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Harrogate Town 3-0 Colchester United

U's beaten on first trip to Envirovent Stadium

9 March 2021

Colchester United fell to defeat on their first ever trip to Harrogate United after goals from Beck, Smith and McPake.

It was an uphill challenge almost from the get-go for Colchester United who were behind in the first minute when Mark Beck's composed effort curled into the far corner. 

Will Smith made it two just seconds before the half time whistle, when the U's failed to clear the ball allowing the centre-back time and space to pick his spot beyond George. 

After the break, Josh McPake added a third when he found space on the left flank before coolly slotting the ball home to increase the lead for his side in the fifty-fifth minute. 

Wayne Brown reverted back to the 3-5-2 formation that earned his side three points in the game against Carlisle United a week ago, with one change from the side that lost 2-0 to Newport County at the weekend. 

Frank Nouble was suspended following his two yellow cards at the weekend, with Omar Sowunmi coming in to take his place. Josh Doherty and Kwame Poku were named on the bench in two changes from the weekend, with Harvey Sayer Courtney Senior missing out. 

There was a fast start to the game, with the hosts taking the lead in the opening minutes, with Mark Beck on target for Harrogate Town. 

Beck was in free space on the right hand side of the area and saw his left footed effort curl into the corner beyond Shamal George to give the Sulphurites the early advantage. 

The home side were applying the early pressure to get a second inside the opening ten minutes, with their best chance falling to March. From a long Jones throw, the ball landed at the feet of March, with his effort blocked by Clampin inside the six-yard area. 

Wayne Brown's side were looking to atone for their earlier woes, and get themselves back on level terms in the first half, and nearly did so through Michael Folivi. Picking up the ball from Callum Harriott, Folivi cut in and curled his effort just wide of Belshaw's far post. 

Just moments before half time, the task became twice as difficult for the visitors, when Will Smith added a second for his side. Controlling the ball after a mis-kicked clearance from Omar Sowunmi, Smith set himself before coolly finishing beyond George to make it 2-0 before the half time whistle blew. 

The U's were almost able to halve the deficit in the first minute of the second half, with Tommy Smith going within inches of a goal. He lost his marker from a corner and won the header but could only guide the ball onto the post with Belshaw beaten. 

But ten minutes into the second period, the hosts had a third. After spurning a chance moments earlier, Josh McPake found the back of the net when he was picked out on the left flank, where he was afforded the time to pick his spot beyond George in the far corner. 

Wayne Brown's side were still looking to force their way into the game despite bring three goals down, and were testing Belshaw in the Harrogate goal. Rem Oteh was denied initially after his run was spotted by Harry Pell who played the ball to his feet. Controlling it well, he was quickly closed down by the onrushing 'keeper who got his body in the way to prevent the goal. 

And Belshaw thwarted the U's again five minutes later, this time with an impressive double save. His first stop from Junior Tchamadeu's effort was spilled to Oteh, who couldn't lift the ball over the Harrogate shot-stopper to get the goal. 

At the full time whistle it was the home side who took all three points with their three goals as the U's were beaten on the road. 

It is a result that means Colchester United remainin twentieth position, with thirty-six point. 

The next opponents for the U's, Grimsby Town were held to a draw at Carlisle after a late goal at Brunton Park, with the Mariners remaining at the foot of the table. 

Harrogate Town starting XI: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Jones, Falkingham, Smith, Burrell, Thomson, Beck (Martin 80'), Kerry (Kiernan 69'), March (Muldoon 23'), McPake (Francis 69'). 

Unused subs: Lawlor, Minter. 

Colchester United starting XI: George, Smith, Sowunmi (Pell 46'), Oteh (Poku 75'), Harriott, Chilvers (Cowan-Hall 67'), Eastman, Clampin, Sarpong-Wiredu, Tchamadeu, Folivi (Brown 67'). 

Unused subs: Coulter, Welch-Hayes, Doherty. 

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