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Report | Crewe 1-0 U's

Travelling U's beaten by late headed goal

12 November 2022

A late headed goal from Dan Agyei gave Crewe all three points in a slender defeat for the U's in Cheshire.

An even first half saw the U’s edge the better of the chances, despite being unable to take the lead in the game.

And Matt Bloomfield’s side came out strongly in the second period, once again knocking on the door of the hosts. But a headed goal from Dan Agyei ten minutes from time gave the home side all three points, condemning the U’s to defeat at the Mornflake Stadium.

Colchester United lined up with five changes to the starting eleven from last weekend’s FA Cup defeat at Newport County.

Matt Bloomfield handed Samson Tovide his first league start of the season, with Hornby, Hannant, Newby and Kazeem all returning to the starting lineup at the Mornflake Stadium.

Kieran O’Hara, Freddie Sears, Noah Chilvers and Dan Chesters dropped to the bench, with Ryan Clampin missing from the matchday eighteen altogether.

The U’s started brightly with a couple of half-chances falling to their attacking players in the opening ten minutes. Luke Hannant saw a volley from the edge of the penalty area saved, with Samson Tovide shooting over the crossbar after he had escaped his marker from a forward ball.

Lining up in a 4-1-4-1 formation, Ossama Ashley was playing as the defensive midfield for Matt Bloomfield’s side. But the former West Ham man would have to watch his step for the remaining eighty minutes of play after collecting a yellow card for a foul on Lachlan Brook in the middle of the field.

Ashley continued with the combative style of football that saw him keep his place from last weekend’s FA Cup match, and the U’s kept pressing forwards looking to break the deadlock.

Luke Chambers almost set up the opening goal of the game, nodding the ball back across the face of goal from Al-Amin Kazeem’s delivery. It ricocheted off a couple of legs in the six-yard box before being collected by the ‘keeper, as the game settled down after the first twenty minutes of play.

But it was the U’s who still looked on top and were the more likely side to net first. From another Kazeem delivery Nouble spotted Alex Newby unmarked at the back post, with the attacking player unlucky not to see his shot nestle in the bottom corner; Okonkwo provided another fine save for the home team.

On their attacking plays, Samson Tovide looked like a handful for the central defensive pairing of Sass-Davies and Offord, with the latter shown a yellow card before half time for hauling the U’s man to the ground.

But the scores remained goalless after forty-five minutes, with both teams having it all to play for in the second half.

The U’s started the second half as they had the first, attacking Crewe’s goal. And again, Bloomfield’s men were creating chances in front of goal, the closest falling to Alex Newby who headed over from Frank Nouble’s cross early on.

The hosts were the first to make changes to try and influence the game, with King and Finney introduced for Adebisi and Tabiner, but the U’s still kept the pressure on as they hoped to get the first goal in the game.

And the best chance of the game yet fell to Alex Newby once again. Clean through from Junior Tchamadeu’s lofted pass, Newby only had the ‘keeper to beat, but Okonkwo pulled off a fine save to deny the U’s man with twenty to play.

Crewe made their final change with just over ten to play as Charlie Colkett came on for Lachlan Brook. And shortly after, the hosts took the lead as Agyei headed home; he connected with Uwakwe’s cross at the far post to convert.

Matt Bloomfield responded with four changes in the eighty-fourth minute. Samson Tovide, Alex Newby, Luke Hannant and Frank Nouble were all withdrawn, as Freddie Sears, Dan Chesters, Noah Chilvers and Beryly Lubala came on to take their places.

But they couldn’t make a real impact on the game as the full time whistle blew after seven minutes of injury time.

The slender defeat for the U’s means they remain twenty-fourth in the standings after eighteen games having collected eleven points. Up next for Matt Bloomfield’s side is a return to the JobServe Community Stadium to face Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.

Crewe Alexandra starting XI: Okonkwo, Mellor, Adebisi (King 54’), Offord, Thomas, Agyei, Brook (Colkett 78’), Sambou, Uwakwe, Sass-Davies, Tabiner (Finney 64’).

Subs: Richards, Williams, Griffiths, Finney, Colkett, Leshebela, King.

Colchester United starting XI: Hornby, Chambers, Hannant (Chilvers 84’), Judge, Ashley, Eastman, Newby (Chesters 84’), Tchamadeu, Kazeem, Tovide (Sears 84’), Nouble (Lubala 84’).

Subs: O’Hara, Smith, Sears, Chilvers, Lubala, Chesters, Marshall Miranda.

Attendance: 3,814 (179)

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