Reserves 0-0 Colchester United
Wednesday, 9th Sep 2009 16:44
A young Town reserves side drew 0-0 with a much more experienced Colchester second string at Portman Road this afternoon. Ed Upson went closest to scoring for the Blues, while Steven Gillespie missed the game’s best chance for the U’s.
David Wright and new keeper Arran Lee-Barrett were the only Town players to have played league football, while all of the Colchester starting line-up – including the likes of David Perkins, Alan Maybury, Adam Lockwood, Scott Vernon and Medy Elito - except defender Tom Bender have made senior appearances and striker Steven Gillespie was on the bench.
Town started with only first-year scholar Caolan Lavery up front with regular frontman Ronan Murray away on international duty with the Irish U19s.
There were few chances in the first half, David Wright coming closest with a curled effort from the edge of the area which went beyond the post.
At the other end, David Fox shot through to Lee-Barrett, then former Hamilton Academical striker Joel Thomas saw a cross strike the top of the Town bar.
After the break, Shane O’Connor shot over, then Ed Upson struck an effort narrowly wide. Sam Corcoran failed to significantly work Lee-Barrett with a shot from the end of the box on 63.
Sub Steven Gillespie missed the chance of the game in the 71st minute when Russell Malton’s right wing cross found its way to the former Liverpool striker on the edge of the area, from where he squeezed the ball wide of the post.
Town went as close as they would to a goal three minutes later when Upson shaped to shoot with his right foot from 25 yards, then turned back inside and sent in an effort with his left which crashed against the stanchion.
The midfielder had another chance with 12 minutes remaining when Wright’s cross was nodded down by O’Connor, but Upson could only managed mis-hit shot straight at Colchester keeper Mark Cousins.
In the closing stages, Town relied mainly on breaks with Reggie Lambe dispossessed when bearing down on goal from an Upson through ball.
Gillespie continued to be the visitors’ main threat with Lee-Barrett saving his 84th minute strike and a late header missing the target.
Overall, a more than creditable point for the Town youngsters against a much more experienced side. Upson in particular impressed again, while at the heart of the defence Troy Brown and Jack Ainsley prevented the visitors from creating much of note in front of goal.
David Wright appears unlikely to be involved at Middlesbrough on Saturday after playing the full 90 minutes, despite putting in a solid display.
The Blues didn’t particularly threaten at the other end, but might have nicked it close to the whistle had Lambe been able to take the ball beyond the last defender.
Boss Roy Keane watched the game from the directors' box, while new Colchester manager Aidy Boothroyd was joined by ex-Town coaches Tony Humes and Richard Hall, who are now working with the U's youngsters.
Reserves: Lee-Barrett, D Wright, Dunbar, Hyam, Brown, Ainsley, Lambe, Upson, Lavery (Cawley 70), Clark (Carson 54), O’Connor. Unused: McLoughlin, Griffiths, Eastman.
Photo: Action Images
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