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U's End Pre-Season With 2-2 Draw

Chilvers and Sears net in final friendly

23 July 2022

Colchester United have finished their pre-season match schedule with a 2-2 draw at Ebbsfleet.

On a bright day just south of the river, Noah Chilvers opened the scoring on twelve minutes, but the hosts levelled a few minutes before half-time through Bingham.

Bingham put his side ahead on the hour mark with his second, but Sears made it 2-2 with a clever lob seven minutes later.

It was competitive match against the Kent side, with the U's seven days away from the League Two opener at Northampton.

The U’s started the game on the front foot, and almost scored within the first two minutes.

John Akinde got clear on the left, the ball was transferred quickly, but Freddie Sears couldn’t quite find the target following Alan Judge’s miscued shot.

The visitors went even closer on five minutes, Judge’s free kick pushed onto the bar by former U’s keeper Mark Cousins.

It was no surprise that the first goal of the game came for the U’s, with Noah Chilvers sidefooting his effort into the bottom corner on twelve minutes after good work from Judge and Sears.

Sears should have doubled the lead four minutes later, clipping his effort over the bar after intercepting a pass from Cousins.

The home side had their first real effort of the game just before the half hour mark, with Sam Hornby untroubled as it sailed over the bar.

Chilvers had the next chance for the U’s, but pulled his shot wide  - with Ryan Clampin starting the attack with a great run down the left wing.

The scores were level three minutes before half time, with a training ground corner routine ending with a Bingham shot from the edge of the box arrowing into the bottom corner.

Just before the whistle went for the break, Ryan Clampin was booked for a late challenge, following two home players going into the referee’s notebook.

Like the first half, the U’s started well in the second, with Sears causing problems for the home defence.

First, he crossed for Chilvers, but the near post header went wide, then he shot himself after again intercepting a Cousins’ pass from inside the home box but the shot went just wide.

At the other end, Hornby made a strong save to deny the hosts when a goalbound shot was hit from the edge of the box.

The hosts did beat Hornby on the hour mark though, Bingham drilling his angled shot across the U’s keeper and into the bottom corner.

That lead only lasted seven minutes, with Sears netting to make it 2-2.

Hornby’s long clearance was flicked on by Akinde – Sears controlled instantly and lobbed Cousins, who couldn’t backtrack enough to prevent the shot going in.

The U’s made their first change of the game on seventy two minutes, Al-Amin Kazeem replacing Clampin at left back.

Akinde almost went from provider to scorer a minute later, but he couldn’t quite find the target with an awkward finish with his knee from a Hannant cross which came in at a difficult height for the U’s forward.

A number of subs for the home team slowed the game down, but it was Ebbsfleet who had the next chance.

Hornby was able to fall to his left to get on the ball, after a near post shot was smothered by a couple of U’s defenders.

With eight minutes to go, Nouble,  Tovide, Newby and Cooper were introduced as the forward four for the U’s – Sears, Akinde, Hannant and Chilvers replaced.

Neither side could find a late winner, and the final whistle went with the scores level at 2-2.

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