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Colchester United 3-3 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 27th Jul 2021 21:48

Joe Pigott, Macauley Bonne and Wes Burns all scored their first goals for Town as the Blues drew 3-3 with Colchester United at the JobServe Community Stadium. Pigott gave the Blues an early advantage before ex-Town defender Tommy Smith levelled for the home side. Bonne restored the Blues' lead but another former Town player, Frank Nouble, equalised again just before the break. In the second half, a third one-time Town man, Alan Judge, gave the U’s the lead, before Burns curled in a late free-kick.

Tomas Holy was in goal with Janoi Donacien skippering from right-back and Matt Penney at left-back and Corrie Ndaba and Luke Woolfenden the centre-halves.

In midfield, 17-year-old Cameron Humphreys was again alongside Rekeem Harper with Lee Evans and Jon Nolan still absent.

Scott Fraser and Armando Dobra were in the wide roles with Joe Pigott and former U’s striker Macauley Bonne up front.

Vaclav Hladky, Kane Vincent-Young, Toto Nsiala, Burns and James Norwood, who all started on Saturday, were on the bench, as is Kayden Jackson, the only outfield player in the squad for the Crystal Palace game not to make it on to the field.

As expected, neither George Edmundson not Conor Chaplin were involved but both were at the game and applauded the Blues support ahead of kick-off.

For Colchester, ex-Blues Dean Gerken, Luke Chambers, Tommy Smith, Frank Nouble, Alan Judge, Freddie Sears and Tom Eastman started with Cole Skuse on the bench.

Sears struck the first shot of the game in the second minute following a U’s break but sent the ball well over from the right of the area.

The early stages continued at a frenetic pace and two minutes later Dobra, who had made a confident start to the game, saw a shot deflect over.

Dobra’s positive start continued and in the sixth minute led to the Blues’ first goal. The 20-year-old brought the ball forward before feeding Bonne to his right. The loan signing from QPR crossed low to Pigott and Gerken was unable to prevent the former AFC Wimbledon man from opening his Town account despite getting a firm hand on the ball.

The Blues, wearing their new white away kit, continued to dominate with Pigott, who was often dropping deep, and Dobra interchanging well and the Albanian U21 international’s direct running causing the U’s constant problems.

However, on 13 Coxe blazed over from the edge of the box after the U’s had sent Nouble away towards the left.

In the 25th minute Judge hit a 25-yard effort which his former team-mate Holy claimed comfortably.

The U’s went even closer two minutes later when Brendan Wiredu, having been found by Judge, beat the advancing Holy but the ball was cleared from inside the six-yard box by Woolfenden.

And from the resultant flag-kick the U’s levelled via former Blue Smith, who rose to head down and into the corner of the net.

In the 29th minute Dobra was clattered by an overzealous Judge challenge a third of the way into the U’s half to the right. The Town youngster made it clear to the Irishman he was less than impressed with the tackle and received a shove from his old skipper Chambers for doing so.

From the resultant free-kick, the Blues regained the lead. Fraser looped the ball to the far post and Bonne glanced a header to Gerken’s right and into the corner of the net for his first goal in a Town shirt against his old side.

But the lead lasted only 12 minutes with the North Essex team equalising for a second time three minutes before the scheduled break.

Judge lofted a free-kick towards the back post from the left and Nouble rose in front of Holy to flick a header over the keeper and into the corner of the net.

The scoreline remained 2-2 at the end of an entertaining first half with the Blues having passed the ball neatly at times and looking a threat going forward and creating and taking two well-crafted chances.

However, at the other end, manager Paul Cook will be less than impressed at conceding from two set pieces, while the U’s had one or two other chances in open play.

On 51 Dobra twisted and turned his way past a number of Colchester defenders before hitting a shot from a tight angle that half-time sub keeper Taye Ashby-Hammond, a trialist, blocked.

