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U21 Report | U's 2-1 Birmingham City

U's youngsters claim three points with second half comeback

14 October 2022

Second half goals from Samson Uwandu and Kai Redgrave sealed the win for Colchester United in the Premier League Cup against Birmingham City.

The U's trailed at the break after a strike from Kieran Wakefield, but managed to turn it around in the second half to win the opening game in their Premier League Cup campaign. 

Second half goals from Samson Uwandu and Kai Redgrave sealed the win, with another PL Cup game coming up at the JobServe Community Stadium next week. 

The opening ten minutes of the game were bright for Dave Huzzey’s young U’s side, winning a string of corners as they put the pressure on the home defence.

There were chances for Ryan Lowe, Frankie Terry and the Trialist centre half, but nothing that Birmingham’s defence couldn’t cope with as the game progressed.

As the visitors started to get a foothold in the game, the U’s defence had to be on their guard against a pacey front line. But after being dispossessed on the halfway line, Lordon Akolbire was shown a yellow card for bringing down his opponent as they looked to counter on fifteen minutes.

The yellow card brought a more sustained period of possession for the away side, as they also started to find their feet in front of goal. A couple of loose balls across the U’s defence allowed shots, but the Trialist ‘keeper was able to prevent the opener.

The best chance of the game so far fell to Huzzey’s side, from a lapse in concentration at the back from Birmingham. Kai Redgrave was quick to capitalise, but his low drive was saved by the goalkeeper with the follow up put wide by Arnold.

Two minutes later, the visitors did find the opening goal of the game, and it was Kieran Wakefield on target. Khela was slipped in through the defence, as his shot brought the save from the U’s ‘keeper, as Wakefield was quick to follow up and find the net.

Back at the other end, Redgrave was looking a handful for the visiting defence. Twice in quick succession he tested Mayo in the away goal, but still Huzzey’s side were left searching for their first goal in the game.

Redgrave turned provider for the final chance of the half for the U’s. The speedy winger beat his man on the far side, delivering a low cross for Marcel-Dilaver, but the number 10 couldn’t keep his effort down and fired over the bar from twelve yards.

Dave Huzzey made a change at the break, with Frankie Terry being replaced at centre back by Frankie Edwards, keeping the same formation as he had played in the first half.

The U’s kept the pressure on the Birmingham back line, with Redgrave again looking dangerous down the right flank for his side. He managed to get in a good position to shoot from Kaan Bennett’s deflected cross, but couldn’t make contact in what would surely have been the equaliser.

Another change followed on the hour mark, with Samson Uwandu coming on for Kaan Bennett. And the substitute almost found the equaliser from Arnold’s low cross.

Jamie Arnold did well to spring the offside trap, and delivered a powerful ball across the penalty area driving towards goal, but Uwandu couldn’t quite make contact as the visitors were able to manufacture a clearance.

And Uwandu had an almost identical chance five minutes later, but again he couldn’t convert. This time it was Redgrave who delivered the ball across the face of goal, but again Uwandu didn’t make contact as another chance went begging.

But the substitute wouldn’t miss a third chance as he smashed home to get his side back on level terms with ten minutes to play. Ryan Lowe delivered a free kick that the away goalkeeper failed to clear, with Uwandu on hand to power home into the empty net and make it 1-1 heading into the final stages of the game.

Five minutes later, the U’s had their noses in front for the first time in the game, as Kai Redgrave got on the scoresheet. Jamie Arnold was played through on the far side, and brought the goalkeeper off his line, dinking a cross to Redgrave to smash home.

There was still chances at the other end though, as the Trialist goalkeeper pulled off two crucial stops to prevent Birmingham from getting back in the game.

They proved to be match-winning saves after five minutes of stoppage time, with Dave Huzzey’s side claiming all three points in their first Premier League Cup match. Up next for the U21s, another PL Cup game, this time against Reading on Tuesday 18th October at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Colchester United starting XI: Trialist, Akolbire, Yates, Lowe, Trialist, Terry, Redgrave, Oni, Arnold, Marcel-Dilaver, Bennett.

Subs: Jolliffe, Edwards, Uwandu, Berry, Tedaldi.

Birmingham City starting XI: Mayo, Pendleton, Campbell, Browne, Walker, Khela, Stirk, Wakefield, Trialist, Chang, Mazwi.

Subs: Fogarty, O’Sullivan, Tattum, Patterson.

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