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Report | U's 1-1 Stevenage

U’s push high flying Stevenage all the way

29 October 2022

Marley Marshall Miranda rifled home an unforgettable first goal as the U's tested their high-flying opponents all the way to the finish.

With five changes to the team that drew with Crawley on Tuesday night, Colchester were determined to go all out for the victory in this tough clash against Stevenage.

The U’s got off to the perfect start with Marley Marshall Miranda sending a delightful half-volley into the top corner after just six minutes.

Stevenage hit back ten minutes later as Danny Rose connected with a header that bounced in off the bar.

The second half was an open contest, with both teams fashioning some good chances and both keepers called into action.

It was an even affair, but neither side could find a winner and the game finished square.

Next up for the U’s is a trip to Barrow on Tuesday night as we continue our league campaign.

Tom Eastman, Freddie Sears, Al-Amin Kazeem, Miranda and Frank Nouble all came into the team, with Ryan Clampin, Alan Judge, John Akinde, Dan Chesters and Junior Tchamadeu all dropping out.

The boss opted for a back three to provide some more stability in defence, with the visitors proving they can battle at the top of the table this season.

But it was the U’s who got off to a flyer with Marshall Miranda opening the scoring after just six minutes.

After some good play in the final third of the pitch, Alex Newby teed up the midfielder on the edge of the area and he wasted no time in striking a sweet effort into the top right corner.

However, the good start was short lived as ten minutes later the visitors hit back with an equaliser.

Some good play on the left-hand side saw Danny Rose connect with a header that beat Sam Hornby and crashed in off the underside of the crossbar.

Steve Evans’ side kept control of the ball well following their goal, with his side looking dangerous from set pieces and crosses.

Stevenage perhaps should have had a second after Tom Dallison’s attempted clearance bounced off the woodwork, but the backline were able to clear before the ball was turned in.

After half an hour it was very much the visitors who were on top at the Jobserve Community Stadium. Luther Wildin and Max Clark were both pushing extremely high as wing backs, meaning they could control possession in the U’s half.

As the first forty-five came to a close, it was Bloomfield’s men who were beginning to find a foothold in the game after a dominant spell for Stevenage.

Good work in the middle of the park won the U’s a number of free kicks, but they were unable to convert any of the opportunities.

Freddie Sears had a golden chance in the closing minutes of the first half after a loose ball picked up by Nouble was drilled across the box, but the striker could not get on the end of it.

Jake Reeves had a chance for Stevenage as we entered additional time, but his strike sailed harmlessly over Sam Hornby’s head.

That was the final action of the half as the two sides headed down the tunnel with nothing to separate them.

No changes were made from either side at the break and it was all to play for in the second half.

Stevenage were the team who came out flying, clearly looking to find a breakthrough early.

Luke Norris was causing problems in the final third, but Dallison, Eastman and Luke Chambers were doing well to deal with his physical presence.

Cole Skuse picked up a nasty looking injury on his right leg ten minutes into the second half and having suffered a knock-on Tuesday, he was withdrawn and Alan Judge came on to replace him.

As well as this, both Chesters and Clampin were introduced with Kazeem and Sears both taking their leave.

The introduction of substitutes led to an increase in energy from the U’s. Judge had a shot on the edge of the box deflected and Newby was having some freedom on the right-hand side, linking up well with Luke Hannant.

Dallison had to keep his cool as a teasing ball across the face of goal could have fallen to a Stevenage man, but the defender flicked it behind for a corner.

As both teams pried for a winner, more space opened up. Newby had a volley inside the box just miss the target and Stevenage had two shouts for a penalty up the other end.

Marshall Miranda picked up a booking for what seemed to be a clever tackle, but the referee disagreed and cautioned the youngster with just under twenty minutes to play.

The momentum was with the U’s as chances kept coming, Chesters was in the thick of the action and won his side a free-kick in a dangerous area, but the effort from Judge just missed the goal.

The first batch of changes from Stevenage came with fifteen minutes to play, as Evans rolled the dice in search of a winner.

Colchester looked the more likely to score that winner, but the visitors still looked dangerous. They had a good chance as we entered four minutes at the end of the ninety, a ball in was not met by Jordan Roberts buy they did win the corner.

Hornby pulled out a good save after the corner had led to Stevenage hitting the post.

Noah Chilvers was introduced for the final minute as it looked to be headed for a stalemate in Essex.

And that was how it ended, with neither side able to find a winner on an entertaining Saturday afternoon.

Colchester United XI: Hornby, Chambers, Dallison, Hannant, Skuse (Judge, 58), Sears (Chesters, 58), Eastman, Newby (Chilvers, 90) Kazeem (Clampin, 59), Miranda, Nouble

Subs: O’Hara, Clampin, Judge, Cholvers, Lubala, Ashley, Chesters

Stevenage XI: Ashby-Hammond, Wildin, Clark (Earley, 77), Reeves (Taylor, 77), Piergianni, Sweeney, Norris (Read, 77), Roberts, Vancooton, Gilbey, Rose

Subs: Chapman, Taylor, Campbell, Read, Bostwick, Reid, Earley

Attendance - 3,486 (531)

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