Nouble should have put the U’s in front in the 54th minute when the ball was floated in from the right by Coxe but sent the ball weakly at Holy. At the other end, Pigott shot straight at Ashby-Hammond.

On the hour, Town swapped Humphreys and Penney for Fraser Alexander and Bailey Clements, then a minute later the U’s brought on Skuse and another trialist, ex-Bournemouth man Charlie Daniels for Ryan Clampin and Noah Chilvers.

In the 68th minute the Blues swapped their front two, Pigott and Bonne, who will both be pleased with their evening’s work and goal, for Norwood and Jackson, back in the fold having been among the senior players training with the U23s.

On 70 Judge gave the U’s the lead after a Holy howler. The keeper cut out a long ball on the edge of his area, but then chested it into the air ahead of him and was dispossessed by Sears, who laid it off to Judge 40 yards out from where the Irishman found the empty net.

A minute later, Town swapped Donacien and Fraser for ex-U’s man Vincent-Young and Burns.

Following all the substitutions, the U’s looked the more threatening side with sub Samson Tovide getting to the byline on the left and crossing low for Nouble, who was unable to get enough on the ball at the near post.

In the 81st minute, Town switched Woolfenden and Harper for Nsiala and young midfielder Matt Healy.

Three minutes later, Nouble tried to loop an effort over Holy from the edge of the box but without getting enough on the ball and the keeper claimed.

Town had rarely threatened in the second half but in the 87th minute they levelled. Dobra was fouled yet again, this time not far outside the area to the left, and Burns curled the free-kick goalwards. Ashby-Hammond palmed it on to the underside of the bar but the ball bounced down and over the line. Like Pigott and Bonne, it was Burns’s first goal for in a Town shirt.

The Blues went looking for a late winner and in stoppage time Jackson was sent away on the left into the area with Ashby-Hammond coming well off his line. The striker tried to find himself room to shoot at the empty goal but his effort when it came it was blocked.

An entertaining friendly overall with the Blues losing their way in the second half amid all the substitutions and the U’s were on top when Judge scored his excellently taken goal, one Holy will be glad came in a pre-season friendly.

The Blues improved as the half continued and another free-kick won by Dobra, the Blues’ main threat throughout, led to Burns’s well executed free-kick.

Manager Cook will see such a competitive friendly as a very useful exercise with Town having one game left, at home to Millwall on Saturday, before the season proper gets under way against Morecambe at Portman Road on Saturday 7th August.

Colchester: Gerken (Ashby-Hammond 46), Clampin (Skuse 61), Chambers, Smith (c), Wiredu, Nouble, Judge, Sears (Tovide 73), Chilvers (Daniels), Eastman, Coxe (Trialist C ). Unused: Hasanally, Thomas, Terry, Cornish, Beadle.

Town: Holy, Donacien (c) (Vincent-Young 71), Woolfenden (Nsiala 81), Ndaba, Penney (Clements 60), Harper (Healy 81), Humphreys (Alexander 60), Dobra, Fraser (Burns 71), Pigott (Norwood 68), Bonne (Jackson 68). Subs: Hladky. Referee: David Rock (Hertfordshire).

Photo: Matchday Images

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buzbyblue added 21:50 - Jul 27
I hope they stop holy from getting on the team bus for the journey home

Nobbysnuts added 21:53 - Jul 27
I just keep telling myself pre season friendlies don't matter...... don't read anything into it.... but I can't help it...they do matter. Not a great performance....


Vancouver_Blue added 21:53 - Jul 27
Sounds entertaining

Tractorboy58 added 21:55 - Jul 27
Not a bad game for a friendly. Clear that new players will need a bit more game time to gel

algarvefan added 21:58 - Jul 27
Much team building still to be done, maybe see a truer reflection against Millwall, some bright spots but some real worries too, thought we looked awful in defence in the first half in particular. I know some of you don't like him but Chambers will be a massive hole in our defence to fill. We look like strangers and it will take time.

