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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