Pell and Sarpong-Wiredu net in Colchester United’s 2-2 draw with promotion-chasing Tranmere Rovers.
Harry Pell opened the scoring for the U’s in the twenty-ninth minute with a close-range effort following some great work by youngster Ryan Clampin, before Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu doubled Colchester United’s lead just after half-time.
However, the two-goal lead was cut short just ten minutes later when U’s defender Tommy Smith handled the ball in his own box, allowing Rovers forward Danny Lloyd to convert from the spot.
And a well-hit volley from midfielder Jay Spearing completed Tranmere Rovers’ comeback, meaning both sides left the JobServe Community Stadium with a point.
Wayne Brown made three changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Port Vale on Saturday, largely keeping faith in the side that bravely fought against the Valiants during the second half three days ago.
Miles Welch-Hayes and Noah Chilvers were replaced by Junior Tchamadeu and Courtney Senior respectively as the pair earnt starts this time around following their positive impact coming off the bench versus Port Vale.
Goalkeeper Dean Gerken was also recalled, replacing Shamal George, following a spell on the side-lines, as Brown called upon his experienced heads to get a result against Tranmere Rovers.
It was Tranmere Rovers who started the better of the two sides, and Calum MacDonald will feel he should have done better with a close-range header that he blazed over the bar in the fourteenth minute.
And just six minutes later Tranmere Rovers definitely should have taken the lead; a brilliant cross from MacDonald was met in the six-yard box by Danny Lloyd, who saw his point-blank header saved magnificently by the returning Dean Gerken.
But in the twenty-ninth minute it was Colchester United who took the lead through Harry Pell’s close-range finish.
The U’s skipper was on hand to tap in after Jevani Brown’s missed attempt fell to him, with a lot of credit owed to Ryan Clampin’s excellent work down the left in the build-up to the goal.
And just five minutes later United could have doubled their lead when Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu met Courtney Senior’s pinpoint low cross, but his close-range effort soared over the bar.
Tranmere Rovers’ Danny Lloyd had the final two chances of the half as he firstly saw a decent strike palmed away by Dean Gerken in the forty-second minute, before watching his speculative curling effort strike the post just a minute later, meaning his side went in at half-time trailing the U’s 1-0.
Colchester United started the second half well, with Sarpong-Wiredu missing another guilt-edged chance when his close-range effort was saved well by Rovers’ captain Scott Davies in the forty-eighth minute.
And it was third time lucky for Sarpong-Wiredu as he finally grabbed his first ever U’s goal in the fifty-fourth minute, converting from two yards out after an accurate cross from Pell found the unmarked midfielder in the box.
However, Tranmere Rovers were gifted a route back into the game when Tommy Smith accidentally handled inside the box, with Danny Lloyd firing the subsequent penalty past Gerken in the sixtieth minute.
And the penalty clearly gave the away side the boost they needed, as just six minutes later Jay Spearing equalised for the Rovers with a well-struck half-volley from the edge of the box.
And it was Tranmere Rovers who had the biggest chance to win the game when Nya Kirby found himself in acres of space in the box, but his driven struck the post from six yards in the ninety-second minute meaning a point would have to do for the Rovers.
Although they will be disappointed that they let a two-goal lead slip, the point was an important one for Colchester United as it moves them up to 21st in the table, one point ahead of Barrow and seven clear of the bottom two.
Meanwhile Bradford, who are visitors at the JobServe Community Stadium on Saturday, lost 2-0 at Scunthorpe this evening.
Colchester United starting XI: Gerken, Tchamadeu, Eastman, Smith, Clampin, Stevenson, Pell, , Senior (Cowan-Hall 89), Sarpong-Wiredu, Nouble (Folivi 81), Brown.
Unused subs: George, Welch-Hayes, Doherty, Chilvers, Oteh.
Tranmere Rovers Starting XI: Davies, Khan, Clarke, Monthe, Ridehalgh (Crawford 62), Feeney, Spearing, Morris (Nugent 46), Lewis, MacDonald, Lloyd (Kirby 64).
Unused subs: Murphy, Nelson, Jolley, Burton.