Colchester 0-3 Town
Tuesday, 23rd Jul 2013 21:33
Goals from Luke Chambers, David McGoldrick and Daryl Murphy (pen) saw the Blues to a 3-0 victory over Colchester at the Weston Homes Community Stadium and maintained their 100% record in pre-season. Town were well on top in a first half and were two goals up at the break with Murphy adding the third from the spot after he had been fouled in a half in which the U’s presented a greater threat.
Striker Michael Chopra was a notable absentee from the Town squad, the 29-year-old reportedly having held talks with Barnsley yesterday, while Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones has said he could also be interested in signing his former Cardiff player.
New right-back Frederic Veseli started, while Christophe Berra was in a Town squad for the first time and was on the bench. Paul Taylor was also in the 22 for the first time since suffering his serious foot injury last September.
Former Blue Tom Eastman started for the U’s, while David Wright and Drey Wright, son of ex-Blue Jermaine, were both on the bench. U’s keeper Sam Walker is a Town fan.
The game started in explosive fashion when David McGoldrick unleashed a fearsome dipping 30-yard strike which Walker did superbly to tip onto the bar.
In the fourth minute Wordsworth, who was on the receiving end of abuse from his old fans from the off, headed an Aaron Cresswell freekick over at the far post. For the U’s, Sanchez Watt hit a low effort through to Scott Loach after a Freddie Sears burst through the middle.
On six Walker thwarted another excellent McGoldrick strike, this time pushing a shot from a tight angle on the left wide. From the resultant corner on the Town right, Jay Tabb played the ball short to Wordsworth but again Walker was equal to his stab at goal. From the corner, Tommy Smith won a free header, but his knock-back was cleared.
The Blues went ahead in the 27th minute when Wordsworth sent in a corner from the left and an unmarked Luke Chambers attacked the ball and headed home his first goal of pre-season. The centre-half had another chance only a couple of minutes later, but this time nodded the ball to Walker.
Town had been worthy of their lead but just before the half hour ex-West Ham man Sears curled a freekick wide of Loach’s right post.
In the 32nd minute Town made it 2-0. Hewitt sent in a long throw from the right, the U’s couldn’t clear a weak McGoldrick header and the ex-Forest man hit the loose ball into the corner of the net from 15 yards to notch his fourth goal of pre-season.
The excellent McGoldrick wasn’t far wide from 25 yards in the 40th minute with the Blues continuing to have much the better of it.
The whistle went for the end of the first half soon after with the Blues having been very much on top, having put in one of their best 45-minute displays of pre-season so far with McGoldrick the stand-out man.
At the break, Christophe Berra replaced Tommy Smith at the heart of the Town defence for his first appearance for the Blues, while Dean Gerken took over from Loach in goal.
Town came under pressure for the first time in the early stages of the second period but without Gerken being forced into a save until just after the hour mark when Andy Bond hit a low shot which failed to significantly test the Blues keeper.
In the 66th minute Nouble and man of the match McGoldrick made way for Daryl Murphy and, back after 10 months out of action with a foot injury, Paul Taylor. Four minutes later, Kyle Hammond and Tyrone Mings replaced full-backs Veseli and Cresswell.
The home side were continuing to have more of the second half and in the 72nd minute Chambers made an important challenge as ex-Blue David Wright looked to get on the end of Alex Gilbey’s cut-back.
However, a minute later it was 3-0 when Murphy netted his third goal of pre-season from the penalty spot. Wordsworth had played an excellent through ball to the Irishman, however, his first touch was too heavy but he still beat Walker to the ball and the keeper sent him to ground as he dived at his feet. The striker sent the ball to his left and Walker to his right from the spot.
The U’s almost pulled a goal back soon after, Bond forcing Gerken into a save, before the Blues replaced Chambers, Tabb, Hyam and Wordsworth with David October, Byron Lawrence, Amir Berkane and Josh Carson.
Berra forced Walker into an uncomfortable save with a header into the ground from Lawrence’s corner, Taylor, who was enjoying a lively cameo, making life difficult for the keeper as he did so.
Taylor miscued a through ball to Murphy moments before referee Mr Breakspear blew the whistle on Town’s biggest win of pre-season so far.
The Blues had been very much on top in the first half but were less impressive after the break when the U’s looked the more dangerous side until Murphy netted from the spot.
Town: Loach (Gerken 46), Veseli (Hammond 70), Chambers (October 78), Smith (Berra 46), Cresswell (Mings 70), Tabb (Lawrence 78), Skuse (Hewitt 18), Hyam (Berkane 78), Wordsworth (Carson 78), Nouble (Murphy 66), McGoldrick (Taylor 66). Subs: Gerken, Hewitt, Murphy, Taylor, Mings, Carson, Berkane, Lawrence, Hammond, October. Att: 4,585.
Photo: Action Images
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