Colchester United 0-5 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Friday, 19th Jul 2019 21:25
New boy James Norwood netted a fabulous hat-trick as Town went goal-crazy to earn the first win of their pre-season programme, running ragged League Two rivals Colchester 5-0 at the JobServe Community Stadium tonight.
While summer signing Norwood, the country’s leading marksman last season when his 32 goals helped Tranmere to win promotion into League One, was the star of the show, half-time substitute Kayden Jackson was the best of the rest with a double strike – plus an assist – on a night when home boss John McGreal was left with more questions than answers.
The Blues led 1-0 at the break, thanks to Norwood’s early penalty, and Jackson added a second with his first touch soon after the break. Three goals in just 10 minutes saw off the U’s and put Paul Lambert’s men firmly in charge in what was a comfortable, thoroughly deserved win.
Cheered on by almost 3,000 appreciative members of the Blue Army, who were in predictably good voice throughout, Town looked far more menacing in the second period and could even have secure a more emphatic victory.
Town went ahead thanks to spot-on Norwood as he emphatically converted a penalty awarded after Cameron James was rightly punished for an ill-timed sliding tackle on Danny Rowe that left referee Tim Robinson with an easy decision to make.
The game’s first scoring opportunity actually fell to Colchester new boy Jevani Brown, a summer signing from Cambridge United, in the eighth minute and at the end occupied by most of the travelling fans.
But he delayed his shot long enough to allow Town skipper Luke Chambers to go to ground and block the danger.
Chambers, who will miss the season’s opening League One fixture at Burton through a one-game suspension carried over from last term, was prominent again to dispossess Courtney Senior.
Within seconds, however, his challenge on ex-colleague Frank Nouble was punished by referee Tim Robinson, although the freekick floated in by Courtney Senior was easily gathered by new 6ft 9ins goalkeeper Tomas Holy.
The goal clearly lifted the Blues and they began to stroke the ball around with confidence, midfielders Andre Dozzell and Idris El Mizouni enjoying plenty of possession but unable to carve out any clear-cut opportunities for front man Norwood.
Colchester threatened down the left in the 32nd minute as Brown and Nouble exchanged passes but Janoi Donacien produced a well-timed challenge on the latter at the expense of a corner that was easily cleared.
Holy, signed on a free transfer after his contract expired at Gillingham, was grateful when the home side spoilt another potential opportunity by sending yet another free-kick into the area that he was able to gather easily.
With 33 minutes on the clock the referee called Chambers towards him and seemed to ask that the Town captain have a word with team-mate Norwood, which he duly did before the game got under way again. Presumably, had it not been a pre-season friendly, the Town striker would have been in trouble for something he had apparently said.
Town squandered an excellent chance to increase their advantage six minutes before the break when Tunisian international El Mizouni raced through without being challenged. But, rather than slip the ball to the unmarked Rowe, he opted to let fly from just outside the area and saw his low drive miss the target with plenty to spare.
Tristan Nydam, Idris El Mizouni and Luke Garbutt, who had lined up at wide midfield in his first appearance in a Blues shirt against one of his former loan clubs, all made way for Town at the interval, to be replaced by trialist James Wilson, Jackson, who joined Norwood up front, and Jordan Roberts.
And less than 90 seconds after the restart Andre Dozzell sent a low cross across the goalmouth for Jackson to drill into the net from close range.
The Blues should have added a third goal on the hour mark when pressure by Norwood saw the home lose possession and Rowe picked up the loose ball. He moved through the middle into the home side’s half and his clever pass released Jackson, whose tame left-foot effort failed to test Gerken.
But Lambert’s men quickly found the net again as Norwood claimed his second goal of the night, meeting a cross from Myles Kenlock, who had started the game at centre-half before moving to his usual left-back role, on the volley and firing spectacularly past the helpless keeper.
The ex-Tranmere man added a third in the 71st minute, this time turning in a cross by Jackson with a clever first-time finish and seconds later, before the visiting fans’ applause had died down, Jackson added a fifth from an assist by Jordan Roberts.
A beaming Norwood was withdrawn in the 77th minute and shook hands with both Lambert and assistant manager Stuart Taylor before taking a seat on the bench.
Colchester: Gerken (Ross 73), Vincent-Young (Collinge 73), Eastman (Kensdale 73), Sowunmi (Prosser 73), James (Ager 73), Lapslie (Comley 73), Stevenson (Pell 69), Senior (Fernandes 73), Gambin (Hasanally 73), Brown (Cowan-Hall 46), Nouble (Norris 73).
Town: Holy, Donacien, Chambers, Kenlock, Nydam (Wilson 46), Garbutt (Roberts 46), Rowe (Clements 85), Downes, Dozzell (Huws 61), El Mizouni (Jackson 46), Norwood (Dobra 77). Att: 5,210.
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