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Report | U's 2-2 Crawley Town

U's battle back in entertaining draw at JCS

25 October 2022

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Colchester United picked up a point in the evening's league action, in a 2-2 draw at home to Crawley Town.

The U's started brightly and took the lead with Alex Newby's first goal in Colchester colours, a powerful strike from the edge of the penalty area. 

But Bloomfield's side couldn't maintain the advantage, and conceded just before the break to Ashley Nadesan's header. And just a matter of seconds into the second half, James Tilley gave Crawley the advantage for the first time in the game. 

The second half remained entertaining though, as Junior Tchamadeu struck from outside the eighteen-yard box to level the scores before a tight finish with the points shared.l 

The U’s made four changes to the eleven that started in the 1-0 defeat at Newport on Saturday afternoon.

Ryan Clampin was the only change to the back four, coming in to replace Al-Amin Kazeem, with the three other alterations in midfield. Alan Judge, Alex Newby and Dan Chesters were all brought into the side by Matt Bloomfield, taking the places of Freddie Sears, Noah Chilvers and Marley Marshall Miranda.

With the Head Coach’s instructions still ringing in their ears, the U’s looked to get out of the traps quickly against fellow strugglers Crawley Town. And they didn’t take long to create a glorious opportunity in front of goal.

Junior Tchamadeu whipped in a superb cross for John Akinde to attack at the far post, but the stocky centre-forward wasn’t able to convert as he bundled over Dion Conroy. It was a nasty collision between the two that saw the visitors forced into an early change; Conroy departed with the help of the medical staff, replaced by Ludwig Franciellette after a lengthy stoppage.

Tchamadeu was involved in the next action of the game, harshly cautioned for a foul on Nick Tsaroulla who had made a break down the left flank. Crawley looked to work the free kick, but to no avail.

And it was the U’s who bagged the opening goal of the game, in the twentieth minute.  Alex Newby struck from all of twenty-five yards, a low left-footed drive that fizzed beyond Robson in goal for his first goal for Colchester United.

Bloomfield’s side were on top, and they looked confident with the ball. John Akinde was next to go close, latching on to Ryan Clampin’s lofted cross-field ball. He was watching it all the way, but couldn’t direct it over Robson as the ‘keeper was able to collect.

Alan Judge tested the goalkeeper next with a close range effort, but it was Junior Tchamadeu who would have had Robson concerned about only being one goal behind. The full back burst forward with pace, pulling the trigger from just outside the penalty area that deflected off a visiting defender and agonisingly wide of the upright.

The scorer of the U’s first goal, Alex Newby was looking dangerous and drew a foul on the edge of the penalty area after a foul by Hessenthaler, who was rightly booked. And Alan Judge stepped up to shoot, but his effort was blocked before the follow up was struck against a U’s man in an offside position.

And amongst the midfield battle, Cole Skuse had picked up a knock and had to be replaced with just over five minutes of the half to play. He was replaced by Marley Marshall Miranda.

As the game entered nine minutes of stoppage time, the visitors struck back and it was the in-form Ashley Nadesan who nodded his side level. Jake Hessenthaler tossed the ball in for Nadesan to casually place beyond Hornby to make it level at half time.

There were no further changes to the two teams at the break, as the visitors wasted no time in getting forward. Crawley were ahead less than thirty seconds into the second period with Tilley squeezing home an effort from Nichols’ through ball.

Ryan Clampin picked up a knock with five minutes of the second half gone, and he was swiftly replaced by Al-Amin Kazeem.

The goal and injury brought a slow period of play, with the U’s just gathering their thoughts after going behind for the first time in the game. But it burst back into life when Junior Tchamadeu rifled home the equaliser.

In the sixty-second minute, Tchamadeu needed no one else as he drove forward before unleashing a superb left-footed strike into the bottom right corner, catching Robson off guard to make it 2-2.

And once again, Colchester were starting to play with their tails up. Another dominant period of play saw John Akinde again go close as the visiting defence soaked up vast amounts of pressure, but managing to contain the constant attacks.

Akinde was hungry for a late goal, and had two gilt-edged chances to find it with just five minutes left to play. His first was a header that nicked the outside of the woodwork from Judge’s accurate cross, with help from a Crawley defender.

The second was perhaps a better chance, with Hannant’s cross flying all the way to John at the back post. He shoved away his marker for a shot that was saved before curling the follow up wide, as Dan Chester picked up a knock in the six-yard box.

But for all the U’s efforts, they weren’t able to muster a third goal on the evening, as the scores finished level.

Matt Bloomfield’s side collect a point, but remain in the bottom two with ten points from fifteen games, two behind Rochdale and Harrogate Town.

Up next, the U’s host Stevenage at the JobServe Community Stadium, with Steve Evans’ side coming into the game sitting second in the league table.

Colchester United starting XI: Hornby, Clampin (Kazeem 53’), Chambers, Dallison, Hannant, Skuse (Marshall Miranda 38’), Judge, Newby, Tchamadeu, Chesters (Nouble 88’), Akinde.

Subs: O’Hara, Sears, Chilvers, Eastman, Kazeem, Marshall Miranda, Nouble.

Crawley Town starting XI: Robson, Conroy (Franciellette 13’), Francomb (Jenks 58’), Craig, Tilley, Powell, Nichols, Nadesan, Tsaroulla, Fellows (Telford 69’), Hessenthaler.

Subs: Francillette, Davis, Telford, Oteh, Khaleel, Jenks, Balcombe.

Attendance: 2,931 (240)

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