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Match Report | Sutton United 2-1 Colchester United

U's exit Papa John's Trophy

4 January 2022

Colchester United have been eliminated from the Papa John's Trophy by Sutton United after a 2-1 defeat in South London.

The U's found themselves a goal behind after seven minutes when the ball bounced back off Jake Turner and into his own goal, before Freddie Sears equalised just before the break after capitalising on Tom Eastman's goal-bound header. 

But the telling goal was scored early in the second period when Donovan Wilson struck a low effort beyond Jake Turner. Mullins' side twice hit the woodwork before the end of the game, with Jake Turner almost netting in injury time, but it wasn't to be and the U's were eliminated. 

Hayden Mullins named a line up with one change from the side that was defeated on Saturday afternoon at Crawley Town, but did also adopt a different shape for his Colchester United starting eleven. 

Noah Chilvers went off with an injury on New Year's Day, and was missing from the matchday eighteen at Sutton, with Luke Chambers taking his place in the starters. Mullins had switched to a three-man defence with Chambers, Smith and Eastman lining up at the back, the same way they had finished against Crawley Town. 

With seven minutes on the clock, the U's found themselves behind after an unfortunate deflection. Alistair Smith's thirty-yard low drive struck the foot of the post, bouncing off Jake Turner's back before crossing the line to give the home side the lead. 

It was a tough opening period for the U's as the home side continued to play the ball and make Hayden Mullins' team work. But the travelling side seemed to be able to weather the storm enough to gain a foothold back in the game. 

Armando Dobra had three shots in the first half, with each getting closer to finding the opener for the U's, testing the 'keeper with a couple of fierce drives. 

There was some confusion around the scorer of the equaliser for Colchester United, with the goal coming just before half time. Tom Eastman rose highest at the back post to win the header, with Freddie Sears getting the final touch to nod the ball beyond Bouzanis and in off the post, to make it 1-1 just before the break. 

But as it was in the first half, the hosts managed to find the back of the net seven minutes after kick off. Alistair Smith was involved again, this time allowing the ball to run for Donovan Wilson who was able to curl the shot beyond Turner and into the bottom corner. 

And again the U's rallied to try and get themselves back in the game. Alan Judge had plenty of efforts on goal, the best striking the woodwork with Bouzanis beaten. The Irish midfielder struck a free kick from range, with the ball hitting the apex of the post and bar, as Sutton defenders raced to clear. 

Luke Hannant received a driven cross from Junior Tchamadeu while unmaked on the penalty spot, but was unable to keep his effort down and convert with less than ten minutes remaining, and time running out on the U's Papa John's Trophy campaign. 

Another good chance for the U's fell to Alan Judge, with the midfielder again striking the woodwork. Tovide did well to pick Judge out, as the Irishman lashed his effort against the near post and out for a goal kick. 

As the game entered injury time, the U's really started to pile the pressure on the hosts, with Alan Judge yet again forcing a save out of Bouzanis, with another free kick struck, this time, across goal. 

It brought a corner for the U's, with Jake Turner coming up to try and force home the equaliser. And the U's 'keeper was almost able to fire home the second, with a packed penalty area before the ball fell to Eastman who lashed wide from a tight angle. 

The defeat means the U's exit the Papa John's Trophy, with the next match coming on Saturday afternoonn for Colchester United at the JobServe Community Stadium, when Rochdale make the trip to North Essex. 

Sutton United starting XI: Bouzanis, Barden, Wyatt, Goodliffe, John, Olaofe, Boldewijn, Kizzi, Wilson (Milsom 81'), Bennett (Sho-Silva 77'), Smith. 

Unused subs: Davis, Bugiel, House, Dundas. 

Colchester United starting XI: Turner, Chambers, Smith, Wiredu, Skuse, Judge, Sears, Eastman, Dobra (Hannant 68'), Tchamadeu (Tovide 81'), Coxe. 

Unused subs: Gerken, Kennedy, Thomas, Cooper, Terry. 

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