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U21s Beat Colchester
Monday, 25th Feb 2013 21:11

Frank Nouble netted a hat-trick and Andy Drury lashed in a stunning volley as Town's U21s beat Colchester 4-3 at a freezing Portman Road. The Blues ought to have been home and dry before a U's revival after the break which brought the scoreline back to 3-3.

Town named two trialists from the Kettering-based Tresham Academy in their starting line-up, Ade Yuseff and Mawete Nkunga, while Victor Zapata-Caicedo, from Tottenham’s youth set-up, who played for the U18s on Saturday, was on the bench.

Nkunga began the game at centre-half alongside Patrick Kisnorbo, while Yuseff was up front with Frank Nouble. The trialist duo previously played in a behind closed doors game last Tuesday, along with two other players from Tresham, when they did enough to have been asked back.

Nouble shot wide for the Blues in the fourth minute, then not long after the U’s had their first chance when Alex Gilbey headed a corner over.

On seven, trialist Yuseff pressured visiting keeper Shaun Phillips into dropping the ball but couldn’t get in position to take a shot at goal.

The Blues ought to have gone in front in the 10th minute when right-back Elliott Hewitt cut the ball back from the right to Josh Carson, whose miscued strike fell to Jay Emmanuel-Thomas who shot just over the bar when he probably should have scored.

On 17 Andy Drury played in Yuseff on the right of the area but keeper Phillips blocked. From Carson’s short corner, the Blues went in front. Skipper Byron Lawrence’s poor cross went very deep from where it was headed down by Tyrone Mings. Drury caught it perfectly on the volley and sent it into corner of net from 25 yards.

The Blues dominated after the goal and Lawrence went within a whisker of making it 2-0 from another short corner but his 20-yard strike was deflected over by Gilbey.

Nouble went even closer in the 27th minute when he twisted and turned on the edge of the box before hitting a shot which cannoned off the underside of the bar but not over the line.

It wasn’t all Town though, and soon after Drey Wright, son of ex-Blue Jermaine, who was watching the game, headed just past Scott Loach’s right post.

But it was the home side who were looking more likely to score and soon after the half hour mark Carson shot narrowly wide, and then Phillips did well to save an Emmanuel-Thomas header, a defender clearing the loose ball ahead of Kisnorbo.

On 38 Gilbey shot over the bar for the visitors, then Yuseff got in Drury’s way as they both went for Emmanuel-Thomas’s ball in from the right, the former Luton man having been the better placed. Moments later, Nouble shot low to Phillips’s right.

As the half moved into its final five minutes, Freddie Ladapo shot well over for the U’s, who were threatening on occasion, despite the Blues having most of the best chances.

Emmanuel-Thomas lashed a freekick into the upper tier of the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand after the lively Yuseff had been fouled, then the former Arsenal man played a clever pass into the path of Carson as he made a run forward but the Northern Irish international’s shot failed to beat Phillips.

The Blues were good for their lead at the break and might even have been further ahead having created a number of chances with the U’s also having had a couple of opportunities, although mainly from set pieces.

Striker Yuseff, similar in style and stature to former Blue Dean McDonald, had been the more impressive of the two trialists, while Drury’s goal was worthy of a rather bigger stage.

Yuseff scuffed an early second-half effort through to Phillips and it took only five minutes of the second half for Town to make it 2-0. Kisnorbo played a long ball forward and Nouble held off Kenzer Lee, cut inside the defender and confidently beat Phillips.

Soon after, Jack Compton made a strong run in from the Colchester right but Loach saved his low shot. Nkunga put the ball out and from the corner U’s skipper Kemi Izzet shot well over.

The visitors pulled a goal back in the 54th minute when Jordan Sanderson dispossessed Lawrence midway inside the Town half and hit a low shot which beat Loach.

Town restored their two-goal lead right on the hour when Drury’s shot fell to Nouble inside the area and the former Wolves man took a touch before netting his second of the game.

The U’s made it 3-2 in the 62nd minute when a somewhat harshly awarded freekick on the right was squared to Gilbey, whose strike beat Loach via a deflection off Nouble.

The visitors were by now in the ascendant and moments later Kisnorbo picked up the game’s first booking for a rash challenge on Sanderson as he broke down the right.

