In a game of four goals, two red cards and lots of incidents, the points were shared in the Professional Development League match between the young U’s and QPR.
Second half goals from T’aizo Marcel Dilaver and Jamie Arnold helped the U’s to a point in a tight game at Florence Park, a red card for Makhaya James for a second bookable offence allowed QPR to equalise with fifteen minutes to go through a penalty, and some choice words were enough to get Teddy Lawrence of the visitors shown a straight red in the 90th minute.
The U’s and QPR started the game similarly, both sides wanted to control the midfield and due to that they attempted to out press each other in the early exchanges.
The first chance of the game went to QPR, the visitors broke through but the ball was charged down fantastically by Jayden Peglar, who reacted quickly to find Matt Yates on the charge, Yates then put a fantastic ball over the top to find Jamie Arnold who took it down brilliantly, he was tackled well however and the ball went for a corner.
Twenty minutes in, Arnold had another chance, a fantastic bit of skill saw him beat his man with a nutmeg, the striker then went on to beat two more QPR defenders, break away and have a go from a tight angle, forcing a save from the visitor’s shot stopper.
QPR started to get a handle on the game in around the 20 minute mark, holding the ball well and trying to play around the U’s, however they were missing that final pass and struggled to get many shots off, any that did find their way through were easily dealt with by Peglar. With most of the pressure being in the U’s half it was difficult for the home side to break away. On the forty-fifth minute QPR got a bit of luck, a shot found it’s way through the U’s defenders and bobbled up just in front of Peglar, the ball dribbled agonisingly through the ‘keeper’s legs who’d otherwise had a perfect first half.
The U’s started the second half very well, and after just six minutes had found the equaliser, a fantastic interception by half time substitute Makhaya James gave the U’s the tools to score, the home team caught QPR in transition and a good run from T’aizo allowed James to make the inch perfect pass, T’aizo took two touches before slotting it past the ‘keeper effortlessly.
Eleven minutes later and it was 2-1, Ewan Gordon-Clement whipped in a phenomenal ball shortly after coming on, it was incredibly dangerous and impossible for the QPR defenders to deal with. The ball was half cleared but only into the path of Arnold who smashed home from close range.
The U’s couldn’t hold onto that lead however, as in the seventy-sixth minute James gives away a penalty for a trip on the QPR winger, and to the shock of the Colchester United bench, he receives his second yellow card and is sent off, QPR convert well and with fifteen minutes to go and a man down the U’s do their best to try and hold a draw.
Although it was actually the home side with the best chances in the last minutes, Marcel Dilaver was a live wire with not long left, beating every man that tried to take the ball from him, however the U18s couldn’t find the net with their chances. With not long to go Teddy Lawrence, the QPR number ten looked to have said something, causing a reaction from the U’s players and the referee who sent off the winger straight away.
It was a story of two halves but the U’s had to settle for a draw on the day, they were much the better team in the second half and Adam Lewis’ men will be gutted with a draw.
1. Jayden Peglar 2. Matt Yates 3. Trialist (Makhaya James) 4. Bayan Aman 5. Andrew Palmer-Brown 6. Bailey Berry 7. Samson Uwandu (Ewan Gordon-Clement) 8. T'aizo Marcel Dilaver 9. Jamie Arnold (Max Jolliffe) 10. Kennedy Mupomba 11. Trialist
13. Harrison Chamberlain