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Tranmere Rovers 2-0 Colchester United | Match Report

U's fall to first league defeat on the road this season

8 October 2021

Colchester United have been beaten on the road for the first time this season, with a 2-0 defeat at Tranmere Rovers.

After a goalless first half, the home side took full advantage from their chances in the second period, with Josh Hawkes and Peter Clarke on target to bag all three points for Micky Mellon's side. 

Hayden Mullins named a lineup with four changes from last weekend's home defeat to Salford City, with both Tommy Smith and Armando Dobra missing through international call ups. Also not in the starting eleven were Noah Chilvers and Charlie Daniels with the former on the subs bench. 

Coming in to take their places in the starting line up were Tom Eastman, Ryan Clampin, Brendan Wiredu and Luke Hannant. 

The first fifteen minutes of the game saw both teams edging their way into the contest, with both George and Doohan getting early touches of the ball with simple saves. 

Alan Judge provided the first test for the home defence with a free kick from just outside the penalty area. The Irishman stepped up to try and curl the ball into the goal, but couldn't beat the wall with Clarke heading away. 

At the other end, Luke Chambers and Shamal George were both on high alert to prevent a chance and then a goal for Tranmere Rovers. Chambers slid in at the near post to cut out a cross from Elliott Nevitt, with Tom Davies getting his head to the ball from the resulting corner, forcing George into a fine one-handed save on goal line. 

The hosts continues to press before the half hour mark and nearly found the opener once again, with Nevitt the furthest forward. He saw McDonald's ball arriving at the near post, but found the path to goal shielded by Luke Chambers as the U's centre half put diverted the ball out for a corner kick. 

Colchester United had their first effort on target in the first half via Freddie Sears' sharp shot from a tight angle, but were unable to penetrate the Tranmere defence, with both teams heading to the changing rooms without having found the back of the net. 

Tranmere Rovers went closest of either team five minutes after the break when Tom Davies struck the underside of the bar with a powerful header. From a nearside corner, Davies rose highest, heading the ball against the woodwork before Skuse won a free kick to relieve pressure for Hayden Mullins' team. 

The home side didn't have to wait long before getting their noses in front though, when Josh Hawkes fired the opener in front of the Kop. His deflected effort evaded the hands of Shamal George to give the hosts an early second half lead. 

Colchester United made changes to try and force their way back into the game with Chilvers and Jasper replacing Judge and Hannant, and they almost had an instant impact on the game. 

Jasper's driving run took the ball from one end of the field to the other, laying the ball into the path of Frank Nouble who had just strayed into an offside position. Two minutes later, Noah Chilvers struck an effort from outside the box that looked to have just clipped the outside of the post before going out for a goal kick. 

But the efforts were in vain when Micky Mellon's Tranmere Rovers doubled their lead two minutes after Noah Chilvers' shot. 

Peter Clarke, the home captain rose highest at the back post to head the ball back across goal and past Shamal George to put the game almost beyond all doubt with less than twenty minutes to play. 

Samson Tovide was brought on with ten minutes of the game to go, replacing Frank Nouble for his league debut. 

The U's defeat means that they remain in eighteenth position with ten points from as many games ahead of this weekend's remaining fixtures in Sky Bet League Two. 

Next up, Colchester Unites host Harrogate Town at the JobServe Community Stadium on Saturday 16th October. 

Tranmere Rovers starting XI: Doohan, Dacres-Cogley, MacDonald, Davies, Morris (Watson 84'), Spearing, McManaman (Feeney 82'), Hawkes (Merrie 90'), Foley, Nevitt, Clarke.

Unused subs: Murphy, Knight-Percival, Maynard, Duffy.

Colchester United starting XI: George, Clampin, Chambers, Wiredu, Hannant (Jasper 65'), Skuse, Nouble (Tovide 82'), Judge (Chilvers 65'), Sears, Eastman, Coxe. 

Unused subs: Turner, Kennedy, Tchamadeu, Cooper. 

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