Subs: Collins, Nouble, Judge, Eastman, Thomas, Tovide, Cornish, Beadle, Trialist A, Trialist C, Trialist D. 

Gillingham starting XI: Chapman, Jackson, Tucker, MacDonald, Dempsey, Reeves, Trialist, Bennett, Oliver, O'Keefe, Phillips. 

Subs: Crump, Akinde, Lloyd, Lee, Woods, Lintott, Chambers, Gale, Akehurst.

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