Yuseff made way for Victor Zapata-Caicedo on 66, the striker having made less of an impact after the break. Tottenham man Zapata-Caicedo, who played for the U18s at the weekend, took up a wide left role.

The U’s got back on terms on 70 with a goal to match Drury’s earlier strike. Compton brought the ball forward midway inside the Blues half before unleashing a 30-yard strike which flew past Loach.

Carson picked up a booking for a foul then on 79 Drury found Nouble in space on the left and the striker lashed home his third of the evening to make it 4-3 to Mark Kennedy’s men.

Nouble had the ball in the net again two minutes from the end of normal time but having been offside when Lawrence played him in. A minute later, Ladapo shot across the face and just wide for the U’s.

Ladapo scraped a shot wide in injury time but Town weren’t to be denied a victory which really ought to have been more comfortable.

Having been much the better side in the first half and ahead 2-0 shortly after the break, the Blues handed the impetus to the visitors in the second half via poor defending.

The watching Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor will have been less than pleased with the way the U’s were allowed to get back on terms, but will have been more impressed to see Town get back on top and eventually grab a winner.

Hat-trick hero Nouble grew in confidence as the game wore on and as his goals went in, while Drury will be pleased with his strike and trialist Yuseff may have done enough to warrant further investigation.

U21s: Loach, Hewitt, Kisnorbo, Nkunga, Mings, Emmanuel-Thomas, Drury, Yuseff (Zapata-Caicedo 66), Carson, Lawrence, Nouble. Unused: Crowe, Hammond, Thorsteinsson, Timlin.

Colchester: Phillips, Buck, Lee, Heath, Olufemi, Gilbey, Wright, Sanderson, Izzet (Hunt 67), Ladapo, Compton (Simmons 76). Unused: O’Donaghue, McLaugh, Nuachuku.

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RetroBlue added 21:21 - Feb 25
Well played Nouble/ Drury. Same again Saturday please !

NoCanariesAllowed added 21:21 - Feb 25
Nice one Nouble. Really hoping we start seeing this kind of eye for goal in Championship games pretty soon.

StuartBrett8 added 21:26 - Feb 25
Nouble to start with McGoldrick V Leicester?

francisb123 added 21:38 - Feb 25
Colchester must be terrible

BluePG added 21:50 - Feb 25
Thank you Phil. Is stuff like this that makes TWTD such a great site.

Mark added 22:34 - Feb 25
> Striker Yuseff, similar in style and stature to former Blue Dean McDonald

Oh dear. :-)

Great news about Nouble's hattrick though. Perhaps he is worth trying in the starting line up sometime soon? Our strikers are hardly banging in the goals, although to be fair anyone would struggle with the lack of service they get.

bluemikey100 added 00:31 - Feb 26
DRURY u scored a midfielder scored I DONT BELIEVE IT well done Frank hatrick Drey scored sign him if only he cud be as good as dad Jermaine

Michael11 added 01:01 - Feb 26
Nice to see Nouble bang some goals in. Hopefully he'll develop nicely over the remaining games and pre-season ready to be a real player for us next year.

Interesting to see that Byron Lawrence was captain, a creative midfielder (which we've been crying out for) who was getting rave reviews this time last year but he never gets in contention with our first team squad?

Seeing Jermaine Wrights son play doesn't half make me feel old!

AndrewPC added 05:34 - Feb 26
A freezing cold night in february no incentive. But with MM and TC ("Top Cat" Terry) watching. A chance for those with purpose and motivation to make a statement.

From the match report it sounds as if Nouble and Drury passed the trst, but Carson and JET didn't ?

Also leaking 3 goals suggests that our midfield did not defend and the experienced Kisnorbo failed to marshall successfully the back four.

shamboy added 07:08 - Feb 26
JET was outstanding, actually. Totally outstanding.

hogster1970 added 07:45 - Feb 26
how did carson play, i still believe if he had a run in the first team he will come good, and defo cant be no worse than edwards

Cakeman added 08:45 - Feb 26
I agree with StuartBrett9, would like to see Nouble start up front with McGoldrick. Could be the future pairing for next season.

garrodm1 added 11:31 - Feb 26
nice to see some goals frank played well

newtownfan13 added 21:05 - Feb 26
hogster1970 Carson played out on the left, never gave a ball away, had a couple of attempts on goal and set up the final goal, lovely pass through, worked hard throughout, played full 90 minutes and imo had a great game.

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