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Colchester United 1-0 West Ham | Match Report

Dobra's first U's strike earns a first home win of the season

28 September 2021

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Colchester United picked up a first home win of the season courtesy of Armando Dobra's first goal for the U's coming early in the first half of the game.

The U's made a number of changes against the Premier League youngsters, but still showed they were able to hols their own with Armando Dobra scoring the decisive goal at the JobServe Community Stadium. 

Chay Cooper, who was playing in his first game for the U's, provided the assist in the seventh minute as the U's moved joint top of Southern Group A with three points from two games. 

Hayden Mullins handed full debuts to two youngsters for the Papa John's Trophy clash against West Ham United with Samson Tovide and Chay Cooper both included in the U's starting line up. 

Dean Gerken was making his first appearance of the season, with Dobra, Eastman, Chilvers and Tchamadea also included in eight changes from the U's side that drew 0-0 with Swindon Town on Saturday afternoon. 

Colchester United made a quick start in the game, racing into a lead with less than ten minutes on the clock. It was an end-to-end opening, but the U's took their chance when it came as Armando Dobra got himself off the mark. 

Debutant Chay Cooper provided the assist for the Ipswich Town loanee laying the ball in perfectly for Dobra to lift the ball over Hegyi and into the back of the net, giving the U's a one-goal advantage. 

The U's kept the pressure on looking for a second in quick succession but found their attempts foiled by Hegyi in goal for the visitors. 

Frank Nouble took aim with a powerful rising effort that had to be palmed away from the nearpost top corner, only for the fingertips of the Hungarian 'keeper to prevent a two-goal advantage. And Hegyi had to be alert to stop his own player putting through their net two minutes later after a fierce cross from Junior Tchamadeu bouncing around the six-yard area. 

But after a frantic fifteen minutes the game settled into a rhythm, with the U's comfortably able to soak up the pressure from West Ham. Gerken was called into action once, diving to his right to stop a low effort from outside of the area, but the returning 'keeper was able to perform a routine save.

Mullins' side would head to the changing rooms a goal ahead of the Group A opponents, seemingly heading for their first home win of the 2021/22 season. 

Once again, the U's started the half brightly with Dobra and Chilvers both having chances to put the game to bed before the sixty-minute mark in the game. 

Junior Tchamadeu was finding joy down the right hand side and delivered a cross towards Noah Chilvers who was unable to adapt his body to reach the ball that was played just behind him deep inside the penalty area. 

And two minutes later Dobra hit the side netting with his effort after some unselfish work from Brendan Wiredu. The U's midfielder was unmarked at the back post and nodded the ball down to the scorer of the U's first half goal with Dobra volleying the ball into the side netting of Hegyi's goal. 

Sylvester Jasper was introduced for the last twenty minutes of the game to try and get the U's a second goal, that would have killed off the match. 

His impact almost doubled the lead for the U's when he got around the back of the West Ham defence, smashing the ball across to Tovide, who was unlucky to see the ball taken off his toe in the six-yard area. 

But the U's were comfortable throughout the second half, and rarely had Gerken troubled. The only time when the U's 'keeper was under any sort of pressure was when he slipped with the ball at his feet, having to get up quickly and clear with a West Ham player closing him down. 

Hayden Mullins' side were able to see out the seven minutes added on at the end of the game, and claim a first win at home this season, and their first points in the Papa John's Trophy Group Stage. 

It puts the U's joint top with three points from two games, along with Gillingham and West Ham, while Ipswich Town prop up the table yet to score a point, but a game behind. 

Next up for Colchester United is a League Two home game aganist Salford City on Saturday afternoon, with a 3pm KO in north Essex. 

Colchester United starting XI: Gerken, Clampin, Chambers, Wiredu, Nouble (Hannant 55'), Chilvers, Eastman, Dobra, Tchamadeu, Tovide (Sears 81'), Cooper (Jasper 69'). 

Unused subs: George, Smith, Daniels, Coxe. 

West Ham starting XI: Hegyi, Ashby, Bapstiste, Alese, Greenidge (Dju 83'), Appiah-Forson, Chesters, Swyer, Diallo (Ashley 46' (Rosa 56')), Longelo, Perkins. 

Unused subs: Kinnear, Woods, Forbes, Robinson.

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