I thought it was an entertaining game (haven't said that much about Ipswich recently) I think once settled we will be a match for anyone in Division 1, felt for Holy he had a shocker tonight, rather we had kept Pryzbeck or Wright. We need another keeper.

BeattiesBackPocket added 21:59 - Jul 27
Nobbysnuts we started with half a reserve team with Holy, Donacien and Ndaba at the back who won’t start the first league game get a grip! I suppose after Man Utd got stiffed at QPR 4-2 at the weekend they may as well just give up on their season as well yeah??? Honestly their fans don’t kick off we literally have a minority of the most fickle fans in any league!

ringwoodblue added 22:00 - Jul 27
I imagine Judge really enjoyed his goal - one in the eye for his old boss.

Just wonder what the result would’ve been if Hladky had been between the sticks instead of Holy Inadequate

Cloddyseedbed added 22:03 - Jul 27
Hell of a game to watch on live stream, when they got technical problems sorted!! Game played like a semi final. Very competitive, with both teams competing hard for a result. Old Ipswich boys wanting to prove a point. I have to say Colchester looked the more organised, Ipswich played well in patches but still looked disjointed at times with so many changes to personnel. Holy in goal once again didn't do himself justice and on that showing can't expect to be Town no. 1. At times he looked like a Clown not coming for crosses what he really should and rushing out of his goal when not necessary. We conceded a goal from one of these. Woolfy for me not good enough. To laid back and not showing enough urgency to win balls and defend. Dobra by far the best player on the pitch for the full 90 minutes. Only a friendly and result not important, but in this game it so much at stake for both sets of players and management. Gone are the days of lucklustre displays from a Town team. Plenty of energy and skill on show but it will take time for the new squad to settle into a rythm and get to know each other. The future looks bright!

Chris_ITFC added 22:06 - Jul 27
This season is going to be FUN! 🙂

PinstripeBlue added 22:07 - Jul 27
BeattiesBP. Calm down luv. It’s only a friendly.

markchips added 22:11 - Jul 27
Can’t expect Cook to have been too impressed with Holy. Think he will be gone soon.

Suffolkboy added 22:11 - Jul 27
Come on you lot ! It’s a practice match and errors and mistakes do occur , perfection isn’t ever a realistic possibility ; couldn’t be ther but lay odds several outfield players made mistakes !!
PC will be very pleased to have the pre season exercises going along so smoothly ,and maybe a little concerned that we’ve yet fitness worries to clear from the decks .,

Drifter3012 added 22:13 - Jul 27
It is clear that these players still need game time together.
But whilst there were defensive holes tonight, especially with Holy, some of our attacking play was excellent.
It was a preseason friendly and we won’t be seeing some of the starters against Morecambe so I still feel positive that things will come together for the season.

Skip73 added 22:20 - Jul 27
Don't worry Nobby, we lost every game before 1980/81 and 91/92, but had a great preseason in 94/95, so preseasons don't mean too much.

BcarefulwhatUWish4 added 22:22 - Jul 27
Defensively - very poor at times
Attacking play- good in spells

Overall, a fair result. Colchester look as if they might have a chance of promotion from L2 this season. They more than matched us at times (though obviously quite a few of our first XI weren't playing).

Team will clearly need time to gel. Just 1 more friendly now before it gets real.

USA added 22:26 - Jul 27
BeattiesBP. The fans are not fickle at all. You just read the opinions of many many different fans with differing opinions. Hence they vary. Not the same as being fickle

stevieiriswattii added 22:33 - Jul 27
Harper, Dobra stood out all evening. Pigott & Bonne looked promising, along with Burn's cameo. An entertaining pre-season game, otherwise, plenty of room for improvement.

