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Match Report | Barrow 2-3 Colchester United

U's extend away unbeaten start with late Eastman header

10 September 2021

The U's have extended their unbeaten start away from home in the League, with a brilliant battling 3-2 win at the Dunes Hotel Stadium against Barrow.

Colchester United provided a magnificent display for the travelling 120 fans up in Barrow, putting three past the home side to snatch an unlikely three points after being reduced to ten men.

Alan Judge and Freddie Sears turned the game around in the first half after a defensive mix up allowed Stevens to net the opener, but the U’s still managed to lead at half time.

Luke Chambers was dismissed for a second yellow card with twenty minutes to go, with the home side buoyed by their additional player, as Banks converted from the penalty spot.

But a powerful header from Tom Eastman snatched the points late on, with the U’s able to hold on and extend their unbeaten start away from home.

Hayden Mullins named a line up with three changes from the side that started the last league game against Rochdale two weeks ago, with Chilvers and Jasper dropping to the bench with Welch-Hayes missing through injury. 

Coming into replace them were Luke Hannant for his first Colchester United start, Alan Judge and Cameron Coxe. 

Colchester United made a bright start to the game, winning a flurry of corners in the opening ten minutes of the game. With Nouble and Sears working well to powerhouse their way through the home defence, the U's were given early opportunities from set pieces, but unable to capitalise on them. 

Luke Chambers got his head to the ball at the near post from one of Alan Judge's deliveries, flicking the ball towards Freddie Sears, who was unfortunate to have the ball pinched from his toe by the man marking him inside the six yard area. 

Barrow were taking their time to grow into the game, but a couple of half chances gave the home crowd the encouragement they needed around the twentieth minute, with Zanzala and Gordon taking aim, but unable to hit the target. 

It was a defensive error from Colchester United that gifted the home side the opening goal of the game. There was a mix up between Tommy Smith and Shamal George, with the U's captain playing a short ball back to his 'keeper allowing Jordan Stevens the chance to tap into the open net and make it 1-0. 

But the U's showed their strength to cope with adversity in the first half, and ten minutes later, managed to get themselves back on level terms. It was a well worked goal from Colchester United, with Freddie Sears providing the assist courtesy of a clever run down the right wing. His measured ball was weighted perfectly for Alan Judge to slide in and tap in for his first goal in U's colours. 

Two minutes later, the U's were in front with Sears finding the target this time. He benefitted from a defensive header that wasn't going to make it to Farman, with Sears nipping in to dink the ball over the home 'keeper and make it 2-1 to the travelling side. 

Mullins' side were close to adding a third to their tally just before the break with Brendan Wiredu's smart volley from just outside the area. After a corner wasn't fully cleared, the ball fell kindly to Wiredu, with only Romeao Hutton's goalline clearance able to deny a third as the U's finished the half well on top. 

There were no changes for either side at the break, but early in the second half the U's had to be alert to prevent an equaliser from the home side. Patrick Brough's header back across goal worried the visiting defence, with Shamal George commanding his area to collect the ball from the second delivery. 

The Bluebirds' top scorer Offrande Zanzala had a good chance to equalise with fifty-eight minutes on the clock. Arriving in the centre of the goal to attack Hutton's cross, the home forward was unable to direct the ball as he would have liked with his effort landing comfotably in the hands of George. 

There was scramble at the back with George and Chambers at odds with Zanzala lurking but unable to profit. The ball squirmed out to Brough who saw his effort blocked on the line by Coxe with the follow up flying over the bar as the U's were riding their luck. 

The task became increasingly difficult for Hayden Mullins' travelling side with twenty-one minutes to go when Luke Chambers was given his marching orders by the referee for a second yellow card. Zanzala appeared to use his hand to control the ball and move it beyond Chambers who brought him down and was dismissed. 

Moments later the home side were given an opportunity to get themselves back on level terms when Luke Hannant brought down Stevens in the box, allowing Ollie Banks to step up from the penalty spot. He duly converted to make it 2-2 with fifteen to go. 

But the U's came back at their League Two conterparts, looking to find what would be an unlikely winner on the road. Frank Nouble worked hard to create an opportunity, with Brendan Wiredu arriving in the middle. The U's midfielder had the ball taken away from him and punted out for a corner. 

Noah Chilvers delivered a brilliant ball, straight on to the head of Tom Eastman, who powered the ball home, beyond Paul Farman to give ten-man Colchester United the lead with ten minutes remaining in the game. 

The U's had to face a barrage of attacks from the home side, with Shamal George being forced into a stretching save after Stevens' curling effort. 

The referee made the game even in terms of players as the game entered injury time when James Jones was sent off for a second booking after bringing down Frank Nouble.

The late onslaught was complete when Barrow ‘keeper Paul Farman ran into the penalty area to attack a corner, with the ball almost bouncing kindly for him from Brough’s wayward effort, but the time ran out on the home side as the U’s collected a fantastic three points.

The battling win sends the U’s to eighth in the table, with nine points from six games, although Mullins’ side are in a false position having played the night before the rest of the fixtures in Sky Bet League Two.

Barrow starting XI: Farman, Brough, Taylor (Sea 72’), Zanzala, Gordon (Kay 83’), Jones, Gotts, Grayson, Hutton, Banks, Stevens. 

Unused subs: White, Lillis, Moloney, Arthur. 

Colchester United starting XI: George, Chambers, Smith, Wiredu, Hannant (Chilvers 76’), Skuse, Nouble, Judge (Eastman 67’), Sears (Tchamadeu 87’), Daniels, Coxe.

Unused subs: Turner, Dobra, Jasper, Kennedy. 

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