Ipswich Town 0-1 Colchester United - Match Report
Tuesday, 9th Aug 2022 21:50
Town’s Carabao Cup involvement ended at the first round stage after Luke Hannant’s 29th-minute goal saw Colchester United to a 1-0 victory at Portman Road. The Blues dominated and had plenty of chances to score in the first half, but a Rekeem Harper error gifted Hannant the U’s goal and the Blues laboured after the break as the U’s won at Portman Road for the first time since October 1951.
Town boss Kieran McKenna made the expected wholesale changes with only Cameron Burgess remaining from Saturday’s 2-1 win at Forest Green Rovers.
Vaclav Hladky was in goal with former U’s defender Kane Vincent-Young on the right of the back three with Luke Woolfenden returning in the centre having been ill at the weekend with Burgess on the left.
Kyle Edwards and Greg Leigh were the wing-backs with Cameron Humphreys and Harper in the centre of the midfield.
Sone Aluko, who skippered, and Tyreece John-Jules started behind lone striker Kayden Jackson.
For Colchester, ex-Blues Luke Chambers, who captained, Cole Skuse, Tom Eastman and Frank Nouble were all in the starting line-up.
The U’s, whose head coach is former Town defender Wayne Brown, made four changes from the team which drew 1-1 with Carlisle on Saturday, while three players were making first starts. Tommy Smith and Emyr Huws were out injured, while Freddie Sears appeared to pick up a knock on Saturday and Alan Judge is understood to have been rested.
Ahead of kick-off both teams - other than Aluko - took a knee to applause from the sparse crowd with the upper tiers of the Sir Bobby and Sir Alf stands closed.
Aluko created the evening’s first opportunity, playing a low ball in for Humphreys but the young midfielder scuffed his shot through to visiting keeper Sam Hornby.
On three, wing-back Leigh was found on the left of the box but he similarly failed to make significant contact and Hornby claimed.
Town dominated the early stages with Colchester unable to get out of their penalty area with the Blues’ centre-halves sitting midway inside the visitors’ half.
On seven, Harper crossed towards the back post but a Colchester defender dived to head away in front of Leigh, then a minute later the former Morecambe man cut in and hit a shot which wasn’t enough to trouble Hornby.
The Blues continued to have all the possession and in the 14th minute, following a free-kick, Humphreys smashed a shot which sent Ossama Ashley sprawling.
The Town pressure dropped in its intensity as the game reached the 20-minute, although with the Blues still well on top. On 21 a headed clearance fell to John-Jules, who sent a volley well into the stand.
Three minutes later, the on-loan Arsenal man sought to sweep a low near-post corner goalwards but only found the side-netting.
Town should have taken the lead in the 26th minute when Aluko played in Edwards with a clever ball to the right of the area and the former West Brom man cut it back to Humphreys, who seemed destined to score his first senior goal but blazed over from 12 yards.
Two minutes later, having spent virtually no time in the Town half let alone the penalty area, the U’s went ahead following a catastrophic mix-up in the Blues’ defence.
Harper played a pass into his own area from the right between Burgess and Leigh and Hannant gleefully seized upon it and smashed past a startled Hladky to give the visitors an unlikely lead.
On 35, the game was held up after a smoke bomb was thrown on to the pitch by Colchester supporters, the second of the evening following one at kick-off.
The Colchester goal and its manner appeared to discombobulate the Blues and give the U’s confidence.
In the 38th minute, former Blues midfielder Skuse was shown the game’s first yellow card for a foul on Harper.
From the free-kick, Town, who had got back on top although while still a little nervy with John-Jules now down the centre having swapped with Jackson, created a chance, Humphreys crossing from the left but Vincent-Young was unable to keep his header down.
On 40, Humphreys had another great opportunity, the youngster having been picked out by Vincent-Young just beyond the penalty spot but the academy product scraped his shot wide. The 18-year-old, playing the Sam Morsy role in central midfield, had got into some excellent positions throughout the half but had been unable to take his chances.
Town were unable to threaten again before referee Sam Purkiss blew his whistle. The Blues had dominated almost from start to finish and had created plenty of opportunities but had been unable to take them, the best having fallen to the otherwise excellent Humphreys.