Monkey_Blue added 22:38 - Jul 27
Fun to watch but still worrying that we look like a bunch of strangers thrown together after a scousers tantrum….. which is what we are every idiot who marks this comment down without giving reason why I’m wrong: it’s ok I know you are lacking in other areas of life 😂😂😂

BeattiesBackPocket added 22:41 - Jul 27
USA do you win the league or get promoted in pre season?? No you don’t. We didn’t win a pre season game in Lyalls first full season and won the league lost loads under burley including at non league sides so moaning about the fact we draw or lose pre season games is fickle as it means nothing! As I say utd lost 4-2 at QPR their fans aren’t moaning they take it for what it is a fitness and game sharpness exercise

BeattiesBackPocket added 22:43 - Jul 27
Pinstripeblue it annoys me that people moan because we play half a reserve side that we haven’t won. I’m calm just fed up with the same people that have moaned all the way through pre season even when it’s positive news. It’s a friendly christ we won’t get promoted in pre season 🙄

mickeyjb added 22:44 - Jul 27
We are keeping Dobra right ??? Best player on the pitch by far. Just needs to pass after he ghosts past players. Piggott looked a handful. Keeper right back two starting centre backs, no thanks.

PinstripeBlue added 22:45 - Jul 27
BeattiesBP. You protest too much sir x

BeattiesBackPocket added 22:51 - Jul 27
Pinstripe no I just have seen poor pre seasons in the past as I said so I don’t concern myself with these games until it matter unlike some

Talbs77 added 22:56 - Jul 27
I went to game and think it was best pre season I’ve seen. So many positives knocked the ball around nicely Harper looks a class above as did Pigott in first half. Dobra was exceptional but he needs to that end product.

Defensively dodgy but it’s a pre season and guarantee Ndaba and Donacien won’t start against Morecombe.

Thoroughly enjoyed tonight just to be back watching a football match after 18 months was awesome and the game didn’t let me down topped by Burns equaliser which was class.

Lots of positives guys.

budgieplucker added 23:03 - Jul 27
I think probably Cookie will have avoided playing his best 11 to start when he knew it would be more than your average pre-season friendly with the extra bite from the released Town players.

I actually thought Colchester looked quite good and have a very good chance of finishing the season chasing a top 6 place in Div 2. I don’t buy all of these comments that the players released by Ipswich have found their level - that was a strong Col U side and I might actually go and give them a look for a few games when Town are not playing.

Whilst not overly concerned about the performance tonight, there were something’s which disappointed me. Agree that Dobra was our man of the match by a country mile, didn’t stop running and teasing for the whole time he was on the pitch. Next I thought Donacien was my next pick, I thought he had a good game at right back and is definitely a good option for cover and versatility from the bench. I was also pleased he was the captain for the evening, I like Janoi as a decent person and would like to think he can play a role this season that’s why I was disappointed that we didn’t try KVY at left back (where he played when he was at Col U) rather than take Janoi off to give Kane a run out. I don’t like knocking the young players, but Bailey Clements I have seen several times and I don’t think he has anywhere near the quality to be near the first team.

Penney I think will become more of a squad player, so we do need some better options at left back, maybe the lad from Middlesbrough will do the trick.

Defensively we didn’t look very assured today so Edmundson will be a welcome addition, but as a right footer it looks like he will get the nod over Toto. Woolfie can play left centre.

I felt for Holy as the game just got worse for him, and arguably had we had Hladky between the sticks we may have won that. It does raise the question as to whether we need another goalkeeper. Tomas is a super lad but has a big hill to climb for me to gain the confidence of the manager and fans that he is a suitable no 2.

The younger lads couldn’t really make an impact, and it was always going to be a difficult ask for young Humphreys to make a big impact in a game like this although he did little wrong. Fraser was quiet and looked a little frustrated to me, possibly because he wasn’t playing in his number 10 position or his other preference of number 8. Pigott and Bon were well contained but both were sharp with their limited chances.

I quite liked the kit, but had a different impression when I first saw it on-line. Cant help thinking though a few more subtle markings would just take the plain ness off of the kit.

Well done to the ex Ipswich lads and the fans for acknowledging each other.

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