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Report | U's 2-1 Harrogate Town

FIrst half goals from Appiah and Nouble seal three points for U's

8 October 2022

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Two first half goals from Kwesi Appiah and Frank Nouble ensure Colchester United claim a first league win under Matt Bloomfield.

Colchester started with a blistering pace, with Kwesi Appiah rounding the goalkeeper and passing the ball into an empty net to give the hosts the lead.

The U’s doubled their advantage in the latter stages of the first half, with Junior Tchamadeu delivering a low cross that was steered home by Frank Nouble.

Harrogate got back into the game ten minutes into the second half, with Alex Pattison capitalising on a loose ball in the U’s half to make it 2-1.

But Bloomfield's side held on through nine minutes of second half stoppage time to claim a first league win in seven.

Matt Bloomfield made three changes to the side that started against AFC Wimbledon last weekend, with Sam Hornby, Marley Marshall Miranda and Frank Nouble all earning a place in the starting XI.

The players looked invigorated with positive energy following the 2-1 win over Charlton on Tuesday night, with a hunger possessing the team in the opening stages.

With the head coach keen to be at it from the off, the U’s were clearly instructed to press in packs, which allowed the home side to control the ball in the oppositions half.

The right-hand side looked a particularly dangerous area for Colchester, with Appiah providing some excellent hold up play and setting Luke Hannant free on more than one occasion.

And the U’s were rewarded for their fast start just eight minutes into the game.

Tom Dallison played a lovely ball up the pitch towards Appiah who made a nuisance of himself against the Harrogate defender before knocking the ball around Pete Jameson and slotting into an empty net.

The game’s tempo slowed after the opening goal, but the U’s continued to dominate with the ball resulting in some nasty challenges on both Luke Chambers and Appiah.

Nouble went so close to doubling the host’s lead, Hannant delivered an inch-perfect cross that was met by the U’s number 45, but his header cannoned off the inside of the post and the follow up was turned away for a corner.

Harrogate had their first real chance of the game after twenty-five minutes with a loose ball not cleared in the Colchester box, but the Simon Weaver’s men could not capitalise.

Luke Armstrong had a half-chance for Sulphurites as he met a cross on the half volley, but Dallison did well to deflect the effort behind for a corner.

Colchester will be glad to have sustained a small period of pressure as they doubled their lead not long after.

A smartly worked set-piece saw Cole Skuse and Tchamadeu link up, with the latter blasting a cross low into the penalty box and Nouble was there to steer it home.

The home side continued to press for more goals as we entered four minutes of additional time at the end of the opening forty-five but had to settle for a two-goal lead as the referee blew his whistle.

Harrogate made two changes during the break as they looked for a way back into the game, but the U’s were looking to be stubborn in an effort to secure all three points.

And the third goal was inches away just five minutes in. Tchamadeu with some excellent pace beat three men and pulled the ball back for Freddie Sears, but the striker could not direct the ball on target.

The visitors scored against the run of play as a loose ball from Hornby was picked up by the Danny Grant, who played Alex Pattison through, with the player lifting the ball past the keeper to halve the deficit.

Rory McArdle had a decent chance not long after the goal, his glanced header from a corner sailed narrowly over the woodwork.

Matt Bloomfield had seen enough as we entered the final half an hour, with the boss opting for changes in the form of Beryly Lubala and John Akinde in place of Sears and Nouble.

Goalscorer Appiah took a knock late on in the game and was replaced by Alex Newby as the Essex side looked to see out the game.

Hannant nearly sealed the tie with a thunderous strike from inside the box, but Jameson did well to parry the ball over.

Both sides had chances as we entered the final stages of the game, with the U’s having a golden opportunity to kill the game.

Hannant had an opportunity blocked by the goalkeeper before Newby’s follow up was cleared off the line.

Nine minutes was added on at the end of the game, which gave the visitors a much-needed boost in the search for an equaliser.

Tom Eastman was introduced to help provide some defensive stability for the remaining five minutes, with Hannant making way for the man who scored and assisted against Charlton on Tuesday.

Akinde was involved in some good hold up play in the corner as the U’s looked to see the game out and some clever free kicks helped the hosts calm the game down at the Jobserve Community Stadium.

And it was a first league win under new management for Colchester as the hosts held on to pick up a big three points.

Next up for the League Two side is a trip to Gillingham in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday night.

Colchester XI: Hornby, Chambers, Dallison, Hannant (Eastman 90'), Skuse, Appiah (Newby 76'), Sears (Akinde 64'), Tchamadeu, Kazeem, Miranda, Nouble (Lubala 64')

Subs: O’Hara, Clampin, Lubala, Eastman, Newby, Akinde, Longstaff

Harrogate XI: Jameson, Mattock (Burrell 46'), Grant, Headley, Pattison, Austerfield (Falkingham 46'), Muldoon (Coley 84'), Ramsay, McArdle, Daly, Armstrong

Subs: Oxley, Falkingham, Burrell, Coley, Frost, Dooley, Ferguson

Attendance: 2,750 (53 away)


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