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Match Report | Colchester United 1-1 Bristol Rovers

U's snatch late point after Chilvers' sublime strike

19 October 2021

Noah Chilvers struck a fantastic eighty-eighth minute equaliser for the U's, as Hayden Mullins' side picked up a point against Joey Barton's Bristol Rovers.

After a relatively even first half, the second period exploded into life when Bristol Rovers took the lead with thirty minutes to play. 

The U's fought back to claim a late point thanks to Noah Chilvers' strike, with three red cards issued to players in the final five minutes of the game. 

The matchday eighteen remained the same from Saturday's win against Harrogate Town, but Hayden Mullins opted for one change to his staring personnel. 

Scorer of the late goal, Sylvester Jasper was brought into the starting eleven, with Noah Chilvers taking his place on the bench at the start of the game against Bristol Rovers. 

Colchester United picked up where they left off on Saturday night with Sears having two good chances in the opening twenty minutes of the game. 

He, Nouble and Wiredu closed down an unsure Belshaw on six minutes, with the visiting 'keeper slipping, but just about able to atone for his mistake by clutching the ball at the second attempt. 

And Sears had a chance one-on-one with the 'keeper not long after, but was denied by the feet of Belshaw after a sloppy pass acrorss the Bristol Rovers defence. 

But after the twenty-five minute mark, Joey Barton's side started to grow into the game, and went closest to taking the  lead before the break. 

Brett Pitman had their first effort of the game, skewing the ball wide from Antony Evans' low cross. The former Ipswich forward forced a good save out of Shamal George just before the break, with the U's 'keeper pushing the ball onto the post. 

It was a well-worked free kick routine from Rovers, with Pitman taking the eventual shot, forcing George low to his left. The U's goalkeeper got his fingertips to the ball, pushing it onto the woodwork, and clasping on before the ball had crossed the line. 

His save kept the game level with the half-time whistle blowing moments later, as both sides headed for further instructions in the changing rooms. 

Bristol Rovers came out of the changing rooms in the same attacking form that they had finished the first half, and took the lead fifteen minutes after the break. 

Brett Pitman netted for the second game running for the visitors. Getting his head to the ball at the near post, Pitman flicked the ball into the far corner beyond Shamal George to give Rovers the lead. 

The U's tried to fight back and had a good spell towards the end of the game, attacking the goal in front of the South Stand looking for an equaliser. 

Armando Dobra was brought on in place of Sylvester Jasper to try and change the attack for the U's, and it looked as though he was illegally brought down in the penalty area by Kilgour. The referee pointed to the corner flag though, and the U's had another chance to level the game. 

Luke Chambers attacked the ball at the back post, heading just wide of Belshaw's goal from the resulting corner with Rovers still holding their own at the back. 

Ten minutes before the end of the game, Armando Dobra had a good chance to level the scores, after the ball fell kindly for him from Chilvers' deflected effort. 

Dobra controlled the ball and struck powerfully at Belshaw, who was equal to it and able to push the ball out for a corner. 

Bristol Rovers were reduced to ten men with Cian Harries sent off for a second bookable offence, and the U's took advantage of their extra man almost instantly, wth Noah Chilvers netting the equaliser. 

He managed to get an unobstructed effort away in the last ten minutes, that flew into the back of the net. The ball fell to Chilvers who unleashed an unstoppable effort beyond Belshaw to tie the game. 

But the entertainment in the fixture wasn't over. Bristol Rovers would receive another red card, with this one issued to Trevor Clarke, and the U's would also finish the game with reduced numbers with Junior Tchamadeu also sent off in the altercation. 

The U's ended the game looking for all three points, but were unable to find that second crucial breakthrough, and took a point from the fixture. 

Colchester United remain in nineteenth place, now with fourteen points, while Bristol Rovers drop to seventeenth with fifteen. 

Next up for the U's is a trip to Vale Park, with Darrell Clarke's side sitting fourth in the table after a 1-1 draw away at Mansfield. 

Colchester United starting XI: George, Chambers, Wiredu, Hannant (Tovide 89'), Skuse (Chilvers 46'), Nouble, Sears, Jasper (Dobra 62'), Eastman, Tchamadeu, Daniels. 

Unused subs: Turner, Smith, Dobra, Kennedy, Coxe. 

Bristol Rovers starting XI: Belshaw, Kilgour, Thomas (Coutts 78'), Collins (Hoole 84'), Nicholson (Clarke 82'), Taylor, Anderson, Evans, Harries, Whelan, Pitman.

Unsued subs: Westbrooke, Anderton, Spence, Ward.

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