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Match Report | Colchester United 1-1 Swindon Town

Nine-man U's steal a point at the death

29 January 2022

Emyr Huws rescued a point for his depleted Colchester United side in stoppage time as the U's picked up a point against high-flying Swindon at the JobServe Community Stadium.

After a goalledd first half, the visitors took the lead as Harry McKirdy converted from a low cross. And it looked as though the U's might fall to a heavy defeat, being reduced to nine men with George and Chambers both seeing red. 

But Emyr Huws smashed home at the back post in stoppage time to steal a point for the U's, in front of a raucous home crowd in the South Stand. 

Wayne Brown named an unchanged starting eleven for the match against Swindon Town, after his team performed excellently to gain three points on the road at Salford the week before. 

There was three changes to the bench, with Dean Gerken, Tommy Smith and Noah Chilvers all missing, with Ted Collins, Tom Eastman, and John Akinde named as substitutes. 

Colchester United made a bright start in the game, despite the visitors keeping a lot of possession in the opening exchanges, and were unlucky not to take the lead in the opening ten minutes. 

Luke Hannant went close to getting his first goal for the club with a back post header from Alan Judge's deep cross. Hannant's header looped over Wollacott, but was nodded off the line by O'Brien across goal, with the scores remaining goalless. 

Harry McKirdy had the best chance of the game for the visitors in the same period, with Jonny Williams exploiting the space on the left flank. And the Welsh midfielder deliverd a low ball into the Robins' top scorer, who tried to backheel the ball in, but Shamal George was grateful to collect the weak effort. 

Hannant and Judge were combining well across the front line, and went close to opening the scores again with ten minutes of the half to go. It was an almost identical situation to Hannant's header that was cleared off the line, but this time the visiting 'keeper, Jojo Wollacott, managed to get across and palm the ball away for a corner. 

But McKirdy was proving a handful for the back line of Kenlock, Dallison, Chambers and Tchamadeu. With twelve goals to his name this season, he looked like he would be adding number thirteen ten minutes before the break. A long ball forward released him, but Luke Chambers was chasing him down and got a vital tackle in to clear the ball away before McKirdy was able to pull the trigger. 

Swindon Town were pushing for the opener before half time, but were unable to find a route through. On-loan striker Josh Davison had the final effort of the half, after a neat knockdown from Jonny Williams. It gave Davison the space to shoot, but Shamal George was quick off his line to close the angle and get the block in. 

And Shamal's fine save ensure the two sides would be going into the break level, although the hosts had maintained a high amount of possession throughout the first period. 

For the first fifteen minutes after the break, it was an even contest between the two sides, other than a smart save from Shamal George to deny McKirdy as the ball had squirmed through the packed defence. 

The U's had a good chance to take the lead just before the visitors found their breakthrough, with Alan Judge crossing the ball into Brendan Wiredu. The accurate delivery was controlled well by Wiredu who showed strength to hold it up and lay it into the path of Luke Hannant. But the U's winger slipped and lost his footing at the key moment, and he was unable to get his effort away. 

Just a couple of minutes later, the visitors found the opening goal and it was Harry McKirdy on target. The Robins' top scorer had been threatening to find the back of the net througout the game, but this time he was able to convert. He latched on to a low, deep cross at the back post and had a simple finish beyond Shamal George to make it 1-0 to Swindon Town. 

And just a couple of minutes after that, the U's task became much harder. Wayne Brown's side were reduced to ten men, when Shamal George was shown a straight red card by the referee. There was an incident in the goalmouth between him and Josh Davison, and George was given his marching orders, meaning young goalkeeper, Ted Collins, came on for his Colchester United debut. 

The U's were further reduced with Luke Chambers being given a straight red card for a last man challenge on Jonny Williams, but Emyr Huws stepped up to rescue a point in stoppage time for his club. 

An Owura Edwards corner found its way to the Welshman at the back post who couldn't miss, and fired home the equaliser to lift the roof off the JobServe Community Stadium, giving the U's a valuable point. 

Wayne Brown's side remain in twenty-second position, but now have a total of twenty-six points, seven ahead of the nearest team behind them. 

Up next is the rearranged fixture against Rochdale, here at the JobServe Community Stadium on Tuesday evening.  

Colchester United starting XI: George, Chambers, Wiredu (Akinde 66'), Hannant (Edwards 83'), Skuse, Judge (Collins 74'), Sears, Dallison, Kenlock, Tchamadeu, Huws.

Unused subs: Nouble, Andrews, Eastman, Coxe. 

Swindon Town starting XI: Wollacott, Odimayo, Iandolo, Conroy, Lyden (Gladwin 77'), Davison, McKirdy (Mitchell-Lawson 81'), O'Brien, Williams (Aguiar 89'), Hunt, Reed. 

Unused subs: Ward, East, Parsons, Dabre. 

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