Colchester’s goal came from their only chance of the half, Hannant making the most of Harper’s sloppy pass across his own area. Having been knocked out of their rhythm after conceding, the Blues restored their control but still with an element of nervousness about their play.
Town began their second half search for an equaliser, Aluko hitting a shot into a defender in the 52nd minute, then Edwards winning a corner on the right.
From the flag-kick, keeper Hornby failed to claim when in a crowd of players, the ball falling loose to John-Jules, who shot over. It was another very good opportunity for Town.
The Blues continued to dominate against a U’s side happy to sit back on their lead, and continued to win corners on the right but still without finding the net.
Colchester made their first change in the 57th minute, Ashley taking an age to make his way off and eventually picking up a yellow card for time-wasting. Ryan Clampin replaced him.
Two minutes later, a corner, this time from the left, fell to Jackson with the striker having his back to goal but the former Accrington man could only manage to loop to Hornby on the turn.
Town went close on 63 when John-Jules took down a long pass, then sent over a low ball and Al-Amin Kazeem, making his first senior start, prevented Edwards, who was breaking in from the right, from managing a clean effort at goal and Hornby saved down to his left.
Hornby was in action again two minutes later blocking Aluko’s low curled 25-yard free-kick following a foul on John-Jules.
The U’s swapped Skuse, who was warmly applauded off by his old fans, for Cameron Coxe in the 68th minute, then two minutes later, Town made a quadruple substitution with Lee Evans taking over from Harper, Wes Burns replacing Vincent-Young, Conor Chaplin coming on for Jackson and Harness for Aluko.
Harness went close immediately, the former Pompey man bundling a corner from the left, Town’s 11th of the evening, wide off a defender with the U’s, led by former Town skipper Chambers, maintaining a robust defence of their lead.
On 77 goalscorer Hannant was booked for a dive as he lost the ball to Evans, then within a minute Junior Tchamadeu joined him for wasting time at a throw-in.
Chaplin went wide with a bicycle kick on 79, then Leigh was let down by a heavy first touch as the ball fell to him in the area with the left wing-back the furthest man forward but Town were struggling to work themselves clear-cut chances against the resolute Colchester defence.
Town switched Humphreys for Idris El Mizouni in the 84th minute as the U’s made a double change, Kazeem and Nouble for Samson Tovide and John Akinde.
Eastman blocked a Chaplin’s shot from the edge of the area before the fourth official’s board indicated five additional minutes.
Town huffed and puffed but could find little rhythm with the game stopping regularly as Colchester players took the turf and a fan briefly ran onto the field.
Evans struck a powerful shot but too close to Hornby and Town were unable to create another opportunity before the referee’s whistle sent the visiting fans wild.
The Blues had dominated possession in the second half but had only really created one clear-cut chance, John-Jules’s effort over following a corner, despite all their pressure with the Colchester backline putting in a determined and ultimately successful effort to record their first win at Portman Road since October 1951.
After celebrating with his current fans, former Blues captain Chambers applauded his old supporters, a gesture which was reciprocated.
Town really should have had the game won in the first half having created numerous opportunities but failed to test Hornby significantly let alone find the net, while gifting the U's their goal, their only shot on target all night.
The result, the worst of Kieran McKenna's time in charge in his first cup tie at Town, ends the Blues’ involvement in the Carabao Cup at an early stage having lost to opposition from a lower league for hardly the first time over the last 20 years, Newport County having beaten Town last year by the same scoreline.
Town will be looking for a far better outcome when they face the MK Dons at Portman Road in League One on Saturday.
Town: Hladky, Vincent-Young (Burns 70), Woolfenden, Burgess, Edwards, Humphreys (El Mizouni 84), Harper (Evans 70), Leigh, Aluko (c) (Harness 70), John-Jules, Jackson (Chaplin 70). Unused: Hayes, Edmundson, Donacien, Penney.
Colchester: Hornby, Chambers (c), Hannant, Skuse (Coxe 68), Chilvers, Ashley (Clampin 57), Eastman, Tchamadeu, Kazeem (Tovide 85), Miranda, Nouble (Akinde 85). Unused: Collins, Dallinson, Newby, Coxe. Referee: Sam Purkiss (Surrey). Att: 11,654 (Colchester: 1,447).
Photo: Matchday Images
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