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Match Report | U's 3-0 Bradford City

U's cruise to three-goal win at the JobServe Community Stadium

18 April 2022

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First half goals from Myles Kenlock and Brendan Wiredu, with Freddie Sears adding a third in the second half ensured Colchester United's Football League status with victory over Bradford City.

The U's headed into the game knowing three points, combined with a favourable result at Oldham would keep them in Sky Bet League Two with three games of the season to go. 

Myles Kenlock struck well into the bottom corner to get the U's on their way after fifteen minutes, before Brendan Wiredu emphatically nodded home a second before the break. 

Freddie Sears scored the pick of the bunch, curling an effort intot he top corner with fifteen minutes to play, as the U's ran out comfortable victors against the Bantams. 

Wayne Brown named a team with three changes to the starting eleven from Friday's defeat to Exeter City, with Alan Judge, Myles Kenlock and Junior Tchamadeu all coming into the eleven. 

They took the places of Tom Luke Hannant, Tom Eastman and Cameron Coxe, with Owura Edwards and Ted Collins also coming into places on the subs bench. 

The U's got their noses in front within the opening exchanges of the game as Myles Kenlock struck his third goal since joining the club on loan in the January transfer window. Noah Chilvers took the ball to the byline before setting it up to the back post, with Kenlock arriving. The full back took one touch before his left foot strike bounced in off the woodwork to give Wayne Brown's side the advantage. 

And Colchester United kept the pressure on City, with Brendan Wiredu heading home the second fifteen minutes later. It was a goal straight off the training ground, with Alan Judge finding the head of Tommy Smith on the near side of the penalty area. The Skipper set the ball back across for Wiredu to head home, doubling the U's lead with his second goal of the season. 

Another chance fell the way of the U's before the break with the ball finding Freddie Sears on the edge of the penalty area. It was another well-worked attack, with Noah Chilvers and Brendan Wiredu involved before Sears created the space on the edge of the penalty area with some clever footwork. But he was unable to keep his effort down, with the ball flying just over Bass' crossbar. 

Mark Hughes made one change at the break, and it was an attacking one with his side trailing. Jamie Walker came on, putting another player in the attacking force for the Bantams, with full back, Oscar Threlkeld withdrawn. 

But things didn’t improve on the pitch during the initial stages of the second half for Bradford. They took almost twenty minutes to register a shot on Shamal George’s goal, and it was a tame effort with the U’s ‘keeper able to catch the ball at the near post.

And with twenty-five minutes to play, Hughes was given a headache as his captain was dismissed for a second yellow card. O’Connor fouled Noah Chilvers both times for his yellow cards, and headed to the changing rooms to sit out the last quarter of the game.

He missed the U’s adding a third, with Freddie Sears bagging his fifteenth of the season. Brendan Wiredu added an assist to his tally, setting the ball back to Sears to bend into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area with fifteen minutes to play.

It turned out to be one of Sears’ last actions of the game, with Owura Edwards making a welcome return to the side five minutes later, coming on for the scorer of the third with ten minutes of the match remaining.

The final whistle as the U’s cruised to a commanding victory, ensuring their Football League status for the 2022/23 season. The valuable three points, combined with Oldham Athletic’s defeat to Forest Green Rovers meant that Wayne Brown, Joe Dunne and Dave Huzzey guided the U’s to safety.

Colchester United starting XI: George, Chambers, Smith, Wiredu, Skuse (Hannant 73’), Judge, Sears (Edwards 81’), Chilvers, Kenlock, Tchamadeu (Welch-Hayes 90’), Huws. 

Unused subs: Collins, Eastman, Akinde, Wright. 

Bradford City starting XI: Bass, Threlkeld (Walker 46'), O'Connor, Songo'o. Cooke, Cook (Angol 61’), Gilliead, Foulds, Evans (Kelleher 71’), Sutton, Lavery. 

Unused subs: O'Donnell, Vernam, Hendry, Pereira. 

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