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Report | U's 3-0 Doncaster Rovers

Dominant U's punish Rovers

19 November 2022

Colchester United breezed past Doncaster Rovers with a superb 3-0 win courtesy of Alex Newby, Samson Tovide and Luke Hannant.

Alex Newby kicked things off with a superb free kick just before the break before Samson Tovide's unstoppable strike doubled the lead for the U's. 

And Luke Hannant put the icing on the cake with a swerving effort from outside the penalty area in the nintieth minute. 

Matt Bloomfield made one change to the side that lost at Crewe last weekend, with captain Tommy Smith returning in place of Tom Eastman at the back.

Matt Bloomfield made one change to the side that lost at Crewe last weekend, with captain Tommy Smith returning in place of Tom Eastman at the back.

With Colchester back at the Jobserve Community Stadium after successive away trips, Bloomfield’s men look to start fast against a Doncaster Rovers side who were sitting comfortably in mid-table.

There was nearly a breakthrough early on for the U’s, as Frank Nouble working well with Tovide, but the young forward’s sliding effort was blocked off by the visitor’s backline.

The U’s were looking dangerous from set-pieces, with two dangerous corners in succession almost resulting in an opener. Luke Chambers’ effort from the edge of the box was the biggest chance of the opening ten minutes.

Kyle Hurst picked up an early booking for Rovers after tripping Ossama Ashley, with the midfielder looking to break.

Rovers grew into the game as we approached the twenty minute mark, with Ben Close and Hurst breaking up the play well for Danny Schofield’s men.

Tovide looked to be the danger man for the hosts and was making a nuisance of himself in the final third of the pitch, but just lacked a delicate final ball.

Luke Molyneux was inches away from giving his side the lead after seeing his shot deflected on the edge of the U’s box, but it looped over the top of Sam Hornby’s goal and the following corner was cleared.

Hannant was in the book not long after for what was deemed a cynical foul by the referee, despite the midfielder appearing to win the ball.

Tovide was amid the action again as he found himself with space in the Rovers box. He opted to take the shot on the turn but could not hit the target.

Hornby was called into action up the other end with George Miller taking aim from distance, but the goalkeeper was able to get fingertips to it and tip the ball over.

James Maxwell should have put Rovers ahead after the U’s failed to clear a cross, but the wing-back dragged his left-footed effort wide of the post as we approached half-time.

Nouble looked to have isolated the defenders with three minutes to play, darting past two green shirts, but his touch was heavy, and the ball ran out of play.

With a minute left in the half, the U’s won a free-kick right on the edge of the oppositions box after some excellent play by Tovide once again.

Alex Newby stepped up as four additional minutes were announced, and he curled the ball into the top right corner.

Alan Judge had another chance during the additional play, but his volley was stopped by keeper Mitchell.

Riding the wave of momentum after the opener, the U’s saw out the rest of play and headed in 1-0 up at the break.

A change from Schofield at half-time saw Aidan Barlow replace Molyneux with Bloomfield opting for the same XI that started the game.

The U’s looked to assert more dominance on the game, with the midfield three of Judge, Newby and Ashley playing well in tight spaces.

The first real chance of the second half fell to Rovers after a teasing ball in looked destined for a green head, but Ashley rose superbly to turn it behind.

After clearing the corner, the U’s broke, after yet more excellent work from Ashley. The ball fell for Judge who played Tovide in over the top, he took a touch and rifled home from a tight angle to record his first senior goal and double his side’s lead.

Schofield had seen enough following Colchester’s second and opted for a double switch. Kyle Hurst and Harrison Biggins made way with Adam Clayton and Jon Taylor entering the fray.

Bloomfield felt the need for changes too with just over twenty minutes to play. Tovide’s shift was over and Freddie Sears was introduced alongside Matty Longstaff who returned to replace Judge.

Doncaster Rovers substitute Aidan Barlow was stretchered off after suffering what looked to be a serious injury in the middle of the pitch. He was replaced by Kieran Agard.

Ashley was next in the book following a late challenge, the midfielder stayed down with what looked to be cramp but was back on his feet eventually.

As we entered the final period of the game, Rovers were pushing on in search of a goal, but it left them exposed at the back, ultimately providing the likes of Sears and Newby with plenty of room in attack.

Longstaff nearly had his first goal in white and blue, his effort just inside the box was smartly turned behind by Mitchell.

Junior Tchamadeu prevented another break from the opponents but was never getting the ball and earned his spot in the referee’s book.

Signs of frustration were seeping through the Doncaster players, Tom Anderson took an aggressive swipe at Newby after the midfielder breezed past him and he too, was rightfully shown a yellow card.

From the resulting free-kick, Colchester had a third. A half clearance was picked up by Luke Hannant, he faked once before drilling the ball past Mitchell.

Cheers went up as the fourth official indicated an additional ten minutes at the end of the second half. A resounding performance from the home side had the fans in singing spirits as we looked to close out the game.

Emyr Huws was the next to receive a standing ovation as he made his long-awaited return to first-team action, replacing Hannant in injury time.

Eastman and Noah Chilvers were both introduced in the closing minutes, Nouble and Ashley made way having put in a brilliant shift.

The U’s remained on top until the close of play, recording a win and a clean sheet that lifted the Essex side out of the relgation zone with Bristol Rovers set to visit on Wednesday night for a Papa John’s Trophy clash.

Colchester United XI: Hornby, Chambers, Smith, Hannant (Huws, 90), Judge (Longstaff, 70), Ashley, Newby, Tchamadeu, Kazeem, Tovide (Sears, 70), Nouble

Subs: O’Hara, Sears, Chilvers, Eastman, Chesters, Longstaff, Huws

Doncaster Rovers XI: Mitchell, Knoyle (Seaman, 90), Mazwell, Anderson, Williams, Molyneux (Barlow, 46(Agard 78)), Miller, Biggins, Long (Taylor, 64), Hurst (Clayton, 64), Close

Subs: Jones, Olowu, Clayton, Taylor, Barlow, Seaman, Agard

Attendance: 3,608 (389)

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