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Colchester United 2-1 Carlisle United

Wayne Brown guides U's to first win of 2021 after coming from behind

2 March 2021

A second half fightback from Colchester United earned them a valuable three points as they look to move themselves up the table.

The U's were trailing at the break after Jon Mellish had put the Cumbrians ahead, but two second half goals from Callum Harriott meant it was the U's who took all three points. 

Wayne Brown opted to make changes to the side that was defeated at Forest Green on the weekend, with three alterations to the starting eleven. 

Dean Gerken was missing from the matchday eighteen after going off injured at half time in Forest Green, and the 'keeper was replaced by Shamal George who was making his third league start of the season. 

Missing from the starting eleven, but appearing on the bench were Josh Doherty and Kwame Poku who started at the innocent New Lawn. They were replaced by Omar Sowunmi and Aramide Oteh. 

The mist descended on the JobServe Community Stadium just before kick-off, and as the game started visibility became poor, with the ball difficult to spot in the far corner of the ground. 

And the game started slowly, perhaps due to the weather conditions. There were no real chances in the opening ten minutes of the game, but soon after it was the U's who looked like the side that would open the scoring. 

Tommy Smith forced a good save out of Paul Farman after a corner was recycled by Welch-Hayes. The U's captain got his head to the ball at the near post with Farman just getting his body in the way. 

Colchester United were putting the pressure on but had to be aware of the threats that Carlisle United had in their ranks. Brennan Dickenson fired a curling effort towards the top corner, with George able to get over to his right hand side and push the ball behind. 

But the visiting side did break the deadlock just before the half hour mark and it was the Cumbrians' top scorer Jon Mellish on target. From Dickenson's corner Mellish was on hand at the far post to turn the ball in beyond George to give his side the lead. 

The U's went into the dressing room at half time trailing after the goal on the half hour mark.

Ten minutes into the second half the visitors thought they would have the opportunity to extend their lead when the referee pointed to the spot. Omar Sowunmi went to ground to tackle Toure, but after consulting with linesman, the referee overturned the decision and gave a corner kick instead. 

Chris Beech's side almost scored from the resulting corner, but for a fantastic double Shamal George save at the back post before the U's were able to clear the ball away from danger. 

Shamal George was called into action ten minutes later when Joe Riley took aim towards goal. After receiving the cut back on the edge of the area, Riley's right footed effort forced the best out of George as he got across well to his right to push the ball onto the post before Eastman was able to clear. 

It was a crucial save as just three minutes later the U's would be celebrating an equaliser. Handed a lifeline by the referee, Colchester United were awarded a penalty kick after Frank Nouble was fouled in the area, with Callum Harriott smashing the ball into the net off the inside of the post to make it 1-1. 

And just a few moments later, the U's found themselves ahead, once again Callum Harriott finding the back of the net. Harriott was laid the ball just outside the area and drove the ball powerfully into the bottom corner beyond Farman to make it 2-1 to the U's with seventeen minutes to go. 

The game was far from over though as the U's had to endure late pressure from Carlisle United. Shamal George made crucial stops from Dickenson and Riley to keep his side ahead as Wayne Brown looked to get the first win of his caretaker reign. 

Callum Harriott thought he had an opportunity to complete his hattrick with five minutes to go, as Trevor Kettle was pointing to the penalty spot with Jevani Brown fouled by Paul Farman in the area. But once again after consulting with the linesman, the referee had overturned his decision and given the U's a corner. 

With time running out, clever play from Brown's side ran down the clock with five minutes of injury time to play. 

But they were able to hold on and stay ahead, as Colchester United bagged their first three points of the season to move up to twentieth position with thirty-six points. 

Next up for Wayne Brown's side, Newport County come to the JobServe Community Stadium, with Michael Flynn's side losing on the road at Tranmere Rovers this evening. 

Colchester United starting XI: George, Welch-Hayes (Folivi 68'), Smith, Sowunmi, Oteh (Brown 68'), Harriott, Chilvers, Eastman, Sarpong-Wiredu, Tchamadeu, Nouble (Cracknell 90'). 

Unused subs: Coulter, Doherty, Senior, Poku. 

Carlisle United starting XI: Farman, Tanner, Anderton, Hayden, Riley, Mellish (Scott 79'), Kayode, Dickenson, Furman, Toure (Patrick 79'), Bennett. 

Unused subs: Norman, Alessandra, McDonald, Charters, Armer